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Rising Sea Levels Uncover Japanese War Dead In Marshall Islands 182

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-high's-the-water dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The foreign minister of the Marshall Islands says that, 'even the dead are affected' by climate change. From the article: 'Speaking at UN climate talks in Bonn, the Island's foreign minister said that high tides had exposed one grave with 26 dead. The minister said the bones were most likely those of Japanese troops. Driven by global warming, waters in this part of the Pacific have risen faster than the global average. With a high point just two metres above the waters, the Marshall Islands are one of the most vulnerable locations to changes in sea level.'"
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Rising Sea Levels Uncover Japanese War Dead In Marshall Islands

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  • Re:that's odd (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2014 @09:53AM (#47189975)

    Welcome to the world where people believe scientific papers rather than press releases from coal companies.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @09:57AM (#47189983)
    Hard to believe that a couple inches makes all that much difference. Yea, I read the article - the Marshall Islands are low and flat. But I've also seen the open Pacific Ocean, where 20 foot waves are normal. I assume bones have been washing up every year since the war; Japan lost over 17,000 soldiers during the four month battle for the two islands.
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @10:12AM (#47190031)

    ... I thought total it was couple centimeters.... which shouldn't be enough to uncover anything but sand crabs...

    Are we sure this isn't erosion? Because that seems far more likely then sea levels changing.

  • Re:that's odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @10:15AM (#47190037) Homepage Journal

    Press releases from coal companies never really consist of "evidence against" though. They're usually just "rhetoric against". And they've discovered that's not really as necessary now that they've managed to instill denying it as a core value of one political party. People will assert counter-factual things because that's far easier than accepting the idea of previously being wrong.

    The really dumb thing is we're doing it all to ourselves, and there's not even much of a conspiracy to manipulate us anymore.

  • by hey! (33014) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @10:34AM (#47190105) Homepage Journal

    Well, it's a bit like stairs. It's really important to make sure each riser is exactly the same, because people going up and down those stairs adapt with remarkable precision to the height of the first few steps they climb. If you took a slow motion picture, you'd see their foot gliding onto each step with a scant millimeter or so to spare. A 2mm difference in all the stairs nobody will notice; a 2mm difference in one stair will trip people up, even though you can't even *see* it.

    People build around flood levels the same way. They build right up to what the historical floodline is for the frequency they can tolerate. If they can tolerate one flood every ten years, they'll build right up to to the ten year floodline. But if the sea levels rise 15cm/5.5 inches, as they have since 1945 or so, that spot might be flooded every year. You can easily imagine a gravesite that was stable in its balance between sand deposition and erosion for many years "suddenly" getting washed away, although in truth the line between stable and unstable has been continually creeping up over the decades.

    Understand this is not a simple situation; 5 inches of sea level rise doesn't mean suddenly lots of homes are under water everywhere around the world. But it can mean lots of homes are getting flooded in some parts of the world. It depends on local conditions and building practices. Here in Boston, for example, we have two meter tides, and massive variation between spring and neap tides, and with the direction of wind and air pressure, and we've historically built accordingly. 5 inches of sea level rise over half a century has made no noticeable difference *here*. Other places that have very low tidal amplitudes and don't experience large storms with persistent low pressure (e.g., Venice) might find a lot of stuff getting flooded after a 5 inch sea level rise.

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @10:35AM (#47190109)
    Yeah, yeah and obviously all of that, the continental drift, the isostatic movement of the crust, the wobbling, the uneven gravitation, the tides and effect of the moon are ALL due to global warming and coal burning power stations...
  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @11:03AM (#47190185)

    Yes, but high tide has consistently been going up as the average does.

    Since, from TFA, water levels have risen just bit more than seven inches, it's probably safe to say that the high-tide has increased a similar amount.

    I fail to see the relationship.

    By the by, have you ever noticed that when a weather event supports AGW, it's caused by AGW, but when one doesn't, it's "just weather". Hint: most of the weather events we've been seeing were just weather events, not proof-positive of AGW, nor proof-positive of !AGW....

  • Example one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shellster_dude (1261444) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @12:51PM (#47190555)
    This is the reason we can't have a real conversation about Global Warming. It is a fact that islands sink. Little islands are commonly sinking slowly back into the ocean. This is long established, proved, and accepted. Erosion near cost lines is also well understood and a likely explanation. However, a bunch of "journalists" are using this story to promote Global Warming without ever even mentioning the most likely explanation. The resulting story gets promulgated across the internet because if fits a theme, that is popular and the media likes. This is simply unacceptable from a side that likes to claim "science" at every turn.

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