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Earth Japan

Rising Sea Levels Uncover Japanese War Dead In Marshall Islands 182

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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  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @10:10AM (#47190025) Homepage Journal

    Since all you've got is a sarcastic reply that doesn't actually address the question, I'll help.

    Water pressure only causes perfect leveling to human eyes, but as the transmission distance of that pressure increases, the effects of random interference, and natural obstacles becomes the dominant ones. This manifests most discernably in the relatively huge sea level differences between the pacific side the Panama canal and the Atlantic side.

    Now as to what mechanisms allow changes to be different, instead of just static value, it gets a little bit beyond my comprehension as to the exact mechanisms, but I believe it might have to do with where thermal expansion occurs(the deepest parts of the ocean most) and where land ice is melting to.

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

    by Toad-san ( 64810 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @10:24AM (#47190061)

    Wait! What world is that? I live in Nawth Ca'lina, where Duke Power is king. And coal ash is good for the roses. Where, now that almost all the shallow water wells are contaminated with fuel, chemicals and fertilizers, they're now targeting the deep aquifers with fracking. Yeah, THAT Nawth Ca'lina. And obviously not part of your world at all, alas.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2014 @10:25AM (#47190069)
    Interesting quote from that article:

    Dr Murray Ford, from the University of Auckland, has been comparing aerial photographs of the islands taken by the United States military during World War II with photographs taken in the 1970s and in recent years. He found that many islands are getting larger and that the shrinking shoreline along coastal villages has largely been caused by commercial development, building of seawalls and land reclamation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2014 @11:16AM (#47190221)

    There's nothing wrong with asking why something happens. Your original answer wasn't at all helpful, and "it just does, shut up" is even worse.

  • by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @12:12PM (#47190405)

    There are other forces involved.. currents, water densities due to fresh water inflows, tides, topography, etc.. I do not personally understand these forces involved, I am just listing out what I think could be factors... but for instance the pacific side of the panama canal is widely known to be 8 inches higher than the atlantic side. (

  • Re:that's odd (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2014 @12:17PM (#47190435)

    China has almost 4 times the population of the US you fucking idiot.

    You Americans are always retarded when it comes to fair comparison.

  • by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @01:35PM (#47190793)

    There's nothing wrong with asking why something happens.

    So, If we were in a thread about new medical procedures that affect HIV transmission, and somebody asked why the simpler, common sense, Cabbage Patch theory of Child Origins was being ignored in favor of the S.E.X thory those silly scientists propose, there would be no reason to be dismissive? If I thought somebody asking that sort of question actually meant it, I'd try to give them an honest answer*, but why shouldn't I assume they are not really honestly confused, but tossing in a deliberately spurious question, in an attempt to throw the argument off track, politicise it, ot just plain troll? Sometimes, you read a question, and think, "What are the odds the person really doesn't know THAT and is really honestly asking to become more informed?"

    There's some "simple, common sense" reasons to doubt that sea levels will or should rise uniformly, and most of us learned the first one of them about 3rd grade (in the US system).

    1. The oceans aren't starting from static equilibrium - if they were, there would be no currents, as all the water would have already gotten to where it was going. So the question assumes something we already know is false, that the oceans can swiftly get to a static equilibriums state. Knowing that there are currents is enough to make a reasonable person doubt the question, Water keeps rushing from place to place all over the oceans, it never stops flowing as a whole, and it has from times well before the contemporary (AGW related) era, so why does it seem reasonable to assume that NOW it should all swiftly get to the lowest spot possible and stay there? How how old were you when you first heard about ocean currents?

    2. Oceans are very large. Why does it seem like common sense to some that changes happen near instantaniously in such big objects? Wouldn't it be more common sense to find out something about the time scales for other changes in the oceans? How old were you when you learned there were tides, and did you learn that high tides are higher in some places than others, and at some times of the year than others? That's probably something people who live well away from seacoasts start getting exposed to by 6th grade or so, but if they missed it then, there's typically this course in junior high school, usually called something like Ecology or Earth Science. It's the course people who want an easy pass on their required science credits take, if Introductory Chemistry or Physics seems daunting. (all this assumes the child lives in a state with at least some science requirements for secondary education, but despite the problems of the US educational system, the vast majority of states do have science requirements) .And the majority of people live in cities, which are very frequently on seacoasts, so many people pick up many more facts about tides very early in life. Now how do I give a person a respectful answer, if that answer implies they went to a vastly substandard school system, or failed a 'bonehead' course, or ignored something they were near-constantly exposed to in their formative years? If I give a deliberately dismissive answer, I'm not honoring the principles of free, scientific enquiry, but if I ask the questions needed to find out what the other person doesn't know, I'll probably end up insulting the person anyway, and if it's deliberate trolling/politics, the person will jump on any answer and spin it in the worst possible light.

    3. The Earth is a flattened sphere with some odd buldges, not either a true sphere or an egg shape. We're not just talking mountains and valleys here, but larger scale differences, caused in part by the Earth's rotation, and by the continents themselves. Many people don't pick that fact up until high school or even college, but it was probably offered too in those same Earth Science type classes. Is that enough to explain why everywhere doesn't see the exact same sea level rise? If I didn't know one way or the other, I would at least consider t

  • by Kazoo the Clown ( 644526 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @06:26AM (#47193737)
    Since the melting Greenland ice is mostly above ground, the melt causes the mass of Greenland to reduce. This reduced mass produces less gravitational effect on the surrounding ocean. Consequently, as Greenland ice melts, the sea level nearest the Greenland melt will actually drop, even as more volume is added to the ocean from this particular melt. It is basic physics, and contributions to sea level from various reducing ice masses can and has been estimated. Europe actually is at somewhat less risk of sea level rise from such gravitational changes than the South pacific or the US east coast. That is why Florida is at increased risk, while Italy, not so much.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup