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Will the Greenland Ice Sheet be gone by the year 2200 and sea level rise 23 feet?

Americans will do nothing different significantly about energy consumption unless cheaper new energy technologies appear in the next 50 years or sea level rises at least six inches. Humanity is poised to burn more fossil fuels in the next century than has been consumed until now. A new billion Indian, Chinese and third-world middle-class consumers, high energy-consumption individuals, will want the “American Dream.” America's answer to their desire for “cheap” energy will be to provide natural gas and coal.

The rapidly thinning Greenland ice sheet is due to soot from forest fires, to dark pigments created by organisms growing on the glaciers to increased melting caused by enhanced absorption of sunlight by melting ice and exposed rock. However, recent studies in the journal Nature indicate that the ice sheet will not disappear completely even if temperatures rise eight degrees. The major unknown at this point is how much the Antarctic ice sheet will melt in response to global warming.

However, if by 2200 sea level rises as little as 10 feet, many port cities will have to be abandoned e.g. New Orleans; much of Florida and Bangladesh will disappear. To protect or rebuild the ports world wide will take over one hundred trillion dollars---all thanks to “cheap” fossil fuels.

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    May 19 2013: G'day Richard

    Didn't anyone tell you there is no global warming & man certainly didn't have anything to do with it's quickening even though we have devastatingly changed the face of the planet to what it was & still should be.

    Scientists have been known to be wrong once or numerous times before, I think the ice caps can & probably will melt completely but it really doesn't matter because we will have suffered the consequences of our behaviour well before the ice caps are gone.

    Love
    Mathew
    • May 19 2013: Hi Mathew

      The Cretaceous was so warm that the Polar Ice Caps didn't exist, there was no North Atlantic Deep Water or Antarctic Bottom Water. As a result the deep sea turned into sewage. Ten times more carbon was pulled out of the atmosphere than was pulled out of the atmosphere during the Carboniferous.

      One possibility that could have contributed to global warming---flatulent dinosaurs expelling massive amounts of methane, sort of like having billions of cows! We will see a doubling of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere within a century if we continue to increase the rate at which we consume fossil fuels.

      While scientists can be wrong there is overwhelming evidence (97% of climate scientists believe the planet is warming and most believe it is driven by humans) that we are in a warming phase, but there were pre-glaciation warming phases warmer than we are now. Nevertheless, we are about to see massive increases in global warming gasses as the tundra warms and CO2 and methane tied up in those bogs is released into the atmosphere. We also don't know how long it will take for sea water to warm up the point that it starts releasing its dissolved CO2 it carries. A USGS scientist has indicated that first warming occurs and then the CO2 is released from the atmosphere.

      As far as "our behavior" is concerned a dismal prediction---very likely it is correct.
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        May 19 2013: G'day Richard

        We have taken over where the dinosaurs left off which is a natural process however we have helped a great deal by deforesting the planet so the quickening of such natural changes are obviously going to occur.

        You seem to know your stuff which is great.

        Love
        Mathew

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