October 5 News: ‘Once Again We Are Decades Ahead Of Schedule,’ Says Michael Mann About Looming Sea Level Rise

One of the world’s foremost climate scientists has warned that vulnerable island states may need to consider evacuating their populations within a decade due to a much faster than anticipated melting of the world’s ice sheets. [Guardian]

“We know Arctic sea ice is declining faster than the models predict,” Mann told the Guardian at the SXSW Eco conference in Austin, Texas. “When you look at the major Greenland and the west Antarctic ice sheets, which are critical from the standpoint of sea level rise, once they begin to melt we really start to see sea level rises accelerate.

The models have typically predicted that will not happen for decades but the measurements that are coming in tell us it is already happening so once again we are decades ahead of schedule.”

“Island nations that have considered the possibility of evacuation at some point, like Tuvalu, may have to be contending those sort of decisions within the matter of a decade or so.”

For an hour and a half Wednesday, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama talked about jobs, the economy, and more jobs—but they didn’t touch on the environment or climate change. A new study suggests maybe they should have: Undecided voters seem to care about global warming as much as Democrats do. [U.S. News and World Report]

Mitt Romney made two particularly lofty claims from the podium, claims his campaign clarified to reporters immediately after, effectively conceding that Romney inserted misinformation into the debate. [Huffington Post]

Shell Oil says it has begun exploratory drilling in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s north coast as it continues to drill in the neighboring Chukchi Sea. [Associated Press]

The amount of the continental U.S. in drought has fallen slightly over the past week, but the record dry conditions are still intense in the heartland. And in Texas, two-thirds of the state is in drought. It’s meant tough choices when water is scarce. [CBS]

Iowa’s drought has worsened, spelling concerns for next year’s growing season. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map, released Thursday, shows that the epicenter of the drought has moved westward from Indiana and Illinois onto Iowa. [Des Moines Register]

The nation’s worst drought in decades is showing no sign of letting up in several key Midwest farming states, worrying farmers harvesting the summer’s withered corn crop in record time that their winter crops may also be at risk. [Washington Post]

A liquefied natural gas project in Alaska could cost more than $65 billion and would represent a mega-project of “unprecedented scale and challenge,” officials behind the project told Gov. Sean Parnell. [Associated Press]

A court has struck down a moratorium on natural gas drilling in Binghamton, N.Y., yet both sides are claiming victory. [New York Times]

The journey to a cooler, greener planet may start with a breath of fresh air, suggests a battery technology under development that could rapidly solve one of the biggest problems with wind and solar energy. [NBC]

While nine out of 10 people surveyed in a recent Ipsos poll “believe that the climate has changed significantly in the past 20 years,” those polled in Japan, Britain and the U.S. had the highest rates of climate change skepticism. [Huffington Post]

China’s biggest solar panel makers are suffering losses of up to $1 for every $3 of sales this year, as panel prices have fallen by three-fourths since 2008. [New York Times]

7 Responses to October 5 News: ‘Once Again We Are Decades Ahead Of Schedule,’ Says Michael Mann About Looming Sea Level Rise

  1. Greenpa says:

    Here is one of the reasons our formal predictions about the rate of climate change are so consistently inadequate: from 2007:

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    We know why Romney doesn’t want to talk about climate change- the Republican Party is a subsidiary of the oil and coal companies.

    Obama is a different story. While he will decry oil industry subsidies, he never insists on the need to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels, and enables more drilling and coal exports. Wind and solar are described as if they were shopping options at Walmart. By not making fossils expensive, our government is useless.

    We don’t know why this is the case, since it’s costing him politically. A likely explanation is Obama’s deep connection with the financial industry. Fossil fuel assets are going to have to see much reduced valuations, resulting in major net worth reductions, especially for the wealthy. While the banksters will suffer, they appear to have persuaded the president that our interconnected economy cannot take the hit- an unproven claim.

    Obama can’t bring himself to move forward, by negotiating a bilateral carbon tax with China, for example. He lacks the vision and the courage to take the steps that are so urgently needed. Maybe he’ll surprise us- Churchill and Lincoln had their share of early career failures- but it’s a slender thread of hope.

  3. David B. Benson says:

    Good article in today’s TNYT about China’s solar PV woes.

  4. Gnobuddy says:

    And even while Michael Mann lays out the grim reality for us, the majority of media outlets I could find are reporting the apparently nonsensical view that there will be only about 1 metre sea level rise over the next *thousand* years:

    Is there anyone here who can authoritatively comment on Philippe Huybrechts claims? They sound like total nonsense to me, but I’m not a climate scientist.


  5. ColoradoBob says:

    Gnob –
    New, finer model just out looking at that question in very long time scales .

    ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2012) — Greenhouse gas emissions up to now have triggered an irreversible warming of Earth that will cause sea levels to rise for thousands of years to come, new research has shown.

  6. Ditch says:

    statements from the IPCC are always bland in relation to the mountains of evidence and predictions, the utterances of IPCC default to the ‘best case scenario’. International agreements are bartered down until they become almost meaningless.
    The mechanisms of climate change are circular and cumulative feeding back to the system like Jimmy Hendrix but without the control.
    When you look at the sumtotal of human impact for the last 10,000 years and agree that today we are in the Anthropocene I hope you feel uncomfortable, I know I do.
    We need to live with the Earth not on it.

  7. Ragweed says:

    The 1.1 meters over the next millenium in those articles is a projections of sea-level rise that would occur from carbon emissions up till now. In other words, if we were to somehow magically become completely carbon neutral tomorrow, we would still be locked into 1.1 meters by 3000. Huybrechts research predicts 6.8 meters by 3000 for the IPCC A2 scenario.

    What really funny about this is that the article Colorado Bob quoted as having a newer, finer-model is about the same study as the article from the Register. The Register article just cherry-picked Huybrechts research to spin it as disproving climate change, when it does much the opposite.