Which of these characters, you wonder, is the most absurd choice to symbolize the global war on climate change?
At first glance, perhaps, it ought to be ‘Red’. ‘Red’, after all, is nothing but a cartoon character from a popular video game and has never, either in his gaming or his spin-off movie career, shown the slightest interest in anthropogenic global warming theory, carbon emissions or sustainability. That’s because his only real interest is in saving eggs from pigs.
Then again, being a fictional character who doesn’t exist in real life, you could argue that Red is the perfect metaphor for climate change – which shares every one of these characteristics.
Scientists in the Netherlands have found a new excuse as to why sea levels are stubbornly refusing to rise in line with Al Gore’s doomsday predictions: “ocean bottom deformation.”
Apparently, they claim in a study by Thomas Frederikse et al, the weight of the extra water caused by all those melting glaciers and icecaps is so great that it is causing the sea bed to sink.
Their paper – titled ‘Ocean Bottom Deformation Due To Present-Day Mass Redistribution and Its Impact on Sea Level Observations’ – is published in Geophysical Research Letters.Here is the abstract:
Present-day mass redistribution increases the total ocean mass and, on average, causes the ocean bottom to subside elastically. Therefore, barystatic sea level rise is larger than the resulting global mean geocentric sea level rise, observed by satellite altimetry and GPS-corrected tide gauges. We use realistic estimates of mass redistribution from ice mass loss and land water storage to quantify the resulting ocean bottom deformation and its effect on global and regional ocean volume change estimates. Over 1993–2014, the resulting globally averaged geocentric sea level change is 8% smaller than the barystatic contribution. Over the altimetry domain, the difference is about 5%, and due to this effect, barystatic sea level rise will be underestimated by more than 0.1 mm/yr over 1993–2014. Regional differences are often larger: up to 1 mm/yr over the Arctic Ocean and 0.4 mm/yr in the South Pacific. Ocean bottom deformation should be considered when regional sea level changes are observed in a geocentric reference frame.
What this means is that seas are expanding much faster than is shown either by satellite altimetry or tide gauges. We just can’t see it because it’s happening, unnoticed, on the deep sea beds.