Saturday, March 10, 2007

More sea level rise toys

Eli has posted previously about interactive models for looking at the effects of sea level rise. A recent article in EOS, the membership journal of the AGU (pay the damn $20 and join already you get EOS and Physics Today) by Rowley, Kostelnick, Braaten, Li and Meisel of the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets at U Kansas brings us an up to date version based on Google Earth with stunning graphics. Watch what happens to Miami when the ice caps go.

The denialist
blotoads sing about how India and China are not restricted by Kyoto so why should the US do something are ignoring a basic truth which is captured in the tables accompanying the article. The Indian and Chinese governments are not.

South Asia East Asia
Sea Level Rise/m Inundated Area/1000 km^2 Population AffectedInundated Area/1000 km^2 Population Affected
1 26.67 10,633,75215.25 11,198,407
2 43.48 24,862,41626.13 25,107,112
3 63.10 40,199,42045.26 41,883,924
4 103.94 71,463,57663.68 58,662,000
5 125.33 89,797,16888.50 78,512,872
6 143.29 103,521,560103.26 94,926,888

Rowley, et al. lose points for significant figures (Ch. 1 in Brown and LeMay), and true, inundating South Florida and Louisiana at 6 m only affects about 20 million people, but it plays hell with the real estate market.


Anonymous said...

"significant figures"?

Doesn't that depend on your point of view?

If it were someone in your own family, I bet you would consider them significant.

EliRabett said...

At the risk of falling into a trap, significant figures means the precision with which you can determine something. It is totally unlikely to think that you could determine the number of people affected to one person because people are always moving, being born and dying plus which you have the issue of exactly which houses will be affected on the edge of the flooded area. I would estimate the available precision to be of the order of 100,000 or so. Thus you could reasonably say that 9.5 million people would be affected but 9,504,345 is meaningless beyond the first to numbers.

It's the first thing you teach in general chemistry. Here is a tutorial if you want to know more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, but I was being facetious.

EliRabett said...

Sorry. OTOH I've finished my first lecture for next year: Go read the website at Purdue and do the homework, see you tomorrow....(also kidding, I use it already)

Anonymous said...

inundating South Florida and Louisiana at 6 m only affects about 20 million people,"

Hey, I can see worrying about Florida cuz that's where Jeb and Catherine live (and we can't have the future of our country submerged now can we?) but who gives a rats pitooti about Louisiana? (and South and east Asia)

Just a bunch of poor, non-white, stupid people (forgive the redundancy) living there who don't know enough to get out of the way* when a storm comes.

"How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane." -- Newt Gingrich

Perhaps we can convince Newt to moving to South Florida by telling him their's a lot of hot, affair-loving chicks down there (we won't tell him they are all pushing 80)