Sunday, March 05, 2006

Waters of Babylon

The good news is that huge new areas of coastal playland will become available upon which the slimy rich will put up new vacation-get-away dachas. But the bad news is that other areas will be adversly affected by rising sea levels and climatic instability.

This nice new real estate will be on the lovely continent of Antarctica, already noted for its fine five-star amenities and friendly and colorful locals.

"Those same areas have lost an estimated 5,500 square miles of ice in the last 30 years, calving icebergs the size of Belgium and Rhode Island. In 2002, an entire ice shelf collapsed into the sea.

But the newest work signals a broader loss across the entire continent — an amount equal to more than 13% of the annual sea level rise measured in recent years, the researchers said. The shrinkage is concentrated in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which has enough fresh water to raise sea levels more than 20 feet."

That's a lotta feet. Way too many for other coastal places. So say good-bye to Venice.

And Boston.

"Their research shows that over the next century, damage to residential, commercial and industrial buildings and their contents in metropolitan Boston (an area stretching from Ipswich to Duxbury) could exceed $20 billion, depending on how the city responds to rising sea levels. Costs could run as high as $94 billion, if climate weather conditions are more severe than expected."

Say good-bye to Florida and Louisiana. What's left of Louisiana, that is.

"Moreover, a rise in sea level would increase the exposure of many communities to storm waves. This poses a significant threat to low-lying urban areas. At particular risk would be many areas of southern Louisiana and Florida -- the highest point in Florida is only 53 feet above sea level, and the Florida Keys are all less than 10 feet above sea level. In addition, the low-lying barrier islands off the North Carolina coast already are highly vulnerable to the damages associated with storm waves, a phenomenon that will experience increasing stress as sea level rises."

Say good-bye to Manhatten.

"At our Global Initiative, which the Mayor mentioned, in New York around the opening of the UN, we were told that insurance losses from severe weather events in the last 10 years were triple those of any previous decade in history. And I know that if the climate warms for the next 50 years at the rate of the last 10, rising sea levels in the North Atlantic will claim at least 50 feet of Manhatten Island. It might good for the value of the real estate that is left there, but it will be a very bad thing indeed. It will be a harbinger of changing of agricultural production patterns, millions of food refugees created throughout the world, intense disruptions."

It just gets worse. Say good-bye to Beacon's Beach, too. Right sad, the loss of that.


Eli Blake said...

But Shrimplate, look at it this way:

You and I won't have to go down to Rocky Point anymore, we can just go to somewhere around Yuma.

enigma4ever said...

but we all need beaches...don't we? great post...but still sad.

I just saw that you have Nurse Blogs- good for you...good work...

( nurse too)