iLocal News Archives

The Editor Speaks: Shouldn’t the sea level rise worry us?

“The Antarctic Ice Sheet is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. Here we combine satellite observations of its changing volume, flow and gravitational attraction with modelling of its surface mass balance to show that it lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, which corresponds to an increase in mean sea level of 7.6 ± 3.9 millimetres (errors are one standard deviation). Over this period, ocean-driven melting has caused rates of ice loss from West Antarctica to increase from 53 ± 29 billion to 159 ± 26 billion tonnes per year; ice-shelf collapse has increased the rate of ice loss from the Antarctic Peninsula from 7 ± 13 billion to 33 ± 16 billion tonnes per year. We find large variations in and among model estimates of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment for East Antarctica, with its average rate of mass gain over the period 1992–2017 (5 ± 46 billion tonnes per year) being the least certain.”


In an article published in The Guardian UK it states “Climate change study predicts ‘staggering impact’ of swelling oceans on coastal communities within next 30 years”.

“Sea level rise driven by climate change is set to pose an existential crisis to many US coastal communities, with new research finding that as many as 311,000 homes face being flooded every two weeks within the next 30 years.”

“The swelling oceans are forecast repeatedly to soak coastal residences collectively worth $120bn by 2045 if greenhouse gas emissions are not severely curtailed, experts warn. This will potentially inflict a huge financial and emotional toll on the half a million Americans who live in the properties at risk of having their basements, backyards, garages or living rooms inundated every other week.”

‘“Unfortunately, in the years ahead many coastal communities will face declining property values as risk perceptions catch up with reality,” said Rachel Cleetus, an economist and climate policy director at UCS. “In contrast with previous housing market crashes, values of properties chronically inundated due to sea level rise are unlikely to recover and will only continue to go further underwater, literally and figuratively.”’

“The oceans are rising by about 3mm a year due to the thermal expansion of seawater that’s warming because of the burning of fossil fuels by humans. The melting of massive glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica is also pushing up the seas – Nasa announced last week that the amount of ice lost annually from Antarctica has tripled since 2012 to an enormous 241bn tons a year.”


For a lot of the above you can easily change ‘USA’ to ‘Grand Cayman’.

However, no one locally seems to be worried about it.

There are absolutely no policies in place or even mooted by government to raise the ground floor levels of coastal properties or better still prohibit any more building of such.

All that ice the Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing by climate warming and going into the sea is surely something we should be concerned about?

And don’t think the worry is a long time off. At present these ice losses are causing sea levels to rise faster than at any time in the past 25 years!

It is getting worse.

Isn’t it time we woke up and start planning NOW?!

I expect the Insurance Companies are already making plans. Expensive ones for all those persons who own dwellings on the coast.



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