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What NZ could look like with more Cancun failures

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, December 15th, 2010 - 65 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags:

How does large hunks of most of our coastal cities and thousands of acres of farmland being swallowed the sea sound? This neat graphic shows effects of sea level rises from climate change: 1m – roughly in line with official predictions; through 6m – collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet; to 14m – doomsday scenario. Even a small rise is catastrophic.

65 comments on “What NZ could look like with more Cancun failures ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    “How does large hunks of most of our coastal cities and thousands of acres of farmland being swallowed (by) the sea sound?”

    Like one of the hollywood disaster movies and about as likely as one of them too.

    • Macro 1.1

      The Hauraki Plains are under distinct threat. Or have you never visited the “swamp fox” territory. A good flood now inundates them. They will be flooded by the end of this Century, or become polders as in Holland if we’re lucky.
      Make no mistake – sea level is rising and increasingly so.

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Greenland-ice-mass-loss-after-the-2010-summer.html

      The important bit – in case you haven’t read it – referring to the Greenland ice sheet
      “The ice sheet has been steadily losing ice and the rate of ice loss has doubled over the 8 year period since gravity measurements began. The accelerating ice loss is independently confirmed by GPS measurements of uplifting bedrock. The GRACE data gives us an insight into why Greenland is losing ice mass at such an accelerating rate – ice loss has spread from the south east all the way up the west coast:”

  2. grumpy 2

    I’m still waiting for the prices of baches in the Sounds to come down but no sign yet! Keep up the scare tactics, there might be a sucker seller out there – I’m watching the Real Estate websites closely!

    • MrSmith 2.1

      You’ll find most batches in the sounds more than a few meters above sea level Grumpy, so I would get in now before the prices start going up! not down, just make sure you don’t buy one with a jetty as that will be going first.

  3. clandestino 3

    Ridiculous scare mongering. Shouldn’t we be more worried about actual events (such as the increasing drought threat) rather than serial pessimists fantasies?

    • Bright Red 3.1

      the sea level has risen 1.8mm a year on aveage since the middle of last century, and it is accelerating. the average increase since the late 1980s has been 3.3mm.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise

      This isn’t scaremongering. This is the cost of doing nothing about climate change.

      • Ianmac from the UAE 3.1.1

        I knew about icemelt from back in the 50s via the International Geophysical Year(s), but a new thought to me is the expansion of water through warming. I wonder though that since frozen water expands then reduces as it thaws then expands again as it warms with it would self-cancel the effect?

        • Oscar 3.1.1.1

          Thermic expansion means that as water warms up, it shrinks. After all, water turns to steam the hotter it gets.
          When it heats up, it starts compressing (as when it cools down it starts expanding) giving us more volume which to fill.
          Try it with a bucket of water. Get a cold bucket of water in the morning, leave it in the sun all day. When you get back home from work, you’ll find that the water level has shrunk.
          Fill it up with cold water, where does it go? Back to the original level.
          So if the oceans are warming up, why are they rising?
          Simple. The lowest lying areas are always the first to be affected, hence we see the effects first. Unfortunately, most of the low lying area is at the equator, which explains why Tokelau is “sinking”
          The moon affects the tides from the equator outwards, which is why the tidal pull occurs most strongly in this area. Compare the differences in high and low tides with a place like Vanuatu, which is closer to the equator, with England, which is not.
          There isn’t anything we can do to hold back the tide. Why try to do what King Canute couldn’t? We need to start discussing how best to help the displaced and dispossessed. No ones EVER going to believe the same story. This is why COP15 and COP16 were relative failures.

          In a geological time span, the ice from Greenland would have melted, and rock lift would have taken place.
          As earth is lighter than ice, it stands to reason that if the ice is melting faster, there’s less downward pressure as a whole, so land would rise faster.
          Even as late as 2005 we were getting told Greenlands caps were growing.

          • Daniel 3.1.1.1.1

            Oscar I really, really hope this is an excellent caricature of someone really dumb.

            1. Water expands when it heats up (it’s most dense at about 3 degrees C, and expands when heated, or when frozen)

            2. Tides are not highest at the equator – when I was in Vanuatu the tide was much less than in Auckland, and the highest tides in the world are in Canada. Look up Tide on wikipedia and scroll down to “Phase and Amplitude” for a map showing tidal height around the world

            3. Earth is definitely not lighter than ice (with some exceptions) – to demonstrate, ice floats, earth doesn’t.

            • Oscar 3.1.1.1.1.1

              You believers are a strange lot aren’t you.

              You’re being disingenious with your tide explanation. Tides are highest at the equator due to the higher land level present in this area.

              Water evaporates when it heats, not expands. It expands as a vapour, but not as a liquid.

              Earth is lighter than ice, especially when there’s a ton of ice bearing down on it. Hence why earth rises up when ice is taken off it.

              • NickS

                Sadly, you’re not triggering my well trained Poe senses, so yeah, you’re an idiot who’s well worth banning because you’re ignoring any stuff that counters your bullshit.

                And unsurprisingly you’ve now claimed that water doesn’t expand as it heats, which contradicts the bit you linked to early to try and claim that water contracts as it heats. As well as denying a pretty well understood physical phenomena.

                Earth is lighter than ice, especially when there’s a ton of ice bearing down on it. Hence why earth rises up when ice is taken off it.

                Behold, stupidity so stupid it belongs on Fundies Say The Darnedest Things!, for it matches well the sort of brain destroying babble of creationists claiming such things as the flood sorting things out to match the fossil record. Or that evolution isn’t true because we don’t see cat-dogs, or ’cause chimps are still around.

                And Density, understand it you do not, nor I suspect anything more complex than a can opener, so begone fell twit, and go dwell in the dank echo rooms of that complete crank and classic crackpot Wishart’s blog where your stupidity is accepted and embraced.

                Now if you’ll excuse me, I have cider to buy, stupid programmers to curse and a terrible need to go read something far more intelligent than your babbling, and I don’t mean a Dan Brown novel, which is probably disturbingly far beyond your pathetic reading comprehension levels.*

                *unless you have a disability, but unfortunately boneheaded stupidity doesn’t count as one.

              • RedLogix

                It expands as a vapour, but not as a liquid.

                Flat out wrong.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    6m puts me on the shore of the harbour on Miramar island.

    • higherstandard 4.1

      Waterfront, nice.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        I need 14M to get the same. At least we’ll have a Banks Island again, ‘stead of this peninsula crap we have now.

        • Just Me 4.1.1.1

          Bugger +14 meters and I still don’t get water front property.

          • NickS 4.1.1.1.1

            You’re lucky, at 14m Christchurch is mostly under water, and at 3m my part of town becomes distinctly more swampy 🙁

            • Ianmac from the UAE 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Well NickS. How about Christchurch putting a hold on rebuilding houses. Instead invest in house-boat building? Or even creating a Venice of the South Pacific. Its an ill wind……

  5. MrSmith 5

    Here is a quote I picked up somewhere that sums it up for me.

    “The (Climate change deniers) still deny that it is happening at all in the face of all of the evidence to the contrary – after all they seem to be armed with the enduring faith of stupidity. The stupid are always with us actively trying for the rapture, unfortunately also trying to drag us with them to the brink of idiocy.”

    • Ianmac from the UAE 5.1

      They’re dreaming of Utopia long gone.
      We’re dreaming of Utopia yet to come.

    • Oscar 5.2

      Here’s a quote I paraphrased. It sums it up for me as well.

      “The (Climatics) still have faith that it is happening at all in the face of all of the evidence to the contrary – after all they seem to be armed with the enduring faith of stupidity. The stupid are always with us actively trying for the rapture, unfortunately also trying to drag us with them to the brink of idiocy”

      • lprent 5.2.1

        One of mine. Referring to idiots like Wishart. But it applies to credulous fools like yourself as well.

        I’d have to say that as well as being good at misquoting, reading your comments over the last few days has been a revelation in how uninformed people like yourself are about science. In particular, you seem to have no sense of scale effects – especially timescales. As far as I can see, to you, if something is possible in a billion years then it must have it’s ultimate effect now. Your comment about the sun was highly symptomatic

        • Oscar 5.2.1.1

          /head bang

          I wonder who’s the one with no sense of scale? Everything I’m talking about is taking into consideration the geological timespan of these things.
          Even as Greenlands caps melt, the land is rising faster than expected. Can you spin that into a believers theories?
          No. You can’t.

          The sun is getting hotter. 2013 is expected to be a solar maximum year. Who on earth is going to survive if we have no atmosphere to protect us? We’re so busy getting rid of it all by limiting the burning of natural gases (taking sulfur out of fuel is a good case to start with) that we’re destroying our own natural layer.
          Sulfuric shield is one of the components that deflects the suns heat, CO2 is another.

          When was the last time the sun increased in heat? Who knows. We only know this now because of the last 200 years in which science has SLOWLY started to understand how earth works.

          • Daniel 5.2.1.1.1

            The sun varies in intensity in a cycle of about 11 years, that is what the solar maximum refers to.

            The atmosphere has lasted for several billion years, I don’t think reducing human emissions of sulphur and CO2 (emissions which have been absent for the vast majority of the earth’s history) are going to result in the destruction of the atmosphere.

            As for Greenland rising, that’s called isostatic uplift, it’s a well documented phenomenon, and as the land rises it will actually displace more water, raising sea levels elsewhere.

            I honestly don’t think I could write stupider comments than this if I was trying. I’m calling Poe (or the denialist equivalent) on this, not because I think it is, but because I don’t want to consider that you actually believe what you write

  6. Santi 6

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

  7. Rich 7

    A consolation is that all the beachfront land where the 4WD driving ACT supporters is going to be inundated.

    I favour shackling climate change deniers at the pre-climate change high tide mark. With a rusty saw – drown, or hack your leg off.

    • higherstandard 7.1

      Well you’d likely die from old age, exposure or a number of other causes a long time before the rise in sea levels got you, best you try another tack.

      • Oscar 7.1.1

        Couldn’t have put it better myself hs.

      • NickS 7.1.2

        Except for the annoying issue of no having worked out the positive and negative feedback loops to the point where they can be included in the IPCC reports. The main issue when it comes to positive feedback loops is water vapour, but there’s also the release of carbon stored in permafrost and methane hydrates as methane, a very, very potent greenhouse gas, that ends up oxidising to CO2, instead of conveniently dropping out of the atmosphere.

        There’s also glacier movement modelling, as while it’s not yet solid enough to be IPCC material, there are strong indications that as glaciers melt, melt water acts as a lubricant and allows glaciers to move much more freely. Leading to greater ice mass loss, and likely is the reason for the very large ice mass losses seen in the West Antarctic ice sheets.

        Thus it’s quite possible that we could be looking at far faster rises in sea levels, well within human life spans. But it’s after midnight, and I need sleep, so yeah.

        • Jeremy Harris 7.1.2.1

          That’s not true as I understand it, feedbacks were included in the IPCC AR4 report, it how you get predictions of 1.1 to 6.4 degrees of change to 2100 when lab tests show that without feedbacks a doubling of CO2 concentrations equates to about a 1 degree rise in temp in a log curve…

          • NickS 7.1.2.1.1

            Right /d’oh

            Though I’d need to dig around in the modelling stuff tomorrow to see the uncertainties involved, because iirc the IPCC scenarios don’t assume large positive feedback loops postulated by some climatologists that don’t respond linearly to reductions in atmospheric carbon.

          • lprent 7.1.2.1.2

            Only a few of the better understood ones were, like the extra heat after the sea ice stops reflecting. I think that they have some (low) estimates on gas releases from the permafrost melt. It did not include some of the more hairy ones like methyl hydrates, salination changes in ocean currents, or most of the things that really worry earth scientists.

            I’d have to check the methodology (link please), but I’m pretty sure that your lab tests are wrong if only because you cannot easily simulate tens of kilometers of atmosphere in a lab. Remember that the actual physical effect of co2 is that it lowers the energy of light. Thereby making it harder for that energy to escape the atmosphere. But the whole thing s a probalistic statistical process based on large columns of gas. You can determine the probability of elements of the process in a lab. You cannot detimine the whole air column process in the lab with any degree of certainty.

            This sounds like another stupid misinterpretation. The type so beloved by idiots like Watts or the potty peer

            • Jeremy Harris 7.1.2.1.2.1

              I’d have to check the methodology (link please),

              Would you trust the IPCC..?

              http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Book_chapters/Rahmstorf_Zedillo_2008.pdf

              Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1°C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed.14

              14. IPCC, Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report.

              The generally accepted equation leads to about a 1.1 degree change with a doubling of CO2 and with no forcing, which is how I assumed the IPCC came up with their lower level estimate… So not a stupid misintrepretation actually…

              • lprent

                Yeah I thought so. You didn’t read it correctly. It is not (my bold)

                …when lab tests show that without feedbacks a doubling of CO2 concentrations..

                You are quite imprecise – it is not “lab tests”, it is a calculation from the physics and the knowledge of the air column. The relevant paragraph in FULL (you missed the relevant bit with selective quoting) is (again my bold)

                One method consists of using radiative forcing (that is, the change in radiation budget in watts per square meter, W/m2), combined with information on the strength of physical feedbacks, to compute the expected temperature change. That is what Arrhenius did with pencil and paper; today, detailed calculations employing computer models are used in order to account for all the feedbacks. Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1°C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed.14

                As I said..

                But the whole thing s a probalistic statistical process based on large columns of gas. You can determine the probability of elements of the process in a lab. You cannot detimine the whole air column process in the lab with any degree of certainty.

                To say that it is a value from a “lab test” means that they tested a calculation in the laboratory under controlled conditions. But they cannot do that where there is a air column that is kilometers high. In this case some elements of the calculation come from controlled condition lab tests, but the totality of the calculation is quite theoretical calculated based on a theoretical averaging of the air-column. It obviously cannot be tested in the real world because of the feedbacks and varying conditions that exist in the real world.

                If you don’t think it is important to be precise on how the process of how things are figured out, then you don’t understand science.

                • Jeremy Harris

                  If you don’t think it is important to be precise on how the process of how things are figured out, then you don’t understand science.

                  It’s a calculation extrapolated from lab tests, so when I’m writing a single sentence riposte to the statement;

                  Except for the annoying issue of no having worked out the positive and negative feedback loops to the point where they can be included in the IPCC reports.

                  is perfectly justifable to use the term “lab tests”… As much as you’d like to think it is your blog isn’t a scientific authority, I’m not writing a thesis and I understand the scientific process perfectly fine having studied a branch of it at one of the top 50 universities in the world (which I believe the UoA still is and certainly was when I was there)…

        • lprent 7.1.2.2

          They did include some permafrost melt CO2 release, but from memory didn’t include methane because of the biological colonization dependency.

          I’m picking a significiant ice melt sea level rise within my remaining lifetime ( unless I die early ). There are too many potential gotchas in what we know about large ice mass loss. The observed values of mass wasting in both Greenland and the WAIS are too high for most existing theories. It was the same problem for the antarticia peninsula. Everything there is happening way way too fast for even the most pessimistic of theories.

  8. swimmer 8

    We should be embracing this and turning New Zealand into a Venice like paradise with gondolas instead of cars. Hydroponics will be our horticulture and water our export. Turbines will create our “motorways” along vast aqueducts that split off into waterslides that take people into their suburbs. 🙂

  9. MrSmith 9

    Climate Change

    This subject fascinates me mainly because everyone I talk to seems to think it is not happening or it’s just another apocalyptic scam. Now just about everybody I talk to has there head still stuck firmly up there ass though, I have read a lot about Climate change over the years it is fascinating science. I love science and the way it works, science has brought you just about everything you possess today plus your health but when these guys come up with an idea that will cost you money or more to the point cost the oil companies and car manufactures money we don’t like it , So we want to have a little cry and say that’s not true go away. If anyone here has a better theory why the earth is warming I’d like to here it! but you see know-one has come up with a better theory so maybe we should all just pray to santa/jesus then!

    • Better dumb it down a bit MrS, most people are incapable of listening to, let alone understanding logic.

    • Jeremy Harris 9.2

      @Mr Smith, I guess the major alternatives currently offered are:

      – It’s largely natural
      – It’s the sun
      – It was the CFC’s fault

      • Oscar 9.2.1

        To an extent, it was the CFCs fault. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have a holey ozone.
        The sun is getting hotter. It is a star after all,its what it does.
        It’s been well publicised that the carbon dioxide traps heat,but what it doesn’t mention is that it’s a very good deflector shield for the suns heat. The more CO2 there is, the more the suns heat is deflected. Venus shows us what it’s like with 97% C02. Sure, it’s hot as hell, but if life can survive on Arsenic, it also survives on sulfuric acid. In fact, it does!
        We can get C02 up to about 40%, and plant forests where none exist, the trees will soak up the CO2, and supply us with O2 – which only makes up 16% of the atmosphere. We can increase that level with the planting of more trees. We can still tolerate that level of C02 as it’s still way above our head height.
        Then the new lands that rise will get new forests from the birds migrating there, and building a subsoil – again over thousands of years – they will start sucking out the CO2, new caps form elsewhere, rinse and repeat.
        Except this time, those pesky humans are trying to affect natures cycles.

        Englands got the best localised shield, so it’s about to get a 1000 year winter.

        • NickS 9.2.1.1

          I have to say it, you’re worse than Andrei.

          To an extent, it was the CFCs fault. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have a holey ozone.

          Ozone only absorbs UV wavelength photons strongly, it’s IR transparent, and pray tell, how the flaming heck does the ozone hole = warming? i.e. absorption specta for ozone please.

          The sun is getting hotter. It is a star after all,its what it does.

          lolwut?

          The time frame for such increases in temperatures is hundreds of millions of years in the future, and current measurements of the sun’s output put us in a solar minima, along with the scientific evidence on climate forcings showing that the sun hasn’t played a role in recent warming and that in the longterm is mostly small orbital changes which bring about colder periods.

          It’s been well publicised that the carbon dioxide traps heat,but what it doesn’t mention is that it’s a very good deflector shield for the suns heat. The more CO2 there is, the more the suns heat is deflected.

          [Citation Needed]

          And on Venus it’s the sulphuric acid clouds that reflect the heat, not the fucking CO2.

          re, it’s hot as hell, but if life can survive on Arsenic, it also survives on sulfuric acid. In fact, it does!

          GFAJ-1? The massive fuck up? Protip; arsenic based life is still science fantasy.

          As for life on Venus, it’s utterly speculative at this stage and would only be single celled organisms with a fairly simple ecology, rather than the huge complexity we have on Earth in just a handful of topsoil.

          We can get C02 up to about 40%, and plant forests where none exist, the trees will soak up the CO2, and supply us with O2 – which only makes up 16% of the atmosphere. We can increase that level with the planting of more trees. We can still tolerate that level of C02 as it’s still way above our head height.

          Lol-fucking-wat?

          CO2 is mixed through out the atmosphere, it doesn’t merely stay down low, unless some idiot’s set off a major dry ice bomb in a sealed room, that and as temperatures increase, without enough water, plants rates of carbon fixation bottom out due to heat stress. That and the majority of the atmosphere’s O2 comes not from terrestrial sources, but from phytoplankton in teh ocean you ignoramus.

          Except this time, those pesky humans are trying to affect natures cycles.

          We’ve been doing it even since we started burning down forests, clearing and draining land, and generally altering local and regional microclimates with knock on wider scale effects. And all without fucking realising it.

          The rest, I can’t be arsed with.

          • Oscar 9.2.1.1.1

            I mention the CFCs as in the 70’s when the ozone was only just starting to be explored, we discovered the hole(s) in the ozone. One in the north, one in the south.

            However, it’s entirely possible that these holes were in existence long before we discovered them.
            As is natural for humans, when we don’t understand something, we search for a scapegoat. CFCs it was.
            Whos to say that the ozone holes didn’t exist beforehand? No one can disprove that theory as generally speaking, the holes are closer to the poles, and who lives there? Ice deposits have shown radiation levels going back thousands of years. Entirely plausible the radiation comes through the natural holes.

            It’s not orbital periods that bring about warming, it’s the changing magnetic poles. The north pole has shifted by 3 degrees lat and 4degrees long in the last 10 years alone. It’s going to keep moving.
            Eventually, the new south pole will be where England is. Don’t believe me? Believe the ancient pyroclastic flows that somehow switch their flow from N-S to S-N ad infinitum throughout Earths history.
            How else to explain the fact that that entire NW area of Europe and England is getting colder, and experiencing longer winters?

            No, I’m simply using the example of life living on sulfuric acid is possible – even if things living on arsenic is false or lab manipulated.

            As for CO2 being dispersed through the atmosphere, of course it is. I use the head height analogy because simple minded folk like yourself, understand simple things. Carbon rises, oxygen sinks. Same effect in a house fire. You stay close to the ground to keep breathing – as it is on Earth. Except in our case, we’ve got a long way to go before we even start getting close to running out of O2. The trees will die before us.

            All without fucking realising it – indeed. Now we realise it, occams razor dictates that we’re speeding up a long evolutionary natural process of earth. Ice caps have ALWAYS melted and reformed. This time’s no different.

            All the climatic theories about rising sea levels fail to take into account
            1) warming water turns to steam
            2) rises are more pronounced at equatorial level
            3) faster melting ice caps = faster rising land as in Greenland
            4) Geological time spans mean we still have a good 200+ years to deal with climate change refugees.

            Think you’re fucking King Canute do you? How about you try and do what he couldn’t.

            Humans have an extraordinary ability to adapt. We need to adapt to the changing of the poles, the ice caps, the meltwater, and adapt for the few million people that are going to need rehoming in the next 2 centuries, all the while ensuring that we don’t fry for want of an atmosphere.
            How the fuck else are we protected from the sun if we don’t have an atmosphere? The thicker the better for life. Venus has had it’s atmosphere forming over thousands of years. Here we are trying to destroy our one.

            • NickS 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I mention the CFCs as in the 70′s when the ozone was only just starting to be explored, we discovered the hole(s) in the ozone. One in the north, one in the south.

              Lolwut?

              To an extent, it was the CFCs fault. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have a holey ozone.

              Confirmation please on just what the fuck you trying to say, because it strongly looks as though you’re blaming climate change on the ozone holes.

              However, it’s entirely possible that these holes were in existence long before we discovered them.

              /facepalm

              As is natural for humans, when we don’t understand something, we search for a scapegoat. CFCs it was.

              The stupid, it burns.

              Or, it was noticed that there where increases in UV levels at the poles and higher latitudes in the south, and that lab work in the late 70’s with CFC’s showed that they catalyse the breakdown of ozone, and later on, that they do so rather more efficiently when there’s ice crystals to provide a reaction surface + concentrate CFC’s. Like there is in high polar ice clouds:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_depletion

              Whos to say that the ozone holes didn’t exist beforehand? No one can disprove that theory as generally speaking, the holes are closer to the poles, and who lives there? Ice deposits have shown radiation levels going back thousands of years. Entirely plausible the radiation comes through the natural holes.

              UV is not fucking cosmic radiation you ignorant douchebag, which leaves recognisable traces in the ice, and due to the earth’s magnetic field are actually attracted towards the poles.

              Also, given CFC’s don’t have a biosynthetic pathway, or produced by abiotic chemistry, prior ozone depletion would be only due to changes in solar electromagnetic radiation output, since UV levels govern the formation of ozone in the first place. Coupled with historical observations and the prior chemistry research, it’s thus obvious that the ozone hole is entirely caused by anthropogenic releases of CFC’s and nothing else. Thus to suggest otherwise, indicates possibly profound ignorance about the science, or even a priori ideological blinkers.

              So yeah, you sound just like a creationist claiming something couldn’t have possibly evolved on the basis of your own profound ignorance and inability to research.

              • lprent

                Are you still playing with Oscar? I’ve given up as he seems to be incapable of anything apart from cant, and has some of the weirdest and least thought out ideas I’ve seen for a while.

                Some of the greenhouse gases are CFC’s and a couple of artificial gases. Some are extremely powerful greenhouse gases. But they either have a very short residence time in the atmosphere or have a low volume/effect/longevity. They’re steadily being phased out anyway. Their nett effect is virtually nothing on climate change compared to CH4 and nothing compared to CO2.

                I suspect that O has read this somewhere and then conflated ozone holes with climate change.

  10. erentz 10

    Exactly why there’s no point fussing about the seabed and foreshore legislation.

    In seriousness — how accurately can the latest science predict sea level rise under whatever scenario these days? It’d be good if it were at the point where we could say with business as usual where it lays on a curve say at 2050 and 2100, so we could plot every address that will be affected under the most likely scenarios, and mail the people, tell them, and ask them what they want the government to do a) build a big dam if it happens to protect my home, assuming they can get the money from somewhere and the world isn’t in crisis, b) introduce carbon tax, c) etc…

    Also — how does one go about getting questions added to the Census? We’ve got one coming up soon and I would like to add one that asks peoples position on climate change, do they accept the science, deny the science, or something like that… I think this is perfectly valid use of the census.

    • SjS 10.1

      To your first question – working out whose homes are going to be affected in already underway in most regions in NZ, as local government has an onus under the LGA, RMA and BA, as well as LGOIMA (when issuing LIMs), to identify natural hazards (coastal erosion caused by sea level rise is considered to be a natural hazard). Council’s are already updating the extent of coastal hazard areas to reflect the MfE’s sea level rise guidelines (0.9m by 2100 I think), and this information will be passed on to landowners through LIMs, etc. The Government is also working on a National Environmental Standard for sea level rise. The bun-fight will begin when having these designations on coastal land devalues over-priced baches, however, the processes that create these changes do not require compensation to landowners (refer s.85 of the RMA).

      Re your second question – not likely. The purpose of the census is to gather demographic information, it’s not an opinion poll. What you’re talking about could be achieved through a much smaller survey of people’s opinions on climate change (depending on what confidence you sought, you may only need a few thousand respondents to get a representative sample of the NZ population). Another means is a citizen’s initiated referendum.

      • erentz 10.1.1

        CIR might be a good one, hard to organise though when its serious and meaningful. All of them so far have been a pointless waste of peoples time.

        Re demographics: We ask people what mythical gods they believe in. I think understanding the people’s education level and position on science is important information for running a country. It would tell me that I need to look at the education curriculum to incorporate more critical thinking training, teaching of problem solving methods, etc from an early age.

  11. grumpy 11

    This is bullshit, there is a rock at a mate’s bach in the sounds that we used at low tide to get into the dinghy, it’s still the same height above water level at dead low tide that it was 40 years ago!

    • MrSmith 11.1

      Take a look at this from the Ministry of the environment Grumpy : http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/climate/adaptation/sea-level-rise.html

      Here is another couple of analogies to think about .

      “uncertainty is not your friend” it’s a logical fallacy that any degree of doubt necessitates inaction. We all have insurance policies. We’d almost all take the advice of the 9 specialists who recommended immediate surgery to stave off death within weeks over the one who says ‘ah, but it hasn’t actually grown for a week and a half now; just let the tumour go to see what it does for a couple of months – who knows, perhaps it will heal itself?’

      P/S Grumpy: I think you will find the marlborough sounds is the only part of NZ that is slowly sinking as well . Sorry about that, maybe we will run into each other in the sounds one day and can have a laugh & a beer .

  12. dewithiel 12

    @ Grumpy

    And your PhD is in? And you’ve published your empirical observation and analysis on the height of the rock at your mate’s bach in what peer-reviewed scientific journal thus helping us understand what is happening to the climate?

  13. grumpy 13

    I don\’t need a PhD to tell me that the sea level hasn\’t risen a scrap in the last 40 years. FFS, some of these PhD types need to get out more!

    • NickS 13.1

      Fuck you’re stupid.

      One of the problems with the human brain is that it sucks at picking up long term, small changes. Which is one of the reasons why we have statistical tools for these out and working out if it’s due to chance or not on the basis of how much variation is in the data. And given that the sea level rise due to ice loss and thermal expansion is in the millimetre/year ranges, it’s no wonder you haven’t noticed a fucking change, because it occurs to slowly for you to notice via causal observation.

      • Oscar 13.1.1

        So why does thermal expansion affect sea level rises?

        Water volume by cubic metre shrinks as it warms – not expands. Icemelt will raise sea level, but thermal heating means just as much, if not more, is lost through evaporation.

        More about thermic expansion here

        • NickS 13.1.1.1

          /facepalm

          It’s clearly a positive increase in volume from 4-100°C, as a negative value isnt “- x” it’s “-x” you mathematically illiterate twit. An increase of 4.2x^10-2, which while very small in terms of increase per degree, on a the scale of oceans it works out to millimetres of expansion.

          It’s incredibly basic thermodynamics, that generally as the temperature of a substance rises, the movement of each individual atom increases, which leads to expansion as the atoms/molecules bounce of each other.

          • oscar 13.1.1.1.1

            so explain then, how and why volume increases when it gets to over 100 degrees, considering the fact water turns to vapour at this point.
            Its not the volume thats important, it’s the density of water.

            • NickS 13.1.1.1.1.1

              /facepalm

              Density = Volume/Mass
              Therefore, increase in volume with temperature = a decrease in density.

              Which obviously occurs across the scale from 4-100°C, i.e. each increase in temperature = x increase in volume and a corresponding y decrease in density. Oh utterly blockheaded one.

            • Macro 13.1.1.1.1.2

              @oscar
              OMG!! Are you for real, or are you just trying to be funny?
              I wonder where you got your science education from?
              I have never read such utter tripe in all my life.

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