1982 Forecast – 10 Feet Of Sea Level Rise Per Century – Whole World Below Sea Level

Your Aug. 3 editorial ”Waiting for the Greenhouse Effect” poses an implicit question: Given the length of time for greenhouse effects even to be measurable and the immense uncertainty about the extent of the threat, how are people likely to respond?

Based on speculations of a former colleague, Ronald G. Ridker, I suggest the response will be to allow carbon dioxide to build up and to adjust only as its effects are felt. This could lead to disaster.

Consider how coastal populations are likely to adjust to a slow but inevitable rise in sea level. Such a rise may proceed by only 10 feet or less each century, but if all the water now trapped as ice in Greenland and Antarctica were added to the oceans, the sea level eventually could rise by perhaps as much as 100 feet.

Only two responses to this situation appear possible: low-lying lands can be evacuated or seawalls and dikes can be built. Given the slowness of the change and the tendency to give more weight to current than to future consequences, seawalls and dikes are all but certain. And once built, it will appear cheaper to make them a bit thicker and higher than to evacuate an area.

Eventually, much of the human race could find itself living below sea level, with the probability of a catastrophic breach in the dikes growing over the centuries.

Under such conditions, a repetition of the legendary sinking of Atlantis is highly probable. Only the date of the event is uncertain. Adjusting incrementally to slow changes in temperature, as they come along, may be the worst thing that we can do. Adaptability normally is a distinctive human strength, but in this case it could well be self-destructive.

KENT A. PRICE, Washington, Aug. 3, 1982



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15 Responses to 1982 Forecast – 10 Feet Of Sea Level Rise Per Century – Whole World Below Sea Level

  1. Using the estimate of 10 feet per century, the sea level should have risen by over 3 feet since 1982. It hasn’t!

  2. I got a scare when I misread the headline as Whole Foods Below Sea Level …

  3. John F. Hultquist says:

    Like cAGW, Atlantis is a myth.
    But Kent A. Price seems to have sunk beneath the surface after his letter.

    • Robertv says:

      The past is not how they tell us. Something BIG happened. Atlantis more than a city or town could have been the complete worldwide civilization.

  4. tomwys says:

    We’ve seen SLR of less than 2 INCHES in the past 25 years. At best, we might see 10 inches (not feet) per century, and even that can turn to less than half under certain conditions.

    The 10 foot estimate was wrong in 1982, it still is wrong today!!!

    • Gail Combs says:

      Let me repeat:
      SEA Level has FALLEN since written history began!

      “Southeast Vietnam beachrocks reveal that the mid-Holocene sea-level highstand slightly above + 1.4 m was reached between 6.7 and 5.0 ka, with a peak value close to + 1.5 m around 6.0 ka….” link

      “Unconsolidated carbonate sands and cobbles on Kapapa Island, windward Oahu, are 1.4-2.8 (+ or – 0.25) m above present mean sea level (msl)…. Calibrated ages range from 2755-2671 to 3757-3580 cal. yr B.P. (averaging c. 3100 cal. yr B.P.) suggesting that a higher than present sea level formed the notch prior to 3757-3580 cal. yr B.P….” link

  5. David A says:

    Give the poor man a break. He said by 10′ “or less” thus he guaranteed an accurate statement. In Fact he can now break that his prediction was perfectly correct.

    • there is no substitute for victory says:

      In fact with a prediction like that one if sea levels FELL by 10′ per Century he could still win a Teddy bear.

  6. Jason Calley says:

    Not only are the individual predictions often ambiguous (“We could get 10 feet of rise! Or not…”) but the so-called “climatologists”, as a group, are not specific. One “scientist” predicts 10 feet (or less) rise in a century, another predicts 100. One scientist predicts an ice free Arctic in 2012, another predicts 2060. One scientist predicts massive drought and an end to snow, another predicts floods and cold weather. No matter what happens the CAGW cultists point to the closest “prediction” and claim vindication.

    It is amazing how the predictions are all over the board — and still, the CAGW crowd claims that the science is settled and that there is a consensus! They have no shame, the classic hallmark of the sociopathic liar — which explains why they are immune to both facts and reason.

  7. Justa Joe says:

    Doesn’t one have to take a step back and consider how far fetched it is that mankind’s in the big scheme of things rather small CO2 contribution could cause the planet to be completely flooded? Wasn’t all this “fossilized” carbon once on the Earth’s surface?

    • Gail Combs says:

      Yes, It is why most honest geologists laugh their heads off at the idea of CAGW.

      Mankind does not even rate flea on the rump of a mammoth status when you have studied the massive forces that cause entire continents to move around on the earth.

  8. Pathway says:

    Adapt or die.

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