Sea level rise of 5 meters in one century? Even if most scientists will not say so publicly, that catastrophe is a real possibility according to the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute Of Space Studies.
It may seem like I single Hansen out for recommended reading. But that’s only because he
- is the nation’s top climatologist
- writes prolifically
- speaks with unusual bluntness for a scientist
- has been more right than just about any climate scientist
He has written a terrific piece for the open-access Environmental Research Letters on “Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise“:
I suggest that a “scientific reticence” is inhibiting the communication of a threat of a potentially large sea level rise. Delay is dangerous because of system inertias that could create a situation with future sea level changes out of our control. I argue for calling together a panel of scientific leaders to hear evidence and issue a prompt plain-written report on current understanding of the sea level change issue.
I could not agree more. In researching my book, Hell and High Water, many leading climate scientists spoke to me candidly off the record that they share Hansen’s fear. Fortunately, more and more are speaking out.
Hansen is especially concerned that sea level rise is nonlinear: