Global Warming’s Impact on Ocean Currents to Amplify Sea Level Rise

In this, Levke Caesar, discusses how Atlantic ocean currents have weakened due to global warming and are closer to catastrophic collapse than any time in the last 1,600 years. This decline could cause rapid sea level rise on the East Coast of North America. Caeser is lead author of one of two peer-reviewed studies published in Nature that reported these findings.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: This is Dimitri Lascaris, reporting for the Real News from Montreal, Canada. Human-induced climate change is rapidly altering our physical world. Climate change is intensifying extreme weather events like hurricanes, flooding, snowstorms, and bone-chilling cold. It is worsening droughts and deadly heat waves. It is causing sea level rise through the melting of glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.

These effects have been much discussed in recent years, but a phenomenon that has received less attention and is only beginning to be understood is the effect of climate change on ocean currents. Two new studies published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature posit that due to human-induced global warming, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation or AMOC, has weakened and is closer to catastrophic collapse than it has been in the last 60-100 years. Among other things, this weakening and possible collapse could cause rapid sea level rise on the east coast of North America.

With us to discuss this, we are very pleased to be joined by the lead author of one of these studies, entitled “Observed fingerprint of a weakening Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation.” Joining us from Potsdam, Germany is Levke Caesar, lead author of the Nature study and physicist at the Potsdam Institute. Thank you for joining us today.

LEVKE CAESAR: Yeah, thanks for having me.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: So first, Levke, please explain the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, also known as AMOC, and why it is important.

LEVKE CAESAR: Yes. So this circulation, called Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, is one of the earth’s major ocean circulation system. So it’s actually not just a single current, but a system of currents that is characterized by a northward flow of arm and salty waters in the upper layers of the Atlantic, and then a southward flow of colder waters in the deep Atlantic. Thereby it redistributes the heat on our planet, bringing heat from the tropics to the high northern latitudes. There the ocean releases heat to the atmosphere, which is why the AMOC has a large effect on the climate of the North Atlantic region, including Europe and the U.S. But despite its importance, the evolution of this overturning circulation, and especially its response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission are poorly known for lack of direct current measurements.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: What are the key findings from your study, and why should we be concerned about those findings?

LEVKE CAESAR: What we did is we identified a kind of fingerprint of a slowdown of the Atlantic overturning circulation that is seen in the trends of the sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic since the late 19th century. Well this, what we call a fingerprint is a pattern that consists of a cooling trend of the sea surface temperatures in the South Pole and North Atlantic, south and east of Greenland, and an extreme warming trend in the Gulf Stream region. And this pattern that we can also see in the observation can be best explained by a slowdown of the overturning circulation. Why? Due to its role that I just explained as a heat carrier. If the AMOC slows down, the northward heat transport into that region is reduced. And this leads to this cooling in the South and the North Atlantic, and due to a more complex interaction between the southward deep return flow of the overturning circulation with the bottom topography of the ocean, the reduced overturning circulation is also associated with a northward shift of the Gulf Stream that then leads to a warming east of the West Coast.

And this fingerprint was identified for us in a high resolution climate model simulation, but we find the same fingerprint, that is, the same pattern in sea surface temperature trends and the observed long term trend. And we could show that this indicates a weakening of the overturning circulation by approximately 15 percent since the mid-20th century.

So now you ask why you should be concerned. Well, this shows that the ocean and the ocean dynamics are responding to the increased greenhouse gas emissions by us human. And even though this has to be further studied, we think that the weakening of the Atlantic overturning circulation may already have an impact on weather. For example you know, one example is that these cold temperatures in the subpolar north Atlantic correlate with high summer temperatures over Europe, and the heat wave in 2015 in Europe has been linked to the cold temperatures in the subpolar North Atlantic in that year.

This sounds paradox at first, but this can be explained. Since these low temperatures actually favor air pressure and distribution that channels warm air into Europe, that can lead to a heat wave there. And additionally we have also been studies that connect a weakening of the overturning circulation with, as you already said, above average sea level rise at the U.S. coast affecting cities like New York or Boston.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Why would this result, potentially, in sea level rise on the East Coast? Is it because there’s going to be an increase in temperatures on the East Coast, and water expands in heat? Is that the main reason, or there are other reasons? And furthermore, are you able to estimate or at least give a range of the kind of sea level rise that a collapse in the AMOC could precipitate on the East Coast of the United States?

LEVKE CAESAR: OK, so these are two questions. The first is actually that due to the earth rotating all the time there is a force acting on everything that’s moving from the south to the north, like the overturning circulation, so the Coriolis force. And to kind of encounter this force there is actually a slope in the sea level that is connected with this current that is going from lower levels at the coast and higher in the mid-Atlantic. And if this current slows down then this decline of the slope and sea level will be less, and we have a rise of sea levels at the U.S. coast.

So this is basically physics, and this is known, this connection. But talking about the amount of sea level rise we have to expect, this definitely still has to be investigated, and it depends strongly on where on the earth you. On our model simulation suggests that if we really have a complete collapse of the Atlantic overturning circulation, then there might be a rise in dynamic sea level of up to, of up to one meter in the North Atlantic region. Why we have other regions, for example around Antarctica, where there will actually be lower sea levels. But we definitely need further investigations here.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Levka, climate change deniers would, of course, say that the warming of the earth and your findings are part of the natural cycle of variability. What did you and your co-authors find in your study that links the weakening of the AMOC to human-caused global warming?

LEVKE CAESAR: Well, this actually has not been really investigated by our study. But there have already been several studies that can link greenhouse gas emissions to a weakening of the overturning circulation, because it’s a rather direct physical link. So when we have, due to enhanced greenhouse gas emissions we have a warm globe, and this leads, on the one hand, tied to more rainfall. So enhanced precipitation over the North Atlantic region and the surrounding land areas. This leads to an increased freshwater influx into the North Atlantic, which is also, again, enhanced by the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the melting of the sea ice over the Arctic. And these freshwater fluxes hinder the formation of deep water that’s basically the driver of the overturning circulation.

So let me expand this a little bit more. As I said, the overturning circulation consists of a part of the North Atlantic where you have water that is cooling, and then due to its northward flow, and then it’s sinking into the deep ocean, where we have the return flow. And this engine of the overturning simulation is hindered due to enhanced global warming, and this is due to the enhanced greenhouse gas emissions.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: And that one meter, or potential one meter rise, I take it would be an addition to the increase in sea level that would be, would result from the melting of glaciers and the ice caps. Is that correct?

LEVKE CAESAR: Yes.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: So would the shift away from the burning of fossil fuels reverse the trend that you’ve observed, halt it, slow it down? Or are we on that trajectory no matter what we do at this stage due to the amount of greenhouse gases already emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere?

LEVKE CAESAR: Well, this is difficult to answer. So the ocean normally reacts slower to changes in the atmosphere, which is on the one side positive, because right now these ocean, the ocean is kind of acting as a buffer to increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. And it will kind of slow down this increase as it takes up CO2. But it also means that the ocean responds slower to the changes we’ve made. So if we stop emitting greenhouse gas emissions right now we know, for example, that we still have to expect for the sea level rise, because the ocean will keep up, continue taking up carbon dioxide and heat. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t stop us from trying our best in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Well, we’ve been speaking to Levka Caesar, lead author of a new study on the dramatic weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Thank you very much for joining us today, Levka.

LEVKE CAESAR: Yeah, thanks to you.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: And this is Dimitri Lascaris reporting from Montreal, Canada for the Real News.

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65 comments

    1. SimonGirty

      So, once the costal elite’s au-pair, dogwalker, cleaners, sex workers, maintenance, super and delivery folks all drown in the subways, how will superdelegates stomp out all the Russian financed, alt-left BernieBro® Eco terrorists™ to win the November midterms?

      1. ambrit

        Simple! Declare a “State of Emergency” and rule by decree.
        “Elections! We don’t need no stinking elections!”

          1. ambrit

            I’m down with that Mr. Zelnicker. However, I fear that the proper version of your acclimation (politico-social) might be: “Here! Here!”
            As JEHR mentions below, the weather patterns are entering a chaotic period. The whole Earth will warm, but that warmth will not be evenly distributed. Weather patterns are what to watch. Thousands of years ago, the Sahara was grasslands, teeming with life, terrestrial and aquatic. The Black Sea region was semi arctic desert. The global heat balance shifted. Now that balance is shifting again. At this point, who really cares about who done it? It is a ‘fait accomplis.’ Surviving the coming wild ride is now the main issue.
            As I mentioned somewhere else, Manhattan real estate, being built up from mainly bedrock, has a real chance of becoming a functional ‘Venice of North America.’

            1. Anon

              Actually, it is Hear! Hear!, Sir.

              It is a refrain of agreement: as in, “hear, him” (The phrase has an invisible “You” in the declaration.

              1. ambrit

                We’re cool about that.
                I was trying to pull off a pun. “Hear, hear,” sounds identical to “Here, here,” but they have different meanings. “Here, here” is a reference to America, the place that we live and discourse in. So, “Elections, we don’t need no stinking elections!” combined with the refrain “Here, here!” refers to Americas possible path, one quite slippery and primrosial in nature.
                I do not have the temerity to contradict the estimable Mr. Zelnicker. I respect him too much to cavil so. Consider my sally as one of ‘tender affection’ mixed with a drop of gall. Essentially, a variation of his comment.
                I am, after all, a cynical geezer and have a reputation to live down to.
                Love and kisses!

        1. SimonGirty

          I’d really love to see Floridians trying to keep their ammo dry, standi… treading their waves, where their ground used to be.

  1. Jack

    He lost me here, “Well, this shows that the ocean and the ocean dynamics are responding to the increased greenhouse gas emissions by us human.” It is beneficial to analyze and conduct research on climate change and the effect it has and could possibly have on our living environment. But no one can say definitively that greenhouse gas emissions are the cause of climate change. For every scientist that proclaims it so, there is one that disputes it. I have read extensively concerning the issue of climate change and greenhouse gases and it is startling to me how so many people feel so strongly about something that has so little proof that this correlation does exist. I consider it a popular craze, like the anti-fat crusade that went on so long. Too, I think humans have to believe there is something they can do to alter an event they feel is endangering them. Hence the outcry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (our fault as a society) to save our planet and keep sea levels from rising. We have to do something!

    1. YankeeFrank

      “For every scientist that proclaims it so, there is one that disputes it.”

      Citations please.

      1. SimonGirty

        8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants[b] after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth… boo-RAH! High FIVE!

    2. Jamie

      For every scientist that proclaims it so, there is one that disputes it.

      That’s just wrong. But it’s not worth disputing because it’s beside the point. The real world doesn’t obey the dictates of scientists and what is actually happening is independent of whether scientists agree about it or not.

      I used to argue this point with my father before he died. He was a creative writer and a great man in many ways but he did not have the least affinity for science. When I explained anything scientific to him, his response was invariably, “That’s too technical for me to follow”. I would respectfully suggest that if he understood more basic science, he would be less concerned with the disagreements between scientists trumpeted by the media, and would be able to make his own judgement. And I encouraged him to look into the science, not the media wars, in order to form his opinions, believing it is never too late to learn how the world works. But he put it off. He felt no need to find out because he had plenty of people telling him he could believe whatever he wanted about it.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Climate change caused by humans or not? That question has been settled. Humans are the cause of the ongoing Climate Disruption. Yes, with deep enough pockets you can find as many “scientists” to disagree with that conclusion as you like. Neoliberalism has been working long and hard to put a leash on Science to assure that Corporate money can buy the science it wants. “They also said that artificial sweeteners were safe, WMDs were in Iraq and Anna Nicole married for love.”

      In any case the question whether humans are the cause of Climate Disruption is something of a red herring. Other than causing chagrin, I imagine the people on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard will be more concerned about finding higher ground. Will knowing — and acknowledging — that humans are causing Climate Disruption and knowing — and acknowledging — that human activities are continuing to worsen an already most unhappy future have any impact on slowing or stopping those human activities?

      My calendar indicates today is Earth Day. I wish there were something more cheery with which to observe the day. I guess I’ll go toss some more of the masses of waste plastic gathering around my house.

      1. Jack

        Just one response here to many others asking for citations. And this is just one website; . There are many other sources, not funded by neoliberals or corporate coffers.

        1. blennylips

          You are right Jack, procon.org is donor supported.

          On the other hand, I’ve never seen such a collection of lawyers! Yup, that’s where I’ll get my climate info from!

        2. urdsama

          Could you please supply links to such groups then, instead of the one you did that is suspect (by your very own statement)?

        3. saylor

          And of course we should ignore the study Exxon did back in the 80s determining that…, what else? The fossil fuel epoch has affected the climate.

          There are those studies that are of questionable review and then there are studies that get buried because the source cannot perform a questionable review of themselves.

      2. saylor

        And let us not forget a rather important study performed by/for Exxon. They concluded that fossil fuels were pushing up the earth’s temperature.

        And then they buried said report. (Thanks Rex Tillerson!)

        Nothing to see here. Move along.

    4. Kilgore Trout

      The basic physics of greenhouse gases and how they warm the planet was discovered in the 1850’s. John Tyndall in 1859 found that water vapor and carbon dioxide acted to trap heat in the air. A planet with no heat-trapping gases would be far colder than our planet is. The greenhouse effect warms the planet as much as 50-60 degrees F more than it would otherwise be. So the greenhouse effect is “settled physics”. Carbon dioxide—whose amount heretofore has fluctuated over the long term via the Milankovitch cycles, is understood by nearly all climate scientists to be the earth’s control knob for climate. We are over-riding that long-term control knob by adding fossil-fueled greenhouse gases—chiefly CO2 and methane—to the carbon cycle at a rate unprecedented in millennia. There is no other mechanism than greenhouse gases that satisfactorily explains the present warming. The testable theory of AGW has been used to predict a number of effects, most significantly perhaps, the prediction that a warming troposphere is accompanied by a cooling stratosphere.

      1. Lord Koos

        There was a link here on NC a short while back that showed a scientist had warned Shell Oil about the effects of fossil fuels on the environment decades ago.

    5. Anon

      Yes, citations, please. I used to read the comics alot and thought well of Superman. No more.

      Without doubt finding “simple facts” that explain a complex biosphere is a fools errand. But some ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that the probable cause of a warming planet and changing climate (along with ocean levels) is anthropocentric CO2.

  2. The Rev Kev

    If there is a complete collapse of the Atlantic overturning circulation, a rise in dynamic sea level may be one serious effect but there may be another more serious one. That current transports heat from the tropics to the northern latitudes where it is released into the atmosphere as the current sinks down. The prevailing winds push this heated air over the Europe mainland which gives it its temperate climate. If that circulation stops, then places like Europe may revert to their true climate – one that resembles Siberia. Remember, both regions are on the same latitude so that is not a stretch that.

    1. Susan the other

      Yes. This model of ocean currents was more complex than the one I remember which only looked at the Gulf Stream. Jim Hansen recently said that they were working on a more complex model of ocean currents. This must be it. But I was confused by Ceasar saying that Europe would be warmer and drier but did not mention the previous analysis showing Europe getting a seriously colder climate. If the Gulf Stream slows/stops and the currents stagnate then nothing brings the cold water back down and Europe will get colder and wetter. So those two possibilities seem to contradict each other. But they could both exist in a chaotic climate I would guess, as warmer water gradually warms the cold water… But it did make sense of the prediction that the east coast of the US would get warmer and engulfed. And I wonder how confusing it will be for the migrating sea animals when their currents are disturbed.

    2. Kilgore Trout

      I thought so too, but paradoxically, at least in the short term, a collapse of the warming currents may lead to warmer air from the south moving north, making for hotter summers in far northern Europe.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I think there are even scarier scenarios possible. A complete shutdown of the AMOC could lead to the start of a mini Ice-Age … coincident with continued global heating resulting from the build up of CO2. Eventually the heating processes would reverse the mini Ice-Age and the transition to much hotter climate zone would proceed with renewed even enhanced vigor. The Climate Changes we face are bad but their dynamics could make adaptation by the existing life on our world highly problematic. The climate is most definitely NOT a linear system.

  3. DorothyT

    And of course the present administration is drastically reducing the NOAA budget (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

  4. Reini Urban

    And give up the Netherlands? They could all move to Canada, for example. Like the germanic Angles who all moved to England.

    1. ambrit

      Get over it. The Hamptons are not a defensible position. Try moving to upper floors in Manhattan. The NeoVenice of the Americas.

  5. Ed

    “… What very few investigative journalists ever even touched upon is that the BP Gulf oil spill was a MIHOP. It was an environmental catastrophe of truly epic proportions that was Made To Happen On Purpose (also known as a MIHOP)…..”

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I took a quick look at your link, which has at best a distant relation to the subject of this post, … but really? I think you need to make yourself a thicker tin-foil hat.

      1. Ed

        I recall seeing more than a few articles on how the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe (and the Corexit action) had a deleterious effect on the Gulf Stream, one of those ocean currents.

        “… The vicious campaign against any dissenting report or opinion is a sorry attempt to go back in time and to again gain the monopoly on ‘truth’.
        It is on us to not let them succeed.”

        Posted by b on April 21, 2018 at 07:02 PM |

        Or you can parse this:

      2. ambrit

        Mr. Grimm;
        I can call you Mr. Grimm, may we not?
        There are gradations of “The Hatt” as one ascends the ‘Pyramid of Truth’ within the ‘Enlightened Circle.’
        Common ‘Tin Foil’ is the basic level. (Actually, the Tin Foil is really Aluminum Foil. Some theorize that since aluminum was incredibly expensive during the days of the reorganization of the “Circle”, back during the Dawn of the Enlightenment, that this indicated the ‘exclusive’ nature of ‘The Truth’ as revealed to the Initiates.)
        Above this lies Silver Foil. A step up in ‘quality’ is symbolized therein.
        Ascending, we find Gold Foil. Yet another step up.
        This would be considered full disclosure, but, as true Initiates learn, through countless hours of ‘cynical dreaming’ practice, there lie higher levels.
        One such ‘higher’ level is that of Lead. But, I reveal too much to the Un-Initiated.
        Suffice it to know that we adhere to the Alchemists’ Creed:
        “As above, so below.”
        (Parenthetically, did you never wonder why the rope ladders up the mast of an Initiates’ yacht was called a “Jacobs’ Ladder?”)
        May you see the Light.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I didn’t know the rope ladder for yachts was called “Jacob’s Ladder” — but my first guess for why would have been the movie by that name — but maybe the movie was named after the rope ladder on yachts? Do people keep lots of Light on yachts?

          In any case I didn’t realize how downscale my tin foil hat was. Gold would look more cool too. … What about Platinum foil? Wouldn’t that be more upscale than gold? Gold would seem like new rich whereas the subtle difference between platinum and other sliver metals would speak to a more subtle old rich appearance. [Unfortunately Reynold’s Wrap is all I can afford.]

  6. Jeremy Grimm

    If anyone has further interest in this topic the slowing of the AMOC was also a recently covered at realclimate.org [http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/04/stronger-evidence-for-a-weaker-atlantic-overturning-circulation/#more-21240]. Other papers and some further details are reviewed there.

  7. JEHR

    We still have snow on the ground here and it has been a really, really cool April. In less than a month I will be planting my garden supposing the ground is warm enough. Our winters are colder now and at one point this winter the Arctic Circle was warmer than our temperatures at 45 degrees N. latitude. Very strange temperatures indeed no matter what is causing them.

  8. Scott1

    This information is useful for the family planing attempt to migrate first to the best territories.
    Human beings are committed to overpopulation & plastic.
    A world technocracy system is desirable.
    Jarad Diamond mentioned that his belief in democracy was shaken by the history of Hispaniola.
    Does it work to protect human rights if the Technocracy replaces the Electoral College? then there is its necessary daily involvement
    dictating the actios that ensure survival of the humans.
    We were just again surprised by a closer than ever asteroid.
    Earth is the best place for humans who could build a planet defense System.
    Civilization is most common on earth at airport FBOs. The Airport territorial governance system is the standard Airport Authority representing a Bureaucracy of Technocratic competence.
    A lot of science as engineering goes into the operations of airports.
    A Generalization of that organic trend is the best precedent I know of.
    These are the things I was caused to consider after the input of the climate scientist.
    The most dramatic handbook of democracy is from the hydraulic engineer Henry Roberts. (Roberts Rules of Order)
    This is positive, indicative of human engineer technocrats good will towards man.

    1. ambrit

      The basic flaw with your reasoning is that humans do not automatically follow rational courses of action. The Technocrats, as a class, are narrowly focused. Their lives are often their jobs, or the science and mechanics behind the jobs.
      Human affairs, on the other hand, are rife with irrationality. This can be either inherent, or systemically imposed.
      I have often considered Technocracy to be a ‘Saecular Religion.’ As such, it is entirely possible that the ‘acolytes’ of this religion will band together to survive the coming times of troubles. So, the Religion of Logic will carry on as a Tribal Faith. It’s not the first time something similar will have happened.

      1. Tony Wright

        I think that would only occur if a fatal human pathogen emerges which selects for the majority of people who dont care about fate of the ever decreasing number of other species with which we share the planet, and the ignoramuses(?ignorami) such as the current White House occupant who make decisions affecting us all, and who cannot seem to see beyond the next profit statement.
        A faint hope indeed, but otherwise the human race appears doomed to suffer the fate of any species which massively overpopulates its habitat i.e. Disease, war and famine, to the point of extinction, probably by the end of this century, if not before.

        1. ambrit

          It may sound like snark, but the idea of a selective pathogen has been raised, at least in fictioneer circles. Frank Herberts’ “The White Plague” addressed such an idea. Also a later story about an infection that made women infertile unless a certain set of environmental processes were carried out. In essence, that a woman could not become pregnant unless she actively desired to do so.
          A second set of pathogens cued to racial characteristics were posited, most effectively in a short story by Arthur C Clarke about the return of the original colonizers of Earth, from millennia ago. A classic shaggy dog, that one.
          Extinction is problematic, unless the entire biosphere is destroyed. That could happen, but, as Kafka demonstrated, we could mutate.
          Later iterations of the theme have been shown here, concerning “The Jackpot.”
          As the saying goes, “It’s the end of the world—as we know it.”

  9. Edward E

    Eight years ago the AMOC was 20% stronger than average, whatever that is, now it’s supposedly down 15%. I’m not going to get whomperjawwed over anything these bs alarmists have to say, no way no way no how. In the seventies and eighties they were scaring us with ice age stories they were so sure about. From my experiences on the waters there’s never been a current that didn’t fluctuate or actually wander off course for a while. But the wandering currents always came back.
    People wrote about climate in the 1500’s – 1600’s and it appeared to be worse. Then they wrote about getting froze to death.

    1. Tony Wright

      Yes, and in the 1600s they bled people to ‘cure’ them ,and believed that diseases were caused by humors (whatever that meant). And in the 1970s computers were huge, cumbersome, and relied on manually punched cards to enter binary data, and there were not many of them. Point being we have moved on a bit since then in terms of our ability to collect and analyse data.
      Anthropogenic climate change is increasingly demonstrated as manifesting in more erratic and extreme fluctuations in temperature and rainfall patterns, effecting different areas of the planet in different ways at different times (not just ‘globul sic warming’ as asserted by a previous poster.)
      Perhaps our greatest hope for improved US policy action on climate change in the short term is for the ever warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico to direct a hurricane straight through Mar a Lago. That way the Narcissist in Chief might actually sit up and take notice, and perhaps even make some useful policy decisions. Hopefully his neighbours are well insured too.

    2. pretzelattack

      uh no, “they weren’t scaring us in the 70’s and 80’s”, there were a couple of magazine covers in the 70’s but that wasn’t the scientific consenus.

  10. mark branham

    There is absolutely no science behind ‘globul warming’. However, that will be impossible to comprehend for you people who believe it because it’s become your religion. Time though will prove that we’re approaching a Little Ice Age and it’s the sun that commands our climate. If you really believe warming is coming, move north, you’ll be the first to die off.

    1. blennylips

      Sounds like you are the one pedaling religion.

      If you really believe warming is coming, move north, you’ll be the first to die off.

      Warming is here, just not evenly distributed (yet).

      Where are the Filipinos and Southern Indians going to move before the near wet-bulb temperatures arrive in the next few days?

      People are dying now and the polar regions are heating up the faster than anyplace else.

    2. witters

      “There is absolutely no science behind ‘globul warming’.”

      Has there ever been a more grotesquely stupid comment made here?

    3. flora

      There’s so much fossil fuel money behind the anti-science attacks on CO2 rise being caused by human activity; the burning of fossil fuels causing the rise in CO2. Not that your comment is influenced by fossil fuel money. Think of all the money the tobacco industry spent to create doubt about the relationship between smoking and lung cancer or emphysema, for example.

    4. Isotope_C14

      Walk a mile carrying 2 5-gallon plastic gas cans. Isn’t that heavy?

      100% of that weight turns into atmosphere after you combust that in your car or truck.

      Now a billion people are doing that. And you suggest that there is no effect of this?

      1. mark branham

        Yes, that a true statement. But then, if you actually investigate the science you wouldn’t enjoy the warm comfort of bullshit spread by politicians and shysters. Please, please, please move north…

        The real question you people will be forced to ask when the cold becomes too obvious to ignore is, “why did THEY me this line of crap”

        1. Kilgore Trout

          Those who deny the science are hard-pressed to explain the fact–fact–that well over 95% of active climate scientists accept the theory of AGW. There is no debate, except for that ginned up by fossil fuels interest groups. Every gallon of gasoline burned adds about 19 lbs of CO2 to the atmosphere. Deniers are often wont to claim that the earth is too grand, nature/deity too benevolent (ha!), and humans too puny to have any influence over climate. I take the analogy of an apple’s skin as like our atmosphere one step further: if our atmosphere were as dense as water, it would be only about 30 feet deep over the entire plant. So imagine all the man-made chemicals we’re putting into the air on a daily basis–now including CO2 and methane–which we have long known affect the health of humans and other living things, and try to imagine how this could continue with no ramifications. Of course, it first requires that you accept the fundamental premise of enhanced warming of the planet by greenhouse gases. Which, after all, is only physics (sarc.)

        2. Isotope_C14

          I am a scientist.

          The temperature trends are glaringly obvious. I look at the data regularly. I don’t believe politicians.

          How many environmental chemistry courses have you completed? What is your field of science?

  11. ocop

    As previous commenters have mentioned a slowing AMOC would induce some sea level rise on the Eastern US seaboard, but the real impacts come from freezing out Europe.

    The real sea level rise fears making their way into the literature recently come from increasing resolution in glacial melt models in Greenland and Antarctica. The bottom line is that when you better resolve how glaciers terminate into oceans (and the shape of land underneath them), sea level rise is predicted to happen at far faster levels than the current negotiated IPCC consensus.

    This isn’t altogether surprising given the simplifying assumptions necessary to model things at global scale, but one can always hope for a favorable resolution of uncertainties. Not so in the case if sea level rise, or so it appears.

  12. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

    I always like to keep two words in mind when THE thorny topic crops up: bounded rationality.

    Either way, the only sensible approach is to mitigate the risk – especially if the necessary measures have beneficial side effects.

    Let us hope that so-called conservatives prefer to breath cleaner air (what goes around comes around).

    Pip Pip.

    1. Kilgore Trout

      For a while, after the Stern Report on mitigating the effects of climate change came out, the phrase was: “the precautionary principle”. Now, paraphrasing “Blazing Saddles”, it’s “Precautions? We don’t need no stinkin precautions.”

  13. Christopher

    Don’t forget the krill and their food, the zooplankton. Loss of warmer waters, and the increasing acidification of the ocean as it absorbs co2, will destroy the conditions for the plankton to live

    and down the foodchain it will go and so will all the o2 the plankton produce for us – about half. Earth’s ability to keep us alive is severely threatened and it will be food wars we see first.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Or grapes.

      Someone observed that orchardists lead long, active lives, because they keep planting trees till the day they die.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      — and the second best time is now. ( I believe is the second part of that saying).

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