The Earth’s shifting waters


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Using satellite data gathered over the past 30 years scientists have now mapped the changes from water to land and land to water across the Earth’s land surface.

Two quotes from this article illustrate once again the incredible uncertainty of climate science. First in the continental interiors they saw an overall increase in land.

They found that 115,000 sq km (44,000 sq miles) of land is now covered in water and 173,000 sq km (67,000 sq miles) of water has now become land. The largest increase in water has been on the Tibetan Plateau, while the Aral Sea has been the biggest conversion of water to land.

More significant, however, was the changes on the continental coasts.

Coastal areas were also analysed, and to the scientists surprise, coastlines had gained more land – 33,700 sq km (13,000 sq miles) – than they had been lost to water (20,100 sq km or 7,800 sq miles). “We expected that the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but the most surprising thing is that the coasts are growing all over the world,” said Dr Baart.”We’re were able to create more land than sea level rise was taking.”

The researchers said Dubai’s coast had been significantly extended, with the creation of new islands to house luxury resorts. “China has also reconstructed their whole coast from the Yellow Sea all the way down to Hong Kong,” sid Dr Baart[emphasis mine]

I suspect that a careful analysis of this data will show that most of these changes have little to do with climate change. However, the fact that human activity has actually increased the amount of land on the coasts despite the slow rise in sea level suggests once again that climate change is not the serious threat it is often made up to be. As a friend of mine once noted, “We’re not going to stand on the beach for decades and let the ocean drown us.” The change is slow enough that the human ability to adapt will easily outstrip it.

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36 comments

  • Localfluff

    Venice, St. Petersburg and half of the Netherlands are built below sea level. Many cities, like Pisa, was once founded on the shore, but is now 6 miles from the coast because of alluvial sediments. Those are flourishing societies, they’ve adapted.

  • Scott J

    Affluent societies will adapt, no doubt. Poorer societies, however, will not. There will be many pacific island nations that will be lost, or severely impacted with a moderate sea level rise; Tuvalu being one. Is America going to pay for the significant engineering works required to keep the rising tides at bay on these islands? Will America accept these climate refugees? What did the re-engineered sea wall cost for New Orleans? Times that cost by several orders of magnitude. Wether sea level rise is occurring due to man made causes or not is missing the point. Whole societies are going to suffer terribly and we better start thinking about how to help, not say “hey, here’s some rich places that live with a lot of water and they are fine, therefore, rising sea levels are no big deal”

  • Localfluff

    ScottJ, why would America pay for that? They are not responsible for the weather. And why don’t you require the oil producing countries to pay instead? That would at least be self-consistent with the scientifically disproven anthropocentric global warming myth.

  • Max

    How is America responsible for the suns solar wind, and coronal mass ejection’s that bring hydrogen laden gases into our atmosphere where the oxygen converts it into water? Is America responsible for the southern and northern lights? And for the ozone hole over Antarctica where frozen stratospheric clouds burn off every September making the Antarctic ice shelf a foot thicker every year?

    “So where is the money going to come from to prevent these islands from being covered with water?” So many billionaires are buying islands or making new ones, I don’t think any governments will be needed to solve their problems. In fact, technology is moving so quickly that a college kid will probably create a pathogen that will wipe out all human life except for the ones on those remote islands. So, in 1000 years (at 5 to 8 inches per century of ocean level rise) they will be able to leave their island and colonize a whole new empty world.
    I’m more concerned with human life being able to colonize space. With the ocean levels going up so quickly we only have 1 billion or so years before the entire world is covered in water…

  • wayne

    LocalFluff & Max:
    Good stuff.

  • Cotour

    I think some people are unable to objectively absorb actual observational data without making things political and somehow about “evil” America.

    Which is not to say that solutions to problems in other parts of the globe can not be solved or addressed by America or any other country or countries.

    The media fear machine does not allow for the reasonable, it only promotes and in fact creates the unreasonable and catastrophic. I posted an article a couple of days ago that attempts to pour into the consciousness of the general public that “By 2100 sea level rise COULD be 6 feet higher!”, where the natural observable rise in sea level at this point in the general natural warming of the planet and the receding of earths glaciers is projected to result in about 6 inches of sea level rise. This article apparently demonstrates through actual observation that sea level rise may actually be much less than that, even that there is sea level decline.

    And out of that the conclusion by some is “What is America going to do about it? Because no matter what America must be responsible”. Cities / cultures that exist AT sea level or below sea level have fundamental operational problems with sea level rise and sea level decline. Its a fundamental problem, 12,000 years ago they would have been at 200 feet plus elevation, who’s fault was that? Assuming that they wanted to be located on the shore and they wanted to go sailing.

    The earth and its systems are in constant movement and adjustment, acting and reacting to the many forces in the universe that effect it (none of it controlled or as a general rule even effected by humanities activities). Other than actively refining and advancing how humans through technology and better practices produce power and industrial production I.E. cleaning up pollution in general / particulate, which is reasonable and suggested, and as I understand it well underway in advanced country’s, how do we get to “what is America going to do about it?” Referring to these cultures that are built in this precarious and ever changing zone.

  • Tom Billings

    What the anti-industrialists do not want asked is whether it will be faster to reform poor countries’ governments to free their people and make them rich, so that they have the resources to adapt more easily.

    In fact, the populations of all nations threatened substantially by rising sea levels, excepting Bangladesh, could be accommodated on floating cities that would be a single digit multiple of existing cruise liner capacity around the world. Add the population of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, and the population goes up about another order of magnitude. Meanwhile the rest of the world marches uphill a ways, and resettles. Even if we returned to an Eocene’s absence of ice caps (Free from the 2 million years of Ice Age!), the results would be resettling at most 1/4th of the world’s population, in a greener, warmer, wetter, and more productive world.

    Technical solutions and adaptations are *not*wanted* by these people. Power over others to deny them freedoms of action that typify industrial society around the world is what is being reached for. Beside the money from progressive pols, I’ve always thought that a big reason for academia’s hateful reaction to both sea level rise and industrialization is that the majority of academics are located in cities that would have to “march uphill” away from present coasts, disrupting even further the positions and job security of the tenured academicians.

  • wayne

    Cotour/Tom Billings:

    Good stuff!

  • Dick Eagleson

    The idea that a few inches or even a foot or two of sea level rise is going to prove catastrophic to coastal cities – especially if it happens over a period of decades – is simply bollocks. I grew up on Lake Michigan. Its water level varied a lot more – both up and down – than what is being darkly predicted by global warmists for the oceans. No big deal.

    We hear about various Pacific island nations potentially disappearing beneath the waves. The sea levels in such places are measured by tide gauges fixed to the local geology.

    But Pacific Islands are both created and destroyed by tectonic plate activity that have the effect of moving the local geology first up, then down.

    We are told by the warmists that “adjustments” are made to the tide gauge data to allow for tectonic activity and the figures still show sea level rise. What we don’t get told is what percentage of the total raw tide gauge readings are accounted for by such adjustments. If that percentage is high then the effective sea level rise in these places is going to continue regardless of what is or isn’t done about alleged global warming.

    Personally, I’d like to see both the raw data and the “adjustments” as well as the detailed basis for said “adjustments.” The warmists have been caught red-handed making “adjustments” to historical air temperature readings in order to bolster their case and I have no doubt similar corrupt practices could well be going on anent sea level data too. These people have long since forfeited any right to have their word taken about anything.

  • wayne

    Dick Eagleson — “I grew up on Lake Michigan. Its water level varied a lot more – both up and down – than what is being darkly predicted by global warmists for the oceans.”

    Most excellent point & one to which I can personally attest.

    (The Army Corps of Engineers, actually keeps track of all the Great Lakes water levels:
    http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Great-Lakes-Information/Great-Lakes-Water-Levels/Water-Level-Forecast/Weekly-Great-Lakes-Water-Levels/)

  • Wayne: Excellent link and source of good information. Thank you.

  • Scott j

    Wow, you guys bit hard. I wish the fish bit as hard when I go fishing. Except for you Wayne, you just nibbled a bit. Climate discussions generate that sort of response I suppose. Ok let’s go through some responses.
    America shouldn’t pay for anything, shouldn’t have to accept any responsibility over and above the rest of the world. In fact, the country who should accept the most responsibility is Australia (I’m an Aussie and per capita we are the worst climate polluters around). In fact I believe if and when pacific island nations start to go under (and dick, it’s more than the rise in sea level, it’s mainly the effects on fresh ground water being contaminated by sea water) Australia and New Zealand will allow the affected communities to settle. We both already have large islander populations, especially NZ. Australia has a very strict, but generous refugee program.

    Max, I agree that technology is the solution to lift all communities.

    I should have included Europe and Asia in my original post (late night over here). I was responding to a perceived arrogance in Local fluffs original post (probably not meant) that rich societies have adapted to very slow sea level rise, without a thought to poor societies with no means to help themselves.

  • Edward

    Scott J asked: “Is America going to pay for the significant engineering works required to keep the rising tides at bay on these islands? Will America accept these climate refugees?”

    Why should America pay for this when we are one of the very few countries to comply with the Kyoto Accords? Why not Brazil, China, or India, which are burning down forests and increasing their CO2 output, while America reduces its own?

    Why is America always assumed to be the bad guy when we are often the leaders in bringing ideas and innovations to the world?

    We make improvements to our ecology, reduce pollution, and reduce CO2 emissions, but still, we are the first ones called upon to pay for other people’s sins. The temperature stopped climbing after we reduced our emissions, but do we get credit? No. We are told to pay more and more. We have been saved, but get no credit for our part in saving the world from temperature increases.

    Sheesh!

  • wayne

    Mr. Z– that site has some cool data. I can anecdotally confirm Lake Michigan has gone up and down quite a bit, and numerous times, in my lifetime. We are coming off a really low cycle currently.

    Scott j–
    Har… wasn’t even trying to nibble. Don’t want to jump into the fray big-time, ‘cuz way more people here know way more than I do about the data. (Personally, until its demonstrated to me otherwise– “climate change” has nothing to do with the climate, it’s Political. I distinctly recall in the mid 1970’s it was all about the coming ice-age.)
    Just so you know, Mr. Z is extremely well versed and far more objective than I could ever be.

    The BIG factor driving “Climate,” on Earth, is water-vapor, not carbon dioxide. Explain how the EPA is going to regulate water-vapor, for our own good, of course.

  • Localfluff

    Edward, the leftists require the US to pay, because they still have some money to pay. They pick their political opponents like a burglary picks a house to loot. Then their hateful sick minds make up any vulgar lie it needs to fool themselves that they want something good for others.

  • Localfluff

    Actually, the US is paying more than anyone else to develop technologies such as water barriers and fresh water protection and desalination plants. The US has the by far leading industry and science community in the world. But what do for example the arapes contribute with to human kind? Since the US is already paying for developing the survivability of human kind much more than anyone else, shouldn’t the arapes at least be required to pay their oil derived cash, the only asset they have which could contribute to human kind.

    Why should the arapic stone age tyrants never be required to contribute anything to anything?

  • Cotour

    This entire conversation gets slanted and conflates two facts and calls them one and equal.

    The earth proper gives not one damn about the sea level, the sea level is what it is as a result of the state of equilibrium that it finds itself at any particular moment in time. Island nations that exist at the precarious interface where this equilibrium expresses itself live on the long term edge of too much water or too little water. THAT is just a fact and mans activities have not been shown to effect this condition to any significant degree.

    On the other side is the human political struggle to assign blame and cost for these changes in earths condition, two things that are for our purposes are not really connected to the extent that some, like Scott J want.

    Does everyone here understand that atols and islands are the very tippy top of under sea mountains and the availability of fresh water in these situations are not “set” and the “normal” condition of that situation. Off the coast of India 14,000 years ago there was a massive and highly developed civilization. Unfortunately for them their civilization was built in the way of the 300 foot or so rise in sea level that would happen during their occupation of that real estate. And that was a time when you probably could actually measure and even see the rise of the sea due to the melting in earnest of the last ice sheets that covered the continents.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise#/media/File:Post-Glacial_Sea_Level.png

    In life, timing and being lucky goes a long way, at this point in our civilization and technology we seem to have assumed that our activities / level of technology has over taken having good timing and being lucky. That IMO is a false reality and wishful thinking.

    It is reasonable and prudent to develop better technology, systems and practices but to conflate these natural and ever changing conditions to mean that the U.S. has the responsibility to turn some imaginary dial is IMO
    conveniently ignorant and self serving.

  • D K Rögnvald Williams

    Am I reading the same article that you guys are reading? The point is that sea levels are lowering. Either more water is evaporating and being lost to space, seeping into the earth, or more is frozen. Regardless, the global warming scam is being exposed–literally.

  • Edward

    Localfluff,
    They may be a major purchaser of desalination plants.

    D K Rögnvald Williams asked: “Am I reading the same article that you guys are reading? The point is that sea levels are lowering.”

    We may be reading different articles. The one linked above says, “‘We expected that the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but the most surprising thing is that the coasts are growing all over the world,’ said Dr Baart. ‘We’re were able to create more land than sea level rise was taking.'”

    Rather than the sea levels lowering, people are spending huge sums of money to build islands and extend coasts that those who advocate global warming tell us will be under water before the end of the century. It seems that only a very few people on the Earth’s coasts actually believe that the seas will drown them — or their children — in the next 84 years. Many of the rest seem willing to pay big bucks to build land that are supposedly going to be under water in a few years.

    Go figure.

    So what should we do when the next ice age comes along? It is due any millennium, now. [** Sarcasm Alert! ** from here to the end of my comment.] Do we let people build along the new coastlines, knowing that in a few tens of thousands of years the waters will rise, again, during the next interglacial period? Shouldn’t we require current port cities to remain as port cities so that they don’t have to be rebuilt for the next interglacial period?

    The global warming advocates tell us that Britain will be flooded and the people and pets of London will drown, by the end of the century. Wouldn’t it be a shame to have the refugees of the soon-to-be ice age move to the newly created land, only to have them drown with the next interglacial period, like the people of Doggerland:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doggerland#Formation

    Adapting to natural climate change has always been expensive. It may be time for humanity to stop adapting to nature and force nature to adapt to us.

  • ken anthony

    We never have, for the most part, lived in nature. We wear clothes (not natural) build houses (N.N.) drive and fly (N.N.)

    Most places on earth would kill us quickly from exposure if the temperature varies more than about 15 degrees.

    Creating livable conditions is all humans have done for thousands of years.

    Soon they will be doing it on the closest earth analog in much the same way.

  • wodun

    @ Cotour Does everyone here understand that atols and islands are the very tippy top of under sea mountains and the availability of fresh water in these situations are not “set” and the “normal” condition of that situation.

    Exactly. The existence of the places, from a geological reference, is tenuous and risky. The problem is that people look at things that exist today and assume that they have always and will always exist this way absent humans.

    @ Edward ‘We’re were able to create more land than sea level rise was taking.’”

    This was interesting as, IIRC, the article didn’t say if taking places like this out of the equation would mean a shrinking global land mass. I am too lazy too google how much China has spent on this activity but is island building so expensive that island nations can’t do it? It seems to me that absent the fear of global warming, it might be worth the expense considering how desirable these locations are for vacations.

  • Localfluff

    It’s like with the panda. A big fat bear living of bamboo shots. It is evolutionarily moving out of the ecosystem. I think that we should respect nature and remain neutral when it comes to issues that do not concern us directly, like pandas and corals. All species which ever live should not live. All coastlines should not be conserved for ever. The environmentalists are creationists.

  • Cotour

    Wodun / Edward / Whom ever:

    Q: How much will mans basically back filling the ocean to create more usable land contribute to sea level rise?

    I did not take into consideration these activities to account for much.

  • Cotour

    And conversely, if sea level rise is actually considered a problem why couldn’t we just remove material from the ocean to the land which in turn would make more room for the water and would lower the sea level. This is of course a doable “mega” type “zero” civilization project and is interesting because it would serve 2 purposes.

    1. Create more usable water front property and 2. Attempt to “control” or “adjust” sea level rise.

    Too “high” remove material from the ocean, too “low” add material from the land to the ocean, an on going and never ending attempt to “control” the planet earth.

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    Interesting questions.

    –I’m not at all sure on this (and would like some input from someone who is), but I don’t believe we can “back-fill” or “dig-out” the ocean, in the way I’m hearing you inquire, to actually manipulate the “sea-level.”

    This gets into Plate Techtronic’s, and how we measure “sea-level,” and the relationship between “land” and “water,” on the top-portion of the Earth. Sea level is constantly changing, as is the relative height of the land surrounding it, and we measure “mean values,” and have to relate them to each other.
    (there’s a question in here as well, as to whether melting ice changes the level of the liquid water into which it is melting, and I believe the answer is “no.” Put ice in a glass of water, and it will not overflow the cup when it melts.)
    This also gets into upwelling and subsidence, and what you mentioned in another post about pacific-island’s being the tops of mountains, in the sea. (Hawaii, correct me if I’m wrong, is getting bigger and higher.)

    For all intents and purposes, if you move Mass from the land, to the Sea’s, you are just moving mass around. The place where you dig out the mass gets lighter and would tend to rise or not sink as fast, conversely, if you displace water in the Seas with mass, those area’s would tend to be heavier and sink, or rise more slowly.

    (Mountains can’t rise to the sky, Gravity gets in the way. And the earth isn’t precisely round.)

    Someone help! I’m down a rabbit hole I can’t explain to myself, and I should know this stuff!

  • Cotour

    I would think that the net result of either activity, removing from the ocean or adding from the land, would generally result in the desired ends.

    And as for the ice cube in the glass of water scenario, we are talking not about water in the form of ice in the ocean we are talking about ice that has been sequestered on the land and has been removed from the general overall supply of ocean water to be measured. So the net result would be less water in the oceans and lower sea levels, I.E. the concerns about global warming and sea level rise.

    As for subsidence, the ice builds up and is removed from the ocean much, much faster than the land subsides, so the net practical effect I would think is lower sea level.

  • wayne

    Cotour–“I would think that the net result of either activity, removing from the ocean or adding from the land, would generally result in the desired ends.”

    I don’t think that’s entirely correct, but it was a my wife who was the Geologist, and not me.

    I’m not at all sure what percentage of the Earth’s total water, is “in transport” at any given time; there’s a large fraction in the atmosphere, in the plants & animals, frozen as ice, and “on land,” heading toward the Sea’s, but not guaranteed to get there.

    New York City is something like 30 feet above sea-level, where-as Michigan is about 600 feet, on average. (and parts of New Orleans, are 30 feet below sea-level.)

  • Cotour: You are vastly underestimating the size of the ocean. The tiny changes humans have done to the coastlines are minuscule and have no real effect on sea level.

    As for geoengineering sea level by moving material in or out of the ocean, the amount of material we would have to move to make any real difference is far more than we are presently capable, and once moved could cause other problems (causing sinkage) that might negate all the positive goals.

    The simplest and most efficient solution to any of these predicted climate changes has always been and will always be for humans to use our brilliant abilities to adapt, dealing with the changes as they happen. For example, it is much simpler to allow the ever-changing values of real estate to determine where people should live than it would be to try to geoengineer the complex Earth, a system we aren’t anywhere close to understanding in any great detail.

  • Cotour

    I know that this line of interesting / different kind of questions is in the “BIG, type zero civilization (ala Michio Kaku)” type thinking and may be over simplified, but we recently have seen scientists seriously ponder whether we were observing an alien civilization and its Dyson sphere around a star to explain their observations. I think that is a type 2 civilization?

    And further we have observed the Chinese moving massive quantities of material from the sea floor to create a usable island in the South China sea. So we do have some capacity to move some measure of material. Probably not enough to make much of a difference though at this time.

    As for adaptation, that is always the best way until we are able to do “magic”, its what humans do best.

  • wodun

    Building shorelines is adaptation and while it wouldn’t change sea level, it would mitigate sea level changes where shorelines have been modified. Cost and control are the roadblocks. Would the environmentalists allow a private group of people to change the shoreline for profit even if it helped the environment overall?

    Some things are also cheap. Coral can be grown in aquariums and transplanted. Artificial reefs have been very effective in promoting sea life. Even oil rigs promote sea life. It is possible to make the oceans better habitats for fish to help them be more resilient to climate changes.

  • Edward

    wodun wrote: “It seems to me that absent the fear of global warming, it might be worth the expense considering how desirable these locations are for vacations.”

    Not just vacations, but Hong Kong (Britain) did this to build an airport, at the turn of the century. Probably an excellent use of island building, as no one is going to build any homes near that airport — generating noise complaints — any time soon. Of course, they did it because they needed some flat land that was not already built up.

    Cotour asked: “Q: How much will mans basically back filling the ocean to create more usable land contribute to sea level rise?”

    Probably less than the silt that produces the river deltas of the world. Artificial islands are usually built where the waters are shallow, meaning that not very many cubic miles of ocean water is displaced each year, around the world, and they are often made from nearby sea bottom material. Underwater volcanoes may contribute more to sea rise than island building.

    However, if it worries you, please propose a UN resolution to stop island building to save the poor people who live near the coast. Yeah. I, too, don’t think that will get very far at the UN, because Robert is correct. One millimeter of depth of the oceans (3/4 of Earth’s surface) amounts to around 400 cubic kilometers (95-ish cubic miles). That is how much it would take to change the depth of the oceans by a single, silly millimeter.

    Cotour also asked: “And conversely, if sea level rise is actually considered a problem why couldn’t we just remove material from the ocean …”

    You know, there is a lot of methane said to be “frozen” at the bottom of the oceans. It seems to me that we can kill two problems with one mining operation by removing that methane for fuel and allowing the ocean to fill in the now-empty space (I know, I know, 95-ish cubic miles is a lifetime supply of methane). Since Methane is lightweight, we don’t have to worry about its loss causing the tectonic plate to rise, in the mining area, to quell wayne’s worry.

    wayne cried: “Someone help! I’m down a rabbit hole I can’t explain to myself, and I should know this stuff!”

    I don’t think anyone has done that much science on this topic, as it may not be practical, but if we were to take material from just offshore and make hills or mountains just onshore (ooh! the scenic ocean views from these hills), then there may be minimal effects to the local weight of the tectonic plate. Delta silt could be moved to farms, just inland, as good, fertile soil. Plus, we could build up the low-lying coastal areas that are under threat of being deluged by rising sea levels. It seems to me that there are a few options, if we are willing to move 50-ish teratonnes of sea-bottom per millimeter of ocean level.

    Remember that the density of water and ice is much less than that of ocean bottom dirt/mud/whatever, so the loss of ice on Greenland and Antarctica may not make a great deal of difference in the subsidence discussion. Arctic ice is already floating, so wayne’s ice cube discussion applies for that ice as well as for the hundreds (thousands?) of square kilometers of ice-shelf floating off the Antarctic continent.

    Robert wrote: “The simplest and most efficient solution to any of these predicted climate changes has always been and will always be for humans to use our brilliant abilities to adapt, dealing with the changes as they happen.”

    This was the point of my earlier sarcasm. With or without us, the Earth is going to change, most likely in ways or timing that we cannot yet predict. The changing Earth is not caused by us, and we cannot stop it from changing.

    Apparently, over the past century we *still* have not learned that we cannot defeat Mother Nature, and just as the Titanic was not unsinkable, weather and climate is not controllable, at least not with the energy sources that we will control in the next few centuries. To think otherwise is folly.

    Cotour wrote: “As for adaptation, that is always the best way until we are able to do “magic”, its what humans do best.”

    Look around you! Much of what we have would have been magic a mere 200 years ago (Jane Austin’s time).

    Light without fire? Impossible!
    Horseless carriages? Hah!
    Humans flying like birds? Ain’t gonna happen!
    Spaceflight to the moon? Who do you think we are, gods?
    Antibiotics? What’s a germ?
    Surgury? Vivisection is immoral, illegal, and deadly!
    Air conditioning? Air what-ening?
    7 billion people on Earth? Hah! We can barely feed the billion we have in 1800.

    To quote Napoleon Bonaparte: “You would make a ship sail against the winds and currents by lighting a bonfire under her decks? I have no time for such nonsense.”

    We have developed a lot of magic in the past two centuries. It is how we have adapted, and we have adapted to it, so we don’t recognize it as magic. As Arthur C. Clark once hinted: *we* are the ones with the sufficiently advanced technology that is indistinguishable from magic.

  • wayne

    Interesting stuff!

    Wodun– I don’t know about “oceans,” but here in Michigan, if you try to mess with your lake-front property in any way, shape, or form, the hated Department of Natural Resources will be on your back in a second. You can’t touch so much as a tree or modify your beach, without a permission and a full-blown impact study.

    Edward– (good stuff!) Thanks, “95-ish cubic miles of water equates to 1 millimeter of sea-level,” I was wondering what that value was.

    Mr. Z. has this correct, as far as land-utilization. (The Headline, as always, will be “Poor, Woman, and Minorities hit hardest by change in the ocean level.)

    Cotour– the “artificial” islands the chi-coms are constructing– that is primarily expanding the islands that exist to some extent. They are making use of “land” that is already at or near the surface and expanding it. (rather than creating “islands” from the sea-floor up.) They have pumped a lot of sand, but it’s on the same order as replenishing beaches.

  • Cotour

    Edward, thank you for reminding me of how far and fast humanity has come, however I was referencing a next step / next level kind of “magic”, Michio Kaku explains it in a fairly reasonable way.

    https://youtu.be/6GooNhOIMY0 He even touches on the politics involved in this video.

    In his opinion we are only about 100 years away from controlling the planet to some more significant degree.

  • Edward

    Cotour,
    100 years ago, the public thought we could make an unsinkable ship. Today the public thinks we can change the climate. That was wrong then, and it is wrong now. Not only can we not control climate, but we *still* don’t have an unsinkable ship.

    We are extremely unlikely to be able to control earthquakes or volcanoes at any time. Ever. The Weather? Maybe. Probably not, though. And as Robert points out, it would be less expensive to adapt to the weather, as we have always done, than to change it.

    It is far more likely that we create space-based solar power plants than we control earthquakes, etc. Thus, we are more likely to become a type 2 than type 1 civilization. But even at type 3, we *still* won’t have the unsinkable ship.

  • wayne

    Edward–
    totally agree we aren’t going to be controlling earthquake or volcano’s, anytime soon, and most-likely “never.” I’d include “weather” in that as well.
    (On the off chance we could–I’d like to know WHO will be in charge of the Weather-Machine!)

  • Cotour

    If we keep going in the direction we are going it will not be the U.S controlling the weather machine but it will probably be the U.N.

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