The sea level rising by 12 inches doesn’t seem like a big deal to people. They assume that we will just have one foot less of beach, which isn’t much of a change. What they don’t understand is how flat land by the sea really is.. on the east coast anyway.
The Miocene epoch (that’s back in geologic time) had CO2 levels of around 400 parts per million. That’s less than we have right now (we have 440). Due to what is called the lag effect, even if we freeze the carbon level at where it is, the ice will continue to melt. What we’re looking at, what we’ve already done to ourselves, is this:
Let’s look at the Eocene epoch. The carbon levels at that time were 850 ppm. Right now it’s projected that we won’t get our act together until we hit 750 ppm. So we may have something like this to look forward to:
There goes Louisiana…
And the worst case scenario right now matches the Cretaceous period. You guys may have heard of that one. 1200 ppm was the level at that time.. and North America looked like this:
The reason the east coast and mid west are getting it the worst is because of the level of the land. The west coast is dominated by cliffs, which keeps the sea out mostly. The east coast and mid west on the other hand are pretty close to sea level.
I hope this has helped for people to understand what the ‘big deal’ is about sea level rising. People’s homes will be destroyed, animal’s habitats will be wiped clean.
Oh, yeah, and the whole Earth was tropical at this time. Canada will be beach front property. Better start investing!
(Disclaimer: This will take a long time. Don’t really invest, I was trying to be funny)
Source of information and pictures: Dr Mike McKinney, Head of Environmental studies, University of Tennessee Knoxville