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Earth Science

Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts 784

mdsolar (1045926) writes "The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday. The finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis."
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Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts

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  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:21PM (#46982353)

    Fuck all this Prius hippie shit. I'm buying a Hummer.

    • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:26PM (#46982419)

      All the cool kids these days are buying amphibious demilitarized "ducks".

    • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:26PM (#46982425)
      Fuckin A, dude! My stupid doctor was telling me to exercise and eat right, and I'm all, well, dying is inevitable, so fuck it!
    • Translation... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:33PM (#46982509)

      99.9%+ of the people alive today will not live to see the crisis, or even live long enough to know whether or not the crisis will actually occur.

      • We're already seeing large scale changes. The crisis *is* actually occurring.

    • Assuming you meant the 4 wheel drive one, I have always thought it was a big mistake to quit making those. Instead, they were IDEAL for GM to turn those into serial hybrids. I suspect that they could have gotten an easy 40-50 MPG with that, and had a vehicle that had the largest torque of any passenger vehicle.
  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:24PM (#46982403)
    Just kidding... the Antarctic ice has been melting for decades []. More precisely, the mass of the old, thick land ice is decreasing due to rising temperatures, but the surface area of the short-lived, thin sea ice has been increasing, partly due to decreased salinity in the Southern Ocean because the land ice is melting. Overall, the Antarctic has been losing ice at an accelerating rate [] as temperatures have continued to increase.
    • So global temperature is stable because the heat is going into ice melt?

      I can't solve these problems without a dyson sphere; and only a society with a dyson sphere can sustain the economic weight of building a dyson sphere.

      • If the temperature were stable, I would expect the amount of ice to decrease as it reaches a new equilibrium. But we've seen the temperature rise [] and the ice melt at an accelerating rate. Most of the increased heat is going into the oceans.
        • I mean, if the temperature were stable, I would expect the rate of melting of ice to decrease.
          • Are you saying that melting of ice does not affect temperature?

            Do you have a problem with the idea of endothermic reactions?

            • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:20PM (#46983131)
              No, melting of ice will cause the temperature rise to be slower than it would otherwise be. What I said, and read this carefully, is that if the temperature remained stable, that the rate of ice melting would decrease until the amount of ice reaches a new stable equilibrium. The fact that the rate of ice melt is accelerating is evidence that the temperature is still increasing. And, of course, we are directly observing this temperature increase as well. It's not that hard to understand, is it? You know, global warming, been in all the papers and on the news for years?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm a bit puzzled. If it will truly become a crisis, does it not suggest that the ice was frozen for all time and has never in history been running water?

    Wouldn't that mean that eons ago, we had a crisis to solve and managed to create the worlds biggest ice-box in the process... who cares if it made some dino-ice cubes?

    The world is constantly changing, for better or worse, and people always seem genuinely surprised when it changes.

    • The crisis isn't "all life will end on the Earth." If we keep burning fossil fuels like crazy and warm the Earth, we might end up disappearing, but life will adapt. Maybe one day, a million years from now, some intelligent creatures will dig up the remains of our society and wonder just how we killed ourselves off.

      The problem is that rising sea levels and rapidly changing global climate patterns will disrupt our lives. Food that was able to be grown in certain locations won't be able to be grown there an

  • by us7892 ( 655683 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:30PM (#46982463) Homepage
    Nothing a good meteor impact can't fix. Apparently, we get buzzed all the time by large rocks (reference to some other article recently here.)

    When it hits, we'll have of few months of darkness to fix the problem.
    • by JWW ( 79176 )

      This line of reasoning always makes me fee a bit uneasy. What if we do all the hard work of fixing the climate, only to get hit by an asteroid and have it all go to shit anyway?

      I mean really, it'd be global scale Murphy's law to fix the climate and then get hit.

      But in all seriousness, it does bother me to see near Earth asteroid detection projects loose funding, IMHO they are as important as climate change projects.

  • by Frequency Domain ( 601421 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:31PM (#46982481)
    NYC, the new Venice!
  • Two things associated with global warming are a water shortage and rising sea levels.
    Seems like if we really wanted to we could use one to help the other.
    For instance pumping sea water to death valley and filling it full of water would
    create a ton more waterfront property. We have oil pipelines much longer than this.
    You could do the same thing by digging a big hole in the sahara desert or any other
    desert relatively close to the ocean. Heck, we could even solve the other potential
    problem of human overpopul

    • Seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:02PM (#46982891)

      It's not "waterfront property" that anybody is worried about. It's the fact that a very large number of the world's current cities happen to be located near the water for historical reasons (major trading hubs built around ports for oceangoing ships.) The utter annihilation of those cities is a huge economic problem.

      And flooding Death Valley with seawater doesn't create a single acre of arable land. You can't farm jack $hit out of soil contaminated with salt. The shores of the Persian gulf (nor, for that matter the shores of southern CA) don't support much in the way of farms, despite the large body of water next door.

    • I have lived in Florida for 55 years. Even a one foot rise in sea levels would be a serious disaster. South Florida in particular is almost at sea level and any spring tide or storm already brings losses. Salt water intrusion threatens our water supply for many millions of people and places like the Everglades would be exterminated by salt water rising just a few inches.
  • unless Svensgaard vetoes it...

  • by mtrachtenberg ( 67780 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:44PM (#46983413) Homepage

    I have never even seen Antarctica, and I don't recall anyone talking about it twenty years ago. If 97% of geographers say Antarctica exists, I'd just like to point out that I've driven 50 miles in every direction but up and haven't seen no sign at all. And I'm pretty sure that my brother's boss once heard that geographers are telling us about this mythical Antarctica to take money from people like me and give it to themselves.

    No continent I've ever seen is going to make me worry about sea-level rise, so keep yer commeenistic plots off of Slashdot.

    • Virtually all of the people who have visited "Antarctica" are SCIENTISTS. And the rest are GOVERNMENT WORKERS.

      Can we really believe people who have a vested interest in grant money to accurately report on this place?

      Pretty soon now we'll find the set in Alaska where "South pole research station" news segments are filmed.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun