Total Pageviews

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Working 5 to 9: Chemical Data From Forams Predict Sea Level Rise of Five to NINE Meters

      A friend from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent this article by Scott K. Johnson to several of us on his contact list. He wants to be sure the word gets out. The article, published 1/23/17, discusses past, present, and future sea level rise based on chemical data from rock cores from around the world. 

       Thus, in the spirit of rogue US National Park rangers, I am spreading the word. You can read more about and sign up for updates from the "Alternate National Park Service" here.

        Researchers at Oregon State University led by Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, collected 104 individual sea surface temperature records from 83 different sediment cores. Each record is based on a "chemical proxy" known to relate to water temperature, like the ratio of magnesium to calcium in the shells of foraminifera.

         A lot of the complicated work involved is precisely lining up each core record onto one timeline, synced to ice core records, and carefully calculating the uncertainties (much like lining up wood cores in dendrochronology).

       The article notes that our sea temperature is now about the same as it was 120,000 years ago during the last interglacial heat maximum. Based on the rock record, the oceans were then 6 to 9 meters (19.5 to 29.5 feet) higher than present time.   

     "If the planet stopped warming and stayed where it is today, the past gives us an idea of how much sea level rise we could expect to see in the long-term future. It would take much more than a century to complete that rise, but we are looking at well over five meters rise in elevation in the ocean." {This link lets you look at sea level rise at various levels around the world.}

     DT, are you sure you and your heirs want to keep staying in Manhattan when this happens? Could it be that glacial ice is giving you a hand signal that we all (including you) really need to attend to now?!

Keep rising up, scientists and writers! 

P.S. I just ordered a "RESIST" t-shirt for $11 from, designed by my friend's nephew. It's important to be a resistor now more than ever. . .


  1. Ohm, man, I'm gonna wear that RESIST t-shirt the next time I take the Wheatstone bridge from the Bronx to Long Island!

    1. (Looks like that bridge will be a lot longer, with 5 meters of sea level rise. Those Throgs will be up to their necks!)

    2. Ohm, man, watt are you currently thinking, jan?

      Throgs, or more historically correct as Throggs, eh?

    3. Interestingly, the SUNY Maritime College, seen just west of the northern anchorage of the Throgs Neck Bridge in the photo at that site, gives their address as Throggs Neck. The Wheatstone, er, Whitestone Bridge is a few miles west. The structure just east of the anchorage is Fort Schuyler, named for Alexander Hamilton's father-in-law.

    4. You can't spell "hyperloop" without "hype".

    5. Great song, Paul.

      What (a) boring company (unlike you folks here at Partial Ellipsis of the Sun, of course). . .

    6. walls, tunnels, bridges
      tunnels, bridges, walls
      bridges, walls, tunnels
      bridges, tunnels, walls
      tunnels, walls, bridges
      walls, bridges, tunnels

  2. My wife and I are thinking of adding "ROGUE" to the Junior Ranger badges we collected at Grand Teton, Bryce, and Zion, in solidarity.

    1. Great idea! I'd bet rogue National Park badges would be good fundraisers for the Climate March now set for April 29, 2017.

  3. Five to nine meters of sea level rise, eh? What would a Nobel laureate have to say?

    Come gather ’round people wherever you roam,
    And admit that the waters around you have grown,
    And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone.
    If your time to you is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone,
    For the climate is a-changin’.

    1. There's a reason 6 sets of friends named their children Dylan. . .

      The line it is drawn

      The curse it is cast

      The slow one now

      Will later be fast

      As the present now

      Will later be past

      The order is rapidly fadin’

      And the first one now will later be last

      For the times they are a-changin’

  4. Excellent article by a Google engineer on the BIG PICTURE.

    Friday, the kindergarteners will make clay mountains in plastic tubs, surround them with "ocean" water, add ice cubes and polar bear figurines, and observe what happens.

    Coincidentally (or not) our theme in science this week is BIG PICTURE. . .

    1. Where'd you find Yonatan Zunger? What are his credentials, other than Google Engineer?

    2. A Smith College friend sent it to me, jan.

      Here's Zunger's background, focused on how things work . He started in theoretical physics and changed to engineering.

  5. First look at findings of NASA Twin Study.

    (Incidentally, Scott Kelly graduated from SUNY Maritime College, in Throggs Neck. See above.)

    1. Perla Zuniga's painting is great.

      I shall share the article with my mom and fraternal twin brothers. . .

  6. Dangerous Fruit: Mystery of Deadly Outbreaks in India Is Solved

    This medical mystery story reminded me of an episode of E.R. from 1994, where Dave Malucci, who went to med school in Grenada (remember Reagan's invasion?), shows up the Ivy League John Carter by recognizing Jamaican Vomiting Sickness, which he saw in the Caribbean.

    Interesting how a usually harmless fruit becomes deadly under the right conditions. We've talked of such things before.

  7. Replies
    1. The last paragraph of the first article you cited reads "Everyone agreed. And it was done."

  8. Just an obsevation:
    All the newly infused hot-headedness and hot-air on our eastern seaboard is doing nothing to keep the sea level in check.


  9. Upcoming soon: "Dark Sky Communities of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, Colorado: A Real Cliff Hanger."

    In the meantime, here's < 1 minute of Maizie at Great Sand Dunes National Park on Groundhog Day. We were the only ones in the entire national park (except for the waving park ranger).

  10. Replies
    1. Haha. A groundhog is just a woodchuck with a good P.R. agent. ;-)

      New post on "Dark Skies Communities: Westcliffe/Silver Cliff, Colorado -- A Cliffhanger?" is now, indeed, up.

      Sorry to leave you all (cliff) hanging. . .