Biblical Flood Starting Anew

Abstract: update on Sea Level Rise. The meat of the essay is at the end, in the section “THE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY CATACLYSMIC“.

Heard of The Flood? As in the Bible? Sea level rose 120 meters (400 feet), in the period centered around 10,000 years ago. The cause? More than half of Earth’s ice melted in a few millennia,  During the rest of the early Holocene, the rate of rise of the world’s ocean reached peaks as high as 60  millimeters (2.5 inches) per year. The melting of the ice happened because Earth’s positional and orbital parameters had made northern hemisphere’s summers too warm (most of the ice shields rested on the large continents of the north). Nowadays only two enormous ice shields are left: Greenland and Antarctica.

Those who enjoy catastrophes will love it: we have 75 meters of further sea rise to enjoy pretty soon, on our way to a Jurassic climate (the Jurassic was characterized by gigantic warm shallow seas on top of the continents). Her was the situation in the Miocene, when CO2 was at 500 ppm (where we will be at in ten years, see conclusion below).

Absent Drastic Measures Immediately, This Miocene Antarctica State Will Happen Right Away. In this picture, the WAIS, in front has collapsed, Wilkes and Aurora basins partly so. Google With my full name and the features to find out more.

Absent Drastic Measures Immediately, This Miocene Antarctica State Will Happen Right Away. In this picture, the WAIS, in front has collapsed, Wilkes and Aurora basins partly so. Google With my full name and the features to find out more.

[Even then, that picture from the U.of Mass. did not fully collapse the Aurora Basin, up right, which I expect to collapse first. Maybe they did not drill there, and are just speculating, whereas I have a reasoning on the Totten Glacier, outlet to the Aurora extremely deep basin, which is being quickly undermined as we speak.]

Says the New York Times in “Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries”:

“The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday.

Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling.

The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days.

Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes stranding entire island communities for hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland.”

In a way, this is Biblical justice, perfectly appropriate for a deeply Christian community: America has sinned, being, by far, the most country most guilty in the burning of fossil fuels (and don’t brandish China: this is the place where global plutocrats, mostly of US obedience, have their factories, so that they can escape all regulations, including those trying to abate fossil fuel burning (all European countries have de facto hefty carbon taxes).

The USA is guilty of letting its plutocrats run amok, not just subjugating civilization, unleashing the terrorists, but also, even worse, burning their way through the biosphere. Now the USA has to pay the price. New York Times:

“Such events are just an early harbinger of the coming damage, the new research suggests.

“I think we need a new way to think about most coastal flooding,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, the primary author of one of two related studies released on Monday. “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us. That’s true for most of the coastal floods we now experience.”

In the second study, scientists reconstructed the level of the sea over time and confirmed that it is most likely rising faster than at any point in 28 centuries, with the rate of increase growing sharply over the past century — largely, they found, because of the warming that scientists have said is almost certainly caused by human emissions.

They also confirmed previous forecasts that if emissions were to continue at a high rate over the next few decades, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100.

Experts say the situation would then grow far worse in the 22nd century and beyond, likely requiring the abandonment of many coastal cities.

The findings are yet another indication that the stable climate in which human civilization has flourished for thousands of years, with a largely predictable ocean permitting the growth of great coastal cities, is coming to an end.

“I think we can definitely be confident that sea-level rise is going to continue to accelerate if there’s further warming, which inevitably there will be,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, a professor of ocean physics at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, and co-author of one of the papers, published online Monday by an American journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a report issued to accompany that scientific paper, a climate research and communications organization in Princeton, N.J., Climate Central, used the new findings to calculate that roughly three-quarters of the tidal flood days now occurring in towns along the East Coast would not be happening in the absence of the rise in the sea level caused by human emissions…The change in frequency of those tides is striking. For instance, in the decade from 1955 to 1964 at Annapolis, Md., an instrument called a tide gauge measured 32 days of flooding; in the decade from 2005 to 2014, that jumped to 394 days.”

Four feet by 2100? 1,2 meter? That would be nice; it would give us plenty of time to correct the error of our ways. In truth, we are running out of time. I think a minimum of 40 feet (12 meters) is likely. By the way, we have enough refined knowledge now to know that the “Little Ice Age” between 1400 CE and 1800 CE dropped sea level by 8 centimeters.

THE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY CATACLYSMIC. The United Nations’ IPCC did not include in its computations the possible melting of the ice shields of Greenland and Antarctica. For three reasons: first, it was viewed as impossible, before, at least a few millennia; secondly, there was no mathematical model for the melting; finally, no plausible mechanism was held to be plausible to melt said ice shields.

My reasoning is the exact opposite: first an obvious mechanism for the melting of the ice shields exists: the ice shields can up up to 4 kilometers thick. Thus they press down on the continental crust so much, that much of Greenland and Antarctica is well below sea level. Not by just a few hundred feet, but outright, by kilometers. Deeper than the Grand Canyon. In these gigantic areas, the ice of the ice shields is in direct contact with the continental crust. Those areas are protected by rock thresholds on the margins of the ice shields (where the crust goes back up, because where the ice ends, there is no more weight pressing down on the continent).

Right now, warm water, which is denser at 4Centigrades (40 Fahrenheit), eats at the “grounding lines” of the ice shields where the ice of the shields touches the rock directly. When past the threshold, warm water will be able to drop down on the other side, deeper than the Grand Canyon, and should be able to shock fracture and melt a Texas sized ice shield ice shield in a few decades. That will be found all too soon.

Scientists presently handsomely paid to strike moderates postures will be very “surprised”.

Three scientific papers published in the last two months support my, admittedly drastic, point of view. One observed the collapse of a colossal glacier in northwest Greenland, eaten by a current at one degree C. It was a miniature reproduction of what to expect for entire ice shields. Two others observed the past, and that Antarctica was unstable at 500 ppm CO2. What they did not say is how dramatic the situation was. Indeed, sounding moderate is how they get funded by a benevolent, plutocratically ruled government (and by government, I also mean the corrupt Supreme Court, not just the latest elected buffoons). The scientists who evoked the 500 ppm of CO2 omitted two significant details, where the devil lurks. They claimed that it would take 30 years to get there. That’s not correct; at the present rate, we will add 100 ppm of CO2 within 25 years. But not just that: there are other man-made GreenHouse Gases (GHG): CH4, NOx, Fluorocarbons, etc. All these gases warm up the lower atmosphere much more than CO2. So the correct measurement is not CO2 ppm, but CO2 EQUIVALENT ppm.

We are right now ABOVE 450 ppm in EQUIVALENT CO2, and will be at 500 ppm within ten years. Let’s hope there will be more boats than on the Titanic.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: If anything, the preceding is a conservative estimate. Indeed very serious scientists evaluated already the man-made greenhouse gases at 478 ppm in 2013. This means we will be above 500 ppm in CO2 equivalent within six years, in line with my previous analyses, such as “Ten Years To Catastrophe“. See:

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26 Responses to “Biblical Flood Starting Anew”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Let’s see how many comments there are. It’s only about the end of the world as we know it. Who cares? I mean if it was about some celebrity…

    So you expect just the icesheets to break then?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Escapism is stronger, the stronger the madness. Well warm water has progressed by hundreds of kilometers below the Totten glacier, the threshold of the Aurora basin, Antarctica…

      • Kevin Berger Says:

        TBH, I’ve made avoidance of reality the main axis of my life, on all aspects, this I realized even more sadly only a couple days ago. I’d be an utter hypocrite, blasting escapism.

        But, and that’s a big but, for me as for the world at large, “la réalité, c’est quand on se cogne”.
        No more avoidance, then.

  2. Paul Handover Says:

    Well thank goodness it’s on the forefront of politicians and leaders minds across the world!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Are you tongue in cheek? ;-)? It’s certainly not in the mind of the US Supreme Court, which recently voted for coal!

      • Kevin Berger Says:

        On the plus side, no one is able to turn on a dime as gracefully as the US narratives, especially the ones coming from the “conservatives” side. As soon as the real people, the one who count, start getting hurt, in the here and now, and not in some abstract future, it *will* be on the forefront of politicians and leaders minds across the world!

  3. Nancy Vancouver Says:

    And once the Antarctic ice starts to melt and shrink, ocean currents all over the world will be disrupted.

    Here is a fascinating video of the inter-connectedness of almost everything having to do with the Antarctic ice, including the Sahara and the Amazon rainforest.

    • Paul Handover Says:

      Nancy, just started into that documentary and it looks very interesting. Going to feature it over on Learning from Dogs. Thanks for including it in your response.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Please don’t forget to include my little reasoning that we have at most ten years before total Antarctica instability (because of inertia in the system, that’s a one way trip before we have thermonuclear fusion plants to terraform terra…) This is a point of view I long had, but it is reinforced by scientific papers in the last 3 months. The point is that is not just an opinion, but a reasoning resting on facts.

        • Paul Handover Says:

          Don’t worry, I’ll spell it out. 😀

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Thanks. You always express yourself splendidly. That Antarctica is on the verge of instability is the crucial point, the one our descendants will not forgive anymore then the Germans of the 1930s were forgiven for Nazism. Except, this is worse in how much death and destruction to expect (even the NYT is noticing).

  4. thx1138 Gondwana Says:

    I suggest relocating to colorado

    safe there from rising sea levels

    and pots legal, so you can relax

  5. R2D4 Says:


    Hope you find this as fascinating as did your humble reporter:

    As a child trying to grow up in 50’s American Siberia on the shores of lake Ontario my two favorite books were ‘Wild Animals of North America’ and ‘Indians of the Plains.’ Marvelous National Geographic works of their day.

    The massacre of the millions of Bison in essentially no-time-flat disturbed and puzzled my childlike mind to no end. I was not a clever person, but sensed that this extinction pointed to something gone horribly wrong in an eternal confusion.

    The linked article seems to bring many threads together, hopefully not too late. One could even infer that the many human monsters of history fulfilled a vital role, but urge great caution with such over-simplification.

    Paths of least resistance, being what they are, impose restraints of gigantic magnitude on us human critters.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hello R2D4, and welcome! I have to rush right now (life is intervening!), but I will comment on your comment (much) latter.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi R2D4! I finally found time to read it, as I had problem with the site. Very interesting. There is a common psychology in the wild, indeed. That struck me as a child. I met lions on foot, and, by just acting respectful, they would make way. Why? Because they know human beings are the true gods of the jungle. So fear and other more subtle psychological traits run the wilds. All the way down to reptiles…. And certainly some insects (like wasps)…

      The Bison were killed to starve, and thus kill, the Plains Indians.

  6. De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

    This is all so crazy. It’s as if Nazism was in power, and we were all Jews. I men, billions of people may die, from the wars this is all going to bring. And the scientists drink the kool aid like everybody else, insisting that catastrophe is a generation way, when it has already arrived. I saw pictures on TV of absolute devastation from tornadoes last night, and there was just the most powerful hurricane in the Pacific. Ever

  7. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Azimuth, Feb 26.]

    This means that the Arctic is going to get ever warmer. Then the current bathing glacial thresholds gnaw at said threshold. If the threshold fail, the warm water sink past the threshold, and can quickly dislocate a glacier which previously rested on the ground, well below sea level. This has happened to one of two main outlet glaciers of north-east Greenland (see Science, December 2015).

    But Greenland has only that much ice resting below sea level. Antarctica has huge amounts of that, and when it breaks up, within a decade or so, the “surprise” will be immense.

    I have a number of essays on the subject on my site, detailing various aspects of that problem.

    27 February, 2016 at 5:33 am

    The WAIS, Wilkes Basin and Aurora Basin could start failing within a decade:

  8. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to NYT for Paul Krugman.]
    This is, unfortunately entirely correct. The situation of the biosphere will be decided in the next few years. Right now we are above 404 ppm of CO2, and above 450 ppm, considering all man-made greenhouse gases.

    It is also true that the technology to stop the CO2 rise exists, and needs just to be deployed. A major help to do this would be to price carbon (CO2) emissions. That’s a political decision.

    Scientific papers published in the last three months show that we have at most ten years to stop the CO2 rise. At the present rate, including other man-made CO2 gases such as methane (CH4), nitrogen oxides (NOx), fluorocarbons, etc., the atmosphere will reach 500 ppm in CO2 equivalent density.

    At that density, three Antarctica’s gigantic ice shields which rise on dry rock from below sea level will break up, as warm water sneaks below. That will bring gigantic flooding, worldwide.
    Details in:

  9. Interconnections One. – Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] as this post over on Patrice Ayme’s […]

  10. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Learning From Dogs.]

    Dear Paul: Thanks for republishing me.

    Other scientists (I read the paper yesterday, forgot its coordinates) claim that sea level rise just accelerated to a global average of 4.4 millimeters per year. That an acceleration of 30% since 2010. Now some scientists specialist of global sea level rise (GSLR), predict at least six meters before 2070. They add that the latest numbers show an unexpected acceleration. (GSLR is uneven, by the way; some places experienced more than one inch a year recently, from currents backing up!)

    If my approach is correct (and it is!), we could well get that maybe as early as 2030 (which sounds like science-fiction). I am not saying that it WILL. However, even a few feet by 2040 would be disastrous. The point is that, by the time it’s obvious something is wrong, disintegration will be fast, dramatic, irreversible…

    Think of the disintegration of the Space Shuttle Columbia. There it was hot gases penetrating the wing, unobserved. Now it will be hot water. Yes, hot air, and hot water, can cause lots of damage…

    • Paul Handover Says:

      Paul Handover
      March 1, 2016 at 08:01

      Yes, that to me is the really frightening aspect of this. By the time it’s obvious it will be too late. My son, Alex, is an airline Captain. There’s a saying on the flight deck, “If there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt.” referring to not delaying anything that might have the tiniest effect on flight safety.

      So here we all are flying along on Planet Earth staring at a whole raft of doubts. I have a grandson who will be five this month. I deeply fear for the quality of his life even before he reaches middle age!

      Appreciate your response, Patrice.

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