One Foot vs. 80 Feet

If you have two botanists discussing a certain plant species, and the first one believes that the plant will grow to 1 foot, but the other states that it reach 80 feet — would you say they have reached a “consensus?” But they both agree it will grow! However, is their science on it “settled?”Zoe Cormier has this to say in an article in

When Al Gore predicted that climate change could lead to a 20-foot rise in sea levels, critics called him alarmist. After all, the International Panel on Climate Change, which receives input from top scientists, estimates surges of only 18 to 59 centimetres in the next century.

But a study led by James Hansen, the head of the climate science program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and a professor at Columbia University, suggests that current estimates for how high the seas could rise are way off the mark – and that in the next 100 years melting ice could sink cities in the United States to Bangladesh.

In stark contrast to estimates put forward by the IPCC, Prof. Hansen and his colleagues argue that rapidly melting ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland could cause oceans to swell several metres by 2100 – or maybe even as much as 25 metres, which is how much higher the oceans sat about three million years ago.

By the way, the sea levels rose about a foot in the last century, and the world didn’t end.