Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sea-level rise is one of the more challenging effects of climate change to project. It's not that the direction of the change is unclear -- sea level will rise as the planet warms -- but it's extraordinarily difficult to know when which sections of which glaciers will slide into the sea. Many factors are involved besides temperatures, including ocean currents and the topography of the bedrock below ice sheets.

As a result, the projections of sea-level rise presented to entities like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been heavily caveated and have changed significantly over time. The 2013 IPCC report, for example, projected considerably higher sea-level rise than the 2007 report, which explained that it was leaving out important ice-sheet processes that needed more research. And the recent 2017 US National Climate Assessment again increased projections of sea-level rise based on the current state of the science.

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A new study from a group of researchers led by Rutgers' Bob Kopp has made for splashy headlines in recent days, some of which claimed the study showed that sea-level rise will be "worse than thought" or that the study confidently predicted how many people would be inundated by rising seas this century. Neither description is really true, as there is nothing new about the sea-level rise scenarios shown. In fact, Kopp also helped put together the sea-level chapter of the US National Climate Assessment, and the numbers in the new study obviously match those in the report.

That doesn't mean the study from Kopp et al. isn't notable and interesting. It relates to something the scientific community has been wrestling with for the last couple of years -- a pair of studies using an improved ice-sheet model that simulated much faster ice loss from the vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet. While this simulation was more compatible with recent research in Antarctica, it's not easy to fold the model's alarming first results -- which are not the final word -- into the existing outlook

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#1 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-12-19 01:22 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

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