Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Policy Peril Segment 4 - Sea Level Rise OpenMarket.org

Dr. Patrick Michaels: This even as there is a purported large melt of ice from Greenland. It turned around — the thermohaline circulation became stronger. [1]

Narrator: Hmm. These facts are inconvenient only for the makers of An Inconvenient Truth. But who can forget the scenes where a 20-foot wall of water rolls across the world’s coastal communities. In the book version [of AIT], Gore says, “If Greenland melted or broke up and slipped into the sea–or if half of Greenland and half of Antarctica melted or broke up and slipped into the sea–sea levels worldwide would increase by 18 to 20 feet.” Reality check! How much ice is Greenland shedding?

Dr. Michaels: The actual loss of ice from Greenland is about 25 cubic miles per year. [2] Now, if that seems like a lot, there are about 700,000 cubic miles of ice on Greenland. The loss rate is four-tenths of one percent of its ice mass, per century. I didn’t say per year. I didn’t say per decade. I said four-tenths of one percent per century. [3]

Narrator: That translates into how much sea-level rise?

Dr. Michaels: If you take a look at the IPCC’s latest volume, by the year 2100, they have two inches of sea-level rise resulting from the loss of Greenland ice. Not two feet. Not 20 feet. Two inches! [4] That’s the “consensus of scientists,” okay. Whether or not we believe in consensus science, that’s what they say.

Narrator: Gore says global warming could melt half of Greenland. Is that plausible?

Dr. Michaels: The United Nations [IPCC] projects that if we raise carbon dioxide to four times the background level–that would be about 1,100 parts per million, right now we’re at about 385 parts per million–and maintain that for 1,000 years, that Greenland would lose about half its ice in a millennium. [5] Now, we don’t have enough fossil fuel to maintain that concentration for 1,000 years.

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