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Refugees from rising sealevel

  1. Nov 28, 2005 #1

    marcus

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,3605,1650407,00.html

    ---exerpt from Guardian---

    Pacific Atlantis: first climate change refugees

    John Vidal, environment editor
    Friday November 25, 2005
    The Guardian

    For more than 30 years the 980 people living on the six minute horseshoe-shaped Carteret atolls have battled the Pacific to stop salt water destroying their coconut palms and waves crashing over their houses. They failed.
    Yesterday a decision was made that will make their group of low-lying islands literally go down in history. In the week before 150 countries meet in Montreal to discuss how to combat global warming and rising sea levels, the Carterets' people became the first to be officially evacuated because of climate change.

    Starting as soon as money is available to the Papuan New Guinean regional government, 10 families at a time will be moved by the authorities to Bougainville, a larger island 62 miles away. Within two years the six Carterets, roughly the size of 80 football pitches and just 1.5 metres high, will be uninhabited and undefended. By 2015 they are likely to be completely submerged.
    ---endquote---
     
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  3. Nov 29, 2005 #2

    matthyaouw

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    First refugees of climate change is a tad sensationalist isn't it?

    Anyway, repeated emergence and submergence is fairly characteristic of atolls as far as I'm aware. I mean these things formed under water as it is.
     
  4. Nov 29, 2005 #3

    Mk

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    This kind of thing definitely happens all the time, I don't know how frequent it is when people are living on the island.
     
  5. Nov 30, 2005 #4
    Both responses tend to imply that it is normal for atolls to go above and below sea level --- with which I'd agree ---- but I think I'd probably disagree on the frequency with which atolls become submerged.

    I am wondering is Matthew or Mk can provide a reference to put a hard number on what "all the time" and "fairly characteristic" means?

    Do we expect a habitable atoll to, on average, disappear into the watery depths once every 100 years? Once every 10,000?

    To the original poster: Interesting. I am sorry to see that these people need to evacuate. I've no idea if it's down to anthropogenic forced warming or not, of course. To figure that out, we'd need numbers on how often atolls become submerged, for a start. My thought is that a habitable atoll is not likely to become uninhabitaby submerged within the course of a lifetime, but perhaps one of the other responders can back up their positions with statistics.
     
  6. Dec 1, 2005 #5

    matthyaouw

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    No, I don't know. I wasn't trying to imply it was in no way influenced by climate change- merely pointing out there is another side to it. The article itself doesn't give any evidence to argue the claim in their title either.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2005 #6

    Mk

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    Here's one instance of a case where a populated island disappeared:
    Also:
    I actually found a bunch of papers, books and such that talk about rising sea level's effects on islands but none come close to mentioning frequency.

    As far as I have researched, a rising sea level taking over a populated island is unheard of (literally, not meaning impossible). Ooops shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition. :biggrin:

    I was kinda right kinda wrong, as I see it. Islands can disappear into the ocean because of the ocean, but not because of rising sea level.
     
  8. Dec 2, 2005 #7

    Tide

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    It's funny that the Telegraph reported a mere five years ago that sea levels at several islands and atolls (Nauru, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu) were falling. They might be good places for New Guineans to migrate to! :)

    But a skeptic (cynic?) might point out that the fallback position of global warming proponents in the face of "unusual cold" is that, in effect, global warming causes global cooling - which is why we now use the politically correct term "climate change" instead. One might therefore reasonably expect global warming to cause globally falling sea levels! ;)

    Seriously, though, the alleged changes are of the order of centimeters which is (a) small in comparison with mean wave heights and (b) very small compared with level changes produced by even a small shift of wind direction or speed. It's also interesting that the alleged changes were on the same upward "trend" as they are today at least as far back as the beginning of the 19th century (http://gcmd.gsfc.nasa.gov/Resources/Learning/sealevel.html).
     
  9. Dec 2, 2005 #8

    russ_watters

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    I don't think it is reasonable to blame this on global warming. According to THIS site, the oceans have risen 10-25cm in the past 100 years (a little less than a foot). This isn't like the weather, where one area can get a little warmer while another gets a lot warmer - sea level is sea level and a 1 foot rise is a 1 foot rise everywhere.
     
  10. Dec 2, 2005 #9
    That seems all to obvious and highly logical, Yet See level variables include prevailing air pressure and winds, local variation in average sea water temperature, local gravity changes. (ice sheets also pull a little, if they dissapear the local sea level also drops slightly mm's) The more obvious variables are land subsidence and uplift. Venice has sunken 10 cm the last century (total 20) only due to the mass of the city pushing the soil down.

    Check some random data here:

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/denhelder.html

    The message: don't get scaremongered.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2005
  11. Dec 2, 2005 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    From Russ' link

    The message: Flat earthers still exist as well. :biggrin:
     
  12. Dec 2, 2005 #11

    russ_watters

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    Did you misread my post? (and most of the rest of them....?) I didn't say that the rise in sea level wasn't due to global warming, I said a 1 foot rise isn't significant enough to blame abandoning an island on it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2005
  13. Dec 3, 2005 #12

    Mk

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    I still don't get why there were "refugees." If the sea level didn't go up 5 meters, why are they called refugees? Damn scaremongers. Probably the local corrupted government was kicking them out or something.
     
  14. Dec 4, 2005 #13

    matthyaouw

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    I think you are missing the point... Erosion, storms and salinisation are making these islands uninhabitable, not direct innundation.
    I'm not sure what you base your corrupt government statement on.
     
  15. Jan 5, 2006 #14
    And now it is affecting the roof of the world.

    http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200601040097.html
     
  16. Jan 5, 2006 #15

    Mk

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    "possibly causing many of the region's water woes—especially flooding—in the past decades. [...] ecological trouble in the future, including water shortages."
    How is flooding of China causing water shortages? Isn't flooding caused by... too much water? And how is there going to be a shortage of water if there is more meltwater to drink?

    How quickly is it melting? Floods are floods because they happen fast, like a wave, whether from the sky, the ground, or the ocean. If I imagine an ice cube melting on a table I don't think "flood."
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
  17. Jan 5, 2006 #16
    I don't think we can rule out the one-time occupants of New Orleans and surrounding. Not refugees, in their own country, but survivors. And smart to find higher ground for the time being.
     
  18. Jan 7, 2006 #17
    I would suggest you read the article for answers to your questions.
     
  19. Jan 7, 2006 #18

    Mk

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    Ok, sorry. :redface: I will.

    I'm looking for some scholarly papers about this right now, do you have any?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2006
  20. Jan 7, 2006 #19

    Mk

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    http://www.imde.ac.cn/journal/Vol_02/2-4.pdf
    Or these graphs from http://dust.ess.uci.edu/ppr/ppr_FlZ05_grl.pdf:

    http://img486.imageshack.us/img486/8026/meansnowdepthobservedandsimula.png
    You see here mean snow depth over a year, the red and blue lines are modeled, and the black are observed. Mean snow depth decreased about 0.1 m in the summer, and regained the 0.1 m in winter. That blue line model didn't work very well did it?

    http://img486.imageshack.us/img486/107/annualcycleofobservedandsimula.png
    Same color code, but this is for 2-m air temperature. You can see a drastic 20˚C change from winter to summer, then back down to -10˚C. Cool huh? :tongue2:

    http://dust.ess.uci.edu/ppr/ppr_FlZ05_grl.pdf
    Also says how solar insolation's effects exponentially decay though each centimeter of snowpack. See under.

    Ooooh look stir fry for lunch. Its good. yay!! I like rice. And shrimp and garlic and bamboo and broccoli and etc...
     
  21. Jan 7, 2006 #20
    Sounds yummy. (No shrimp for me please, but the rest sounds good.)

    What I found interesting about the melting glacier is the reduction in ground water and the local lakes that are drying up. I would expect flooding with melting glaciers, but not droughts. Like so many wonders in the world, the outcomes are not always what you would expect.

    Oh never mind my friend is making a stir fry. Brussel sprouts, shi-take mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, mixed greens (from the back yard), and cauliflower, over organic soba noodles. Exquisite!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2006
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