EnergyBulletin.net has a jolly little item about a little ice age about
to erupt on England:
Britain faces big chill as ocean current slows:
researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf
Stream — the mighty ocean current that keeps Britain and
Europe from freezing.
They have found that one of the “engines” driving
the Gulf Stream — the sinking of supercooled water in the
Greenland Sea — has weakened to less than a quarter of its
The weakening, apparently caused by global warming, could herald big
changes in the current over the next few years or decades.
Paradoxically, it could lead to Britain and northwestern and Europe
undergoing a sharp drop in temperatures.
Such a change could have a severe impact on Britain, which lies on the
same latitude as Siberia and ought to be much colder. The Gulf Stream
transports 27,000 times more heat to British shores than all the
nation’s power supplies could provide, warming Britain by
Wadhams and his colleagues believe, however, that just such changes
could be well under way. They predict that the slowing of the Gulf
Stream is likely to be accompanied by other effects, such as the
complete summer melting of the Arctic ice cap by as early as 2020 and
almost certainly by 2080. This would spell disaster for Arctic wildlife
such as the polar bear, which could face extinction.
As I recall, that makes sea
level rise one to three meters.
And Florida is — what? — a median of about six inches above sea
Aw Heck! I had to go and ruin this nice scare story with facts.
The mean elevation of Coral Gables is not six inches–it’s ten
whole feet! We’ll be the New
Venice while it ‘s South Beach that
will be wholly submerged:
|Total Area||Florida covers 65,758
square miles, making it the 22nd largest of the
|Land Area||53,997 square miles of
Florida are land areas.
|Water Area||11,761 square miles of
Florida are covered by water making Florida the 3rd wettest
state behind Alaska
|Highest Point||The highest point in
Park in Walton County and is only 345 feet above sea level. Walton
County is located in the Florida Panhandle.
|Lowest Point||The lowest point in
Florida is sea level where Florida meets the
Gulf of Mexico.
|Mean Elevation||The Mean Elevation of
the state of Florida is only 100 feet above sea level
Since it’s much more fun to split hairs about the details of the various scenarios than it is to actually stare this nightmare in the eye… Melting the northpole ice cap doesn’t, persay, raise sea levels since it’s floating ice. But, if the ice on greenland melts seas rise. But, if the gulf stream stops then it get’s mighty cold up that way pretty quick and that would lock down a mess of ice and the Finns all move south. But then that would, in general, warm the oceans which would make them swell and rise. So see? Very complex? Better to just not worry about it. … now about those killer bees and the banana poka; I prescribe RFID tags.
If the great climate flip-flop happens, it may not be just a matter of moving inland. The Great Atlantic Curremt is like a conveyor belt or tank tread and when it stops it doesn’t do so gradually, it stops like someone put a wrench in the gears, dropping the mean temperature of much of North America down by several degrees in short order.
It has been postulated that a mini one of these that lasted 3 years is what either drove the Vikings out of North America or killed them off. This was a population that was in NA for hundreds of years and sometimes numbered in the thousands (although the extent and length of such settlements is controversial amongst anthropologists, then again so was the NA settlement by any Vikings not that long ago). Nevertheless, if the hardy Vikings couldn’t handle it… -g
Wow, I live in almost the geographic center of South Carolina right now, but it looks like sooner or later I’m going to have myself a beach house…
Just for pedantry, any time you posit a sea-level rise, you not only lose the real estate (except in the netherlands) that’s under the new sea level, you also lose much of the now-beachfront real estate thats’ less than a few meters above the new level. Unless of course you’re comfortable being flooded out of the ground floors with every passing storm.
Perhaps parts of florida will be preserved underwater like the medierranean ports that have been dropped a few meters by earthquakes over the millennia.