The CBC has a new article on global warming that is a little more hysterical than usual: More summer sun accelerating Greenland ice melt, study says. The study being referenced, Decreasing cloud cover drives the recent mass loss on the Greenland Ice Sheet, while it suggests that its findings will lead to modifications of the climate models used to predict sea level rise, does not attempt to predict the outcome of these changes. The CBC article, on the other hand, uses the study as a jumping of point to predict that the current NOAA models are out by a factor of six.
If all of the ice sheet melted, its estimated that global sea levels could rise by six metres.
Which was in no way suggested by the study. In the remainder of the article, a collection of findings this study and others are presented, none of which indicate that the entire ice sheet will melt. While I agree that six meter rise in sea level is sensational, including this statement in an article that claims to be based on scientific research is misleading at best.
Here’s what my part of the world would look like if sea levels rose by 6m:
The international air port, the entire cities of Richmond, Delta, and most of Pitt Meadows, are gone. Highway 7 and the railway will need to be built up massively to keep them above the waters of the now much larger Pitt Lake, which will now be a tidal lake. The Burns bog and huge areas of Surrey are under water. Tawassen and Point Roberts, USA, which were once reachable by highway 17, are now an island.
The NOAA’s current worst case estimate for sea level rise by 2100 is 2.5m, their middle of the road estimate is 1m, and their best case is 30cm. How much these predictions will change based on this new research remains to be seen. Let’s hope even the worst case isn’t the full 6m. If so, building up dykes is not going to be enough to save our cities.