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West Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Collapsing

 
 
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 06:54 am
@roger,
Of course a few people trying to conserve our planet (seems an extreme way of saying it., but I guess it is) is not going to amount to a drop in the bucket if by and large no else is doing much. But surely if there is a real summit of allies concerning climate change and countries actually agree to implement significant changes, it is bound to be better than doing nothing at all except continuing on and just dealing with the results of doing nothing. Apparently West Antarctic Ice sheet is gone, but, perhaps not everything is lost.

What else might happen? Guess I need to look it up.

Anyway, it just seems to me that even for those who do not believe this is man made, it seems to me, it is just healthier to have cleaner air and cleaner water...

In my county, there is a fairly large energy plant, as far I know, they follow the rules, nevertheless, everyone that lives here seems to have an awful lot of sinus colds and/or worse. I am sure they do every where else too, but still, cleaner air and water can't be a bad thing. So I never understood the big denial, it must be as Set said, "it is the money, stupid". (not his words, but a paraphrase on James Carville)

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 06:58 am
@roger,
In the new world order, there will be no beaches.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 08:09 am
@revelette2,
this AM's NY Times Science Tuesday section hd a satellite analysis of all the "thinning" ice sheets and montaine glaciers of the planet.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 08:11 am
@revelette2,
As the volume of cold fresh water flows into and is sucked up in the ocean streams, I think we may see the planets "Push back" mode wherein the cold water will slow and maybe stop the flows into the high latitudes which, of course, will trigger the return of the Ice Ages.
(Course I could be wrong but maybe not)

One thing buffers another.
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revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 12:25 pm
@farmerman,
I looked into in the little time I had this morning, forced into physical therapy, anyways, think it will take more than one minute to learn it. Science was one of my worst subjects as I recall, next to math. Toss up really.
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revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 01:00 pm
Guess all I want to know is, is it too late to stop permanent damage of the earth if the leaders of countries agreed on certain steps to do it?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 01:08 pm
@revelette2,
Climate change is going on, and always had been. Nothing we can do will change that. It wold be prudent not to contribute to the problem, but we cannot prevent it. You are also in the grip of anthropocentrism. If the world becomes less charming for us to live in, that doesn't mean it will have been destroyed. There will be no "permanent damage" because both the planet and its biosphere will survive with or without us, and the only thing that won't change is that change is the great constant.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 01:59 pm
@roger,
So your ok with releasing pollution into the atmosphere until the sea level gets above your house? Or does this mean you live in the mountains so its not a worry for you? An ultraconservative attitude which declares Ive got mine, screw the rest of you.
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revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 02:53 pm
@Setanta,
Ok, had to look up anthropocentrism, but actually I am concerned about the sea life and other animals that live in costal areas and plant life, you know the "great circle of life."
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2014 03:40 pm
@revelette2,
every time the planets environment changed markedly (and it has many many times), life managed to adapt, evolve, and successfully exploit that new environment.

Caring about the present circle of life may be a fools errand as life will find a way.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 03:37 am
@revelette2,
As FM points out, the biosphere is actually pretty good at surviving such events . . . no particular individual's or specie's death will ever prove a disaster for the planet.

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revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 05:45 am
Well, then if the planet survives but we might not, we may as well eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we will burn up and then freeze. In other words, why worry about wasting energy and polluting the earth, apparently we are not important, the planet is. I guess you all think another species is going to come out of it that can survive in that kind of environment? Pretty convenient theory, we won't be around to see if it turns out to be true or not.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 06:50 am
@revelette2,
revelette2 wrote:
What else might happen? Guess I need to look it up.
revelette2 wrote:
Guess all I want to know is, is it too late to stop permanent damage of the earth if the leaders of countries agreed on certain steps to do it?

The damage is likely to last for thousands of years, but it isn't actually "permanent".

Anyway, to answer both of your questions, some of the damage is too late to stop. When the West Antarctic Ice Sheet goes, some 200 to 500 years from now, we are going to have to abandon Miami and New Orleans. Saving them will be such a lost cause that there won't be any point of even trying. The Everglades are toast too, although they may have a new future as a coral reef.

However, there is even worse damage that can happen if the ice continues to melt. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet will only raise the sea level by 20 feet. But if all the ice in Antarctica melts, the sea level will rise 200 feet.

Right now only the 20 foot rise has become inevitable. The 200 foot rise might still be avoided.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 09:03 am
@revelette2,
You're very suppositious about what others think, and without good reason.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 09:11 am
@revelette2,
so apparently you think that everything gone on before has achieved its highest with us?
I wonder what the dinosaurs thought about their position in the web of life"
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 09:12 am
@Setanta,
Yeah, I am, I have a bit of a habit to jumping to conclusions, I do not think it was without good reason if the posts of yesterday are followed. If at some point the earth exist in some fashion but humans, which is what you accused me of being only concerned with yesterday, do not, is the earth just going to be up in space by itself or is another "evolution" going to come out of it?
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 09:16 am
@farmerman,
I am not sure they thought at all having never been a dinosaur. I imagine that a lot of animals are going (some already have) become extinct, guess I am proving Set right, but I am wondering if you all think man will survive in some fashion or another in either freezing or boiling weather until it works itself out or will it not work itself out? What's the end game in all this?
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 09:23 am
@revelette2,
The answer is a well reasoned "I have no idea"

We are ants with nuclear weapons. That's scary.

How bout a swift moving half of a planetoid that is "missed" by Jupiters "vacuum cleaner" services.

In another 100 million years or so, its been projected that an entire new PAnGEA will once again describe th earth. (If we learn to live in submarine cities or are colonizing other planets)we may be safe .
Don't know, don't much care.
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 09:38 am
@revelette2,
I think that perhaps you might suffer from an attitude of human exceptionalism. If we are "damaging" the planet, as you have said, our demise would be no great loss. However, i have not predicted the demise of humanity, and certainly not because of sea level rise. If the West Antarctic ice sheet breaks free in one to two centuries, people need to be prepared to deal with it. If they do nothing, nature will deal with them. I have complained about increasing the CO2 levels because that might just accelerate the problem. In addition to what Oralloy has mentioned, the estuary of the Thames and the Medway would be inundated, probably all the way to London. They can protect the city by closing the massive and horribly expensive storm surge gates which were built after the North Sea storm surges in the 1950s, but then London ceases to be a sea port. Much of Kent, Susses, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and Devon wold be inundated. What are now called the Somerset Levels would probably become what they were a thousand years ago, the Somerset Marshes--if they don't actually become an arm of the Severn Sea. Lots of other problems would arise in the United Kingdom.

Holland would very likely be screwed, although they're the one people in the world who are likely to be able to cope with it. A good deal of the French coast would be flooded, and the beaches of the Riviera would disappear. Flood waters would rush up the Tiber, and Rome could be inundated. Large parts of the Italian coast and the Dalmatian coats would be flooded. Spain and Portugal would probably lose their tourist industry, temporarily, but they're in better shape than many European countries. A good deal of the Baltic coasts are barely above sea level, and this would affect Germany, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland.

Bangladesh would be screwed, and so would much of Indonesia--but rather than continue the catalog, i'll just point out that a billion or more people might lose their homes. Effectively, nothing is being done, while we continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere. Cars and buses and trucks are a problem, but the real problem is cause by coal- and gas-fired power plants. What this Antarctic event really ought to be is a wake-up call that humanity faces big problems, that the capitalists aren't helping, aren't going to help, and will very likely hinder any efforts which they see as jeopardizing their profits. A century or two is really not that long in human affairs when you consider that we'd have to adjust to dramatic changes, not the least of which will be the flooding of prime farm land at a stage in human history at which we seem to be nearing our agricultural carrying capacity.

There are big changes in human society and economics which will need to be made. But the wealthy, and their lick-spittle, paid political lackeys, the very people who need to be addressing these problems, not only are doing nothing, they're trying to crash along, making as much money as possible before the roof caves in on them. Unfortunately, we're all under that roof. If i were truly as smug and uncaring as you suggested earlier, i'd shrug it off, and would never have posted here. I won't be alive when these things happen.
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 09:39 am
Well, since we don't really know, and I am reasonably sure you are well read up on the subject so take your word, I think, that we should try to keep encouraging cleaner energy and doing what we can while we can and go on living. I just wish the government of countries would get serious about it.
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