So I got food poisoning yesterday. Serves me right for using mayonnaise from a street vendor I suppose. In any case, that meant two things. First, it meant that I spent quite a while in my washroom reading Six Degrees (a book about climate change) among other unpleasant things, and I was up late watching the BBC Planet Earth special on polar regions…
Err, let me also say that I'm crazy tired so I hope I haven't made any glaring errors.
If our global temperature rises by about two degrees (400 – 500 ppm of CO2), which is the current “best case” scenario projected by most science folks, it's being proposed that this could totally melt the southern glaciers (if the temperature is sustained — other projections suggest that we'd have to add a few more degrees to see this happen), which means that a four mile thick pile of ice the size of the United States gets poured into the ocean. Outside of the other hellish things that would happen, this means twenty five to seventy metres of sealevel increase… I was wondering what that would look like so I downloaded a bunch of topographical maps…
- Topographical (current)
- Topographical (future)
- Vegetation (future)
- Vegetation (future, with current continents' outlines)
Since that level of climate change displaces the vast majority of the world's major cities, I guess we'll see massive war and resource conflict do us in long before, but yeah… it's definitely an interesting period to live through (if we live through it), isn't it?