Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise

Surgical SLR
I. Preface

Over the past decades, sea level rise (SLR) has been seen as a regularly unfolding dynamic.

It has been perceived as being an experience like filling a backyard pool with the garden hose.

You turn the water on then observe a steady rate of increasing water level, until the spigot is turned off, and the rise in the water level stops.

Uniform, consistent. and linear is the perception of its rise to the desired level.

Scientific SLR models have been constructed with this same basic premise.

That is why they have consistently been wrong.

They have consistently underestimated reality.


Consider aggregation, echo chamber dynamics, and fear induced reticence (The Epistemology of Goldilocks RE: Sea Level Rise, An empirical examination of echo chambers in US climate policy networks, Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise).

II. The Observance of Surges in SLR

Lately, several Dredd Blog System posts have been concerned with the 1m / 3ft quantity of SLR.

That amount is generally considered to be a catastrophic event in today's configuration of civilization, because of the extensive use of ports, and the large populations along coasts (Will This Float Your Boat - 10).

It is specifically considered to be catastrophic along the East Coast from Cape Cod down to Cape Hatteras, because there has already been an SLR of about half that amount in that area (The 1% May Face The Wrath of Sea Level Rise First).

Additionally, there have been observations of surges in SLR there:
Coastal sea levels along continental margins often show significant year-to-year upward and downward fluctuations. These fluctuations are superimposed on a longer term upward trend associated with the rise in global mean sea level, with global mean sea level rising at roughly 3 mm per year during the recent 20 years of accurate satellite measures. For society, it is the regional changes along any particular coastal zone that are most important. Our analysis of multi-decadal tide gauge records along the North American east coast identified an extreme sea-level rise event during 2009–2010. Within this relatively brief two-year period, coastal sea level north of New York City jumped by up to 128 mm [5.05 inches]. This magnitude of inter-annual sea level rise is unprecedented in the tide gauge records, with statistical methods suggesting that it was a 1-in-850 year event.
(Will This Float Your Boat - 5, quoting NOAA). Historically, possibly because there was no civilization or coastal population like there is today, a 1m / 3ft SLR is considered relatively minor:
However, meltwater pulse 1C (8,200-7,600 years ago) left traces at numerous locations in the United States, northwestern Europe, and China. It occurred soon after the 8200 year cold event, which resulted from the final catastrophic drainage of glacial Lakes Agassiz and Ojibway around 8400 years ago. The torrent of around 100,000 cubic kilometers unleashed within a few years or less amounted to barely a meter rise in global sea level, if evenly spread across the world's oceans (note 1). Yet the stratigraphic record preserves vestiges of this relatively minor pulse.
(NASA GISS, emphasis added; cf. here). We can say that before the United States existed, surges of SLR of 1m / 3ft have taken place here, even leaving evidence of their existence in the geological record.

III. Surge "Climate" Is With Us Right Now

As noted above, SLR surges are taking place now on the North East Coast, and SLR surges have taken place there in the geographical area now called the U.S.A.

It has happened in the not very distant past (geologically speaking).

Yes, as the NASA GISS quote above points out, SLR surges have taken place "recently."

That "recently" is about 8,000 years ago, after the beginnings of human civilization ("The Anthropocene") had already taken place (e.g. Göbekli Tepe).

That surge was of course not linked to anthropogenic global warming induced climate change as surges in temperatures are now:
Anthropogenically driven climate changes, which are expected to impact human and natural systems, are often expressed in terms of global-mean temperature. The rate of climate change over multi-decadal scales is also important, with faster rates of change resulting in less time for human and natural systems to adapt. We find that present trends in greenhouse-gas and aerosol emissions are now moving the Earth system into a regime in terms of multi-decadal rates of change that are unprecedented for at least the past 1,000 years. The rate of global-mean temperature increase in the CMIP5 (ref. 3) archive over 40-year periods increases to 0.25 ± 0.05 °C (1σ) per decade by 2020, an average greater than peak rates of change during the previous one to two millennia. Regional rates of change in Europe, North America and the Arctic are higher than the global average. Research on the impacts of such near-term rates of change is urgently needed.
(Nature Climate Change, emphasis added). The East Coast of the U.S. is in the scope or sights of abrupt SLR surges ("... meltwater pulse 1C ... left traces at numerous locations in the United States" - ibid, NASA GISS, Section II, above).

Surges now are being caused by the same events that have caused them in the past:
Due to meltwater, lakes form atop the ice sheet in the summer – scientists call them “supraglacial lakes” — and they can grow to be quite large. And in July 2006, one large lake, over 2 square miles in area, suddenly vanished. It lost most of its water in under two hours – researchers calculated that the rate of drainage “exceeded the average flow rate over Niagara Falls.”
"Water-driven fracture propagation beneath supraglacial lakes rapidly transports large volumes of surface meltwater to the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet. These drainage events drive transient ice-sheet acceleration and establish conduits for additional surface-to-bed meltwater transport for the remainder of the melt season. Although it is well established that cracks must remain water-filled to propagate to the bed the precise mechanisms that initiate hydro-fracture events beneath lakes are unknown. Here we show that, for a lake on the western Greenland Ice Sheet,
The vanishing lakes mystery solved?
drainage events are preceded by a 6–12 hour period of ice-sheet uplift and/or enhanced basal slip. Our observations from a dense Global Positioning System (GPS) network allow us to determine the distribution of meltwater at the ice-sheet bed before, during, and after three rapid drainages in 2011–2013, each of which generates tensile stresses that promote hydro-fracture beneath the lake. We hypothesize that these precursors are associated with the introduction of meltwater to the bed through neighbouring moulin systems (vertical conduits connecting the surface and base of the ice sheet). Our results imply that as lakes form in less crevassed, interior regions of the ice sheet, where water at the bed is currently less pervasive, the creation of new surface-to-bed conduits caused by lake-draining hydro-fractures may be limited."
(The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR - 6?). Reviewing the quote about a 1m / 3ft surge ("which resulted from the final catastrophic drainage of glacial Lakes").

Ice melt produced lakes that grew large and suddenly emptied.

We see, then, that the same conditions exist now.

Again: existing conditions now are just like those back then which caused a surge of 1m / 3f of SLR. "within a few years or less."

IV. What Is Different Between Then and Now?

Back then, a 1m / 3ft SLR was considered to be a "relatively minor pulse" for that time, but the same surge now would be a serious catastrophe (Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States).

Nevertheless, the current warming climate conditions are expected to accelerate absent a proper response from current civilization.

A smug mood has blinded officials to the clear and present danger (Oil-Qaeda & MOMCOM Conspire To Commit Depraved-Heart Murder).

The large coastal populations now, as well as the dependency on international trade via sea ports, means that the difference, in terms of loss of life and infrastructure, couldn't be more pronounced.

V. Conclusion

The beginning of a sudden SLR, which would reach a level of 1m / 3ft, could take place at any time, because the conditions for an SLR surge already exist right now.

It would reach catastrophic levels "within a few years or less" if it follows the pattern of events that took place about 7,000-8,000 years ago.

The laws of physics have not changed in that relatively short span of time.

The myth about it taking centuries, or decade upon decade, should be discarded (Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization - 3).

We really do not have plenty of time, all we have is daily exposure to a roll of the dice, and a possibility of failing The Test (The Tenets of Ecocosmology).

A surge @ Totten Glacier area is a new problem:

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Greenland & Antarctica Empires Invade The United States Empire

Fig. 1 Ice Streams of Greenland
I. Introduction

The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) drains about 16% of all the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) as depicted at Fig. 1.

The Jakobshavn Ice Stream (JI) drains about half of the NEGIS quantity (Northeast Greenland Ice Loss Accelerating).

In the Dredd Blog System, which includes Ecocosmology Blog, there have been several posts concerning the impact of Greenland on the Northeast U.S. from Cape Cod, MA south to Cape Hatteras, NC (e.g.The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR - 5?).

The gist of the subject matter is that catastrophic sea level rise (SLR) is much, much closer, in time and in geography, than is being reported in mainstream media.

II. The Invasion Forces

A. The Global Axis of Ice

Fig. 2 USGS (click to enlarge)
To spark our interest, and bind ourselves to a sober view of this phenomenon which is called "The Biggest Story in the World" (according to a worldwide circulation news source), first consider the following quote from the video below:
2:43 - "One meter [of SLR] would be a global catastrophic event, 3 meters would remap the world as we know it?"

2:50 - "Yes, absolutely."
(emphasis added). This allows us to focus our attention on 1m / 3ft. of SLR, because it would be "a global catastrophic event."

The delicacy of the issue can be seen (Fig. 2) by realizing that only 1.14% of the global ice volume needs to melt to get us there (3 ft ÷ 263.5 ft. = 0.011385 = 1.14%).

The overall invader needs to use only 1.14% of its forces to accomplish the invasion.

B. Invasion Forces from Antarctica

If a certain percentage of one glacier (the Totten Glacier) in East Antarctica melts, or otherwise slides into the sea, the same will happen:
How little it will take can also easily be seen by a statement from a scientist who is studying those locations closely and regularly:
"One of them, Totten glacier, holds the equivalent of seven metres of global sea level."
(Dr. Rignot East Antarctica glaciers, cf. Totten Glacier Melting). The percentage of that one glacier which needs to melt to cause 3 ft. / 1 m. of SLR is: 1÷7 = 0.142857143 = 14.3%.
(Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization). That is a slim margin, because the Totten Glacier is showing signs of decomposition (Nature).

C. Invasion Forces from Greenland

In Section I, above, several ice streams and/or glaciers are discussed and shown, along with the path they are taking to the sea (Fig. 1).

The NEGIS is 16% of the entire GIS, JI is 8%, while KG & HG at ~2% each.

These four entities make up 28% of the total ice in the GIS.

The entire GIS represents 21.49 ft. of SLR (Fig. 2), so 28% of that is (21.49 × .28) 6.02 feet.

Which means that only half of that amount (14%) is needed to reach "3 ft. / 1 m. of SLR."

III. The Odds of "Victory"

A. Considering All of the Invasion Forces

Some East Coast areas of the U.S. are half way to "3 ft. / 1 m. of SLR" already (Will This Float Your Boat - 10, Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization - 2).

Thus, the percentage of global ice that has to melt to get us to "a global catastrophic event" in that area is now one half of what it was.

In Section II.A above, that global percentage is expressed as 1.14%, so  (1.14% ÷ 2) = 0.57% (less than 1% until D-Day SLR day).

That is to say, when 0.57% more of global ice melts and its ice or water reaches the sea, the invasion of the U.S. East Coast will be accomplished.

B. Considering Only the Totten Glacier Invasion Force

In Section II.B above, it was pointed out that "3 ft. / 1 m. of SLR" would be attained if only 14.3% of one glacier (Totten Glacier) in Antarctica reaches the sea.

Since we are already half-way there, the remaining percentage is (14.3% ÷ 2 ) 7.15%.

C. Considering Only the Ice Streams of Greenland

In Section II.C above, it was pointed out that "3 ft. / 1 m. of SLR" would be attained on the East Coast of the U.S. if only 14% of Greenland ice streams reach the sea.

D. Considering The Combined Invasion Forces

Since we were looking at those ice melt events individually, as separate, singular occurrences, consider the reality that all of these SLR causing ice melt events are happening at the same time.


That is, all the mentioned ice streams in Greenland, as well as the Totten Glacier in Antarctica, are already melting at the same time.

Add to that, the fact that many, many other glaciers in both Greenland and Antarctica, that were not mentioned, are also part of the invasion forces of melting ice induced SLR.

IV. Why?

The reason this is happening is because current civilization is not complying with the Tenets of Ecocosmology.

Therefore current civilization is failing The Test (ibid).

Our civilization is lost in space, living on a planet that is not understood sufficiently (You Are Here).

V. Conclusion

Since the U.S. is relentlessly invading the Arctic as well as beginning offshore Atlantic Ocean drilling (Oil-Qaeda & MOMCOM Conspire To Commit Depraved-Heart Murder), thereby perpetuating the criminal epoch (The Criminally Insane Epoch Arises, the response of Mother Nature is to continue her invasion (Arctic Sea Ice in Uncharted Territory, Sleeping Giant in the Arctic).

Don't die for it
Resistance is futile (Why The Military Can't Defend Against The Invasion).

The SLR victory over the U.S. will not be pretty (Will This Float Your Boat - 10, 9, Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization, 2).

Urge your congressional representatives and the president to surrender now.

Leave it in the ground (LINGO).

HBO Vice: "Our Rising Oceans", with Dr. Eric Rignot:

2:43 - "One meter [of SLR] would be a global catastrophic event, 3 meters would remap the world as we know it?"

2:50 - "Yes, absolutely."

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Agnotology of Sea Level Rise Via Ice Melt

Fig. 1 USGS (click to enlarge)
Whether intentional or not, the discussions of sea level rise (SLR) are problematic (Agnotology).

On Internet sites, in newspapers, and in magazines, SLR discussions tend to be either inaccurate, unclear, and overly complicated, or a combination of all three.

It becomes more accurate, clearer, and more simplified, when our focus is sharpened by isolating the fundamental dynamics involved.

That can easily be done by:
1) knowing the SLR potential
2) knowing key active melt zones
3) focusing on acceleration of melt
4) knowing how much SLR is catastrophic
The first item is shown in Fig. 1 above.

The second item is also shown in Fig. 1 (Greenland & Antarctica).

The third item for those two locations has been expressed by noting that from 2009 through 2013 the melt in those two locations doubled to 500 km3 yr. (according to Cryosat-2 satellite data).

Greenland's share of that acceleration was 75% of that melt (375 km3 yr.), and Antarctica's share was 25% of that melt (125 km3 yr.).

That is detailed at Will This Float Your Boat - 5.

IMO, the answer to the fourth item is: "a three foot SLR would severely damage global civilization as we know it" (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In Sea Level Rise?).

Thus, all we need to know is when the ongoing melt in Greenland and/or Antarctica will result in a 3 ft. global SLR (which is a function of acceleration of SLR).

Those who are crafting risk management plans have detected some problems with our ability to know when future acceleration will be catastrophic:
"As ports are operational hubs for the logistics supply chain, it is appropriate for ports to undertake an assessment in partnership with key logistics providers and /or local governments. While climate change may impact ports locally, it is often disruptions to the supply chain and local infrastructure that compound disruptions at the actual port, emphasising the need to work collaboratively on a broader climate risk and adaptation strategy [think global SLR impact].

However, several barriers to climate adaptation have been recognised (Becker 2011, IAPH 2011, UKCIP 2007), including inconsistency between organisational planning timeframes (5 – 15 years) compared with climate projections of 30 – 90 years; as well as the uncertainty of local climate projections leading to decision-makers delaying action until there is perceived to be more certainty. To help address these concerns, this report proposes a hybrid “risk / vulnerability” approach to understanding and adapting to climate change. That is, consideration of current day vulnerabilities to extreme weather events, integrated with an assessment of future climate risks." (Climate Resilient Ports, emphasis added).

"First proposed more than 20 years ago, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project has been studied and delayed more times over the past two decades than anyone can count. So it’s no surprise that the big news at the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) this year has been the approval of the massive project to deepen the Savannah River and harbor to expand the Port of Savannah’s capacity.

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) finally got the go-ahead in October – 15 years after it first received a congressional OK in 1999 – when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the GPA signed a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA). After years of studies, delays and lawsuits that both stalled the project and pushed projected costs sky high, construction was scheduled to begin by the end of 2014 on what has been called the most critical infrastructure development project in Georgia in decades." (Georgia Trend, emphasis added).
This illustrates two major problems: 1) the problem that arises when science is done for scientists, rather than for the public safety and benefit; and 2) the problem of the speed of climate change induced SLR acceleration, compared with the speed of officialdom "adapting to" any kind of appropriate change.

One does not have to be a climate scientist or oceanographer to look at contour maps in order to be able to see where SLR will show up further inland, literally moving coasts and boundaries around the world:
"Sliced by population rather than city, and looking at today rather than the future, the report found that about 10 percent of the affected cities’ populations, or a total of about 40 million people, and $3 trillion of property, are already susceptible to these devastating, once-in-a-century floods (and of that $3 trillion, 60 percent is found in just three countries: the U.S., Japan, and the Netherlands). By 2070, says the report, the combined effects of population growth, migration to cities, and rising seas will boost those numbers to 120 million people and $35 trillion.”
(SLR for 20 Global Ports, emphasis added; cf. SLR @ Coastal Cities). The difficulty comes with trying to determine when SLR becomes catastrophic to world civilization (What Do You Mean - World Civilization?, 2).

Scientific groups, for some time now, have realized that "determinations of when" have been consistently underestimated and/or overlooked:
Changes in the area and volume of the two polar ice sheets in Antarctica ... and Greenland are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and could result in sea-level changes that could severely affect the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctica part of the Antarctic ice sheet alone could cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m). The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be about 73 m. In spite of its importance, the mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is poorly known; it is not known whether the ice sheet is growing or shrinking. As a result, measurement of changes in the Antarctic ice sheet has been given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council, by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), and by the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs.
(USGS 2005, emphasis added). Therefore, they are leaning toward changing that defect.

What was "poorly known," as recently as ten years ago, is now becoming known to "a more reasonable degree" (as pointed out by the earlier discussion of Cryosat-2 data).

What we see, then, is that civilization had spent untold trillions in order to make endless war, go to the moon, asteroids, comets, and other planets, but we had not all arrived on Earth yet (You Are Here).

We did not know about the great danger of Antarctic ice melt, which would bring down current civilization (240.53 ft. of SLR, see Fig. 1).

As a result, we do not know exactly when we will destroy our civilization, or ourselves (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

Nevertheless, it is becoming much more clear, day by day, that we are failing The Test (The Tenets of Ecocosmology).

Oscillation in Greenland melt rates:

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center