Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Scary Side of Global Warming: Potential Sea Level Rise

Greenhouse warming might be more disastrous than the recent international assessment managed to convey, scientists are realizing. But how can they get the word out without seeming alarmist?

Scientists are still trying to strike a balance between their habitual caution and growing concern over uncertain but disastrous greenhouse outcomes.

clipped by kmcolo
clipped from www.sciencemag.org
Climate modeler James Hansen knows all about sounding the alarm. In the summer of 1988, drought wracked the country, fire was consuming Yellowstone National Park, and the nation's capital sweltered.
Figure 1
Hansen, dubbed NASA's top climate scientist by the media, shouted "Fire!" in the crowded theater: "With a high degree of confidence," he declared, greenhouse warming had arrived. Although many of his colleagues agreed, none chimed in with support; they could not share his high degree of confidence.
Hansen, still the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, finds himself at the head of an informal movement to again rouse the public and policymakers. This time he worries that sea level could rise several disastrous meters by the end of the century, as the warming he heralded sends the great ice sheets rumbling toward the sea.
Hansen seems to be out on a limb, again. This time, however, he's got company.
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1 comment:

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