Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stacking Marbles, piling up water.

Only a few days after the Carolina's outlawed sea level rise guess what?  A report comes out of recent history of mid-atlantic states sea level.   The outlawing of projections failed to outlaw historical data.  Big mistake failing to outlaw historical information.

Turns out the ocean has risen at a rate higher than had been projected by previous models.  So, the deniers are right (sort of), the models make mistakes, the sea level rise is double what it is in other parts of the world.  Not good news since the projections now pointing to sea level rises worldwide now have regional projections, and right where it's against the law to rise, it's projected to grow even more than elsewhere.

How can water be taller in one area than another.  Simple, water can pile up.  I use to live on the Mosel River in Germany, a big, deep, fast moving river.  Set down near the water and you can see it boil up and roll, actual hills in the water for a few seconds.  You can see it the same thing in a hot tube, where the current hits the wall or still water, the surface bulges upward.  The ocean works like that except in vast areas.  The northbound current along the US Atlantic coast is slowing (it's measured, and for some reason it is slowing) in the mid Atlantic region, the water is piling up as more from the south is pushed in, it's several millimeters higher than other parts of the ocean.  Also it is warming in that area, perhaps related to the slowing.  Warm water expands, adding to the hump in the ocean.

A few inches, so what?  Put those few inches on top of the next few years worth of storm surges (a wind driven lump of water) and you have trillions of gallons of water added to the punishment already headed for the "we don't need no stinking science coast".  Stacking marbles may be impossible, but piling up water, that can be done.

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