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Rising Sea Levels Uncover Japanese War Dead In Marshall Islands

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the how-high's-the-water dept.

Earth 182

An anonymous reader writes "The foreign minister of the Marshall Islands says that, 'even the dead are affected' by climate change. From the article: 'Speaking at UN climate talks in Bonn, the Island's foreign minister said that high tides had exposed one grave with 26 dead. The minister said the bones were most likely those of Japanese troops. Driven by global warming, waters in this part of the Pacific have risen faster than the global average. With a high point just two metres above the waters, the Marshall Islands are one of the most vulnerable locations to changes in sea level.'"

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Dead Marshes, yes, yes, that is their name. (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47189955)

Don't follow the lights!

Those are most probably Koreans or Taiwanese (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190137)

Most of the Japanese troops stationed in the Marshall Islands back in WW II were mostly from Taiwan and Korea as most of the Japanese troops were deployed in China

that's odd (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47189967)

people are still talking about CO2 driven climate change despite all the evidence against it?

Re:that's odd (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47189975)

Welcome to the world where people believe scientific papers rather than press releases from coal companies.

Re:that's odd (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47190037)

Press releases from coal companies never really consist of "evidence against" though. They're usually just "rhetoric against". And they've discovered that's not really as necessary now that they've managed to instill denying it as a core value of one political party. People will assert counter-factual things because that's far easier than accepting the idea of previously being wrong.

The really dumb thing is we're doing it all to ourselves, and there's not even much of a conspiracy to manipulate us anymore.

Re:that's odd (2)

tempestdata (457317) | about 2 months ago | (#47190363)

China, not the US is the world's largest producer of CO2 emissions. And it is by a WIDE margin. China's CO2 emissions are almost double the USA's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

This does not mean that the USA isn't contributing to the problem. It definitely is.. but even if the US were to drop it's emissions by a Quarter (which is a LOT) it would barely have a 3% impact on worldwide CO2 emissions. I have no way of estimating the impact on the US economy if it were to drop it's emissions by a Quarter.

My point is even though you are right, the outcome of this debate in the US is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. My point is we are f*cked, this is a run away train, and there is no organizational or political entity big or strong enough to stop it.

Re:that's odd (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190435)

China has almost 4 times the population of the US you fucking idiot.

You Americans are always retarded when it comes to fair comparison.

Re:that's odd (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47190457)

He's right in that any solution needs to involve China, but that's not a reason to do nothing, and I'm not sure how it counters the idea I presented.

Re:that's odd (1, Troll)

Bartles (1198017) | about 2 months ago | (#47190747)

Oh, in that case, I guess China doesn't produce more CO2. Because it it a populous country filled with citizens who are minorities, we can excuse it.

Re:that's odd (1)

skoony (998136) | about 2 months ago | (#47191499)

hold on there buba louey.doesn,t the usa use more than half of the worlds resources as gleefully pointed out in other post's here by the climate change believers?i think the op is right on.

Re:that's odd (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190491)

That presumes the US is unable to influence the world.

That's mistaken.

Especially since US technology is exported to other countries, and that includes CO2 producing equipment.

Re:that's odd (2)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 2 months ago | (#47190959)

Not only that, if the US imposes CO2 tax or efficiency standards, this tax / these standards will also need to apply to imported goods, else they will be null and void. And in case GP has been living under a rock, the US imports a lot from China...

The EU has been playing this game for a long time: stealth market protectionism in the form of standards. You're using growth hormone or antibiotics to produce your beef? Too bad, you can't sell it here. The laborers that produce your clothes/gadgets are not treated humanely? Too bad, you don't pass the import standards.
While it is somewhat hypocrite to wave the "free trade" flag while doing this, I say "fsck free trade". This practice puts positive market pressure on other countries to improve things. Also, you need to be sure that your own companies can comply with the new standards before the foreign ones catch on, so you're effectively spurring innovation. Nothing but advantages.

The USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190801)

But China and India point fingers at the USA, the leader of the World (for now), and say, "Why don't YOU do something about it! Otherwise, put up or shut up!"

So, that's what Obama did - he put up.

And being a geeks, we will never see a Star Trek type of World if we insist on clinging to ancient fuels and technology. They are past due. They are inefficient, polluting and have no redeeming quality other than being cheap on the surface.

No one considers the costs from the health impact from the air pollution, the costs to the ecosystem and water sheds down river from mining and usage (see Assholes at Duke Power), and the damage from all the mercury that is spewed out of coal plants which then gets into our food supply - where do you think all that mercury in your Tuna, Shark, Swordfish .... comes from?

Although, the Chinese do realize the health consequences and the finite supply of fossil fuels and that's why they are LEADING in green energy.

Yep, the Chinese are ahead of us.

Remember that when green energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels and China is just kicking our ignorant asses economically, scientifically, and socially.

Re:The USA (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 2 months ago | (#47191493)

and have no redeeming quality other than being cheap on the surface.

Google the term "energy density". Hydrocarbons beat any non-nuclear alternative in this department, which is a large part of the reason why they're cheaper than the competition. I can put 14 gallons of gasoline (roughly equivalent to 1.8 billion joules or ~512 kilowatt hours) into my automobile in about one minute. I can't fully charge my cell phone battery (with a paltry capacity of ~10,000 joules) in less than an hour....

Re:that's odd (2, Informative)

Toad-san (64810) | about 2 months ago | (#47190061)

Wait! What world is that? I live in Nawth Ca'lina, where Duke Power is king. And coal ash is good for the roses. Where, now that almost all the shallow water wells are contaminated with fuel, chemicals and fertilizers, they're now targeting the deep aquifers with fracking. Yeah, THAT Nawth Ca'lina. And obviously not part of your world at all, alas.

Re:that's odd (-1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 months ago | (#47190099)

Welcome to the world where people believe that sea levels can rise faster year after year in one place than in another.

Re:that's odd (1, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47190255)

Welcome to our Slashdot where (some) people think the entire planet can be modeled by a rubber duck, a bathtub, a tray of icecubes and a fifth of cheap vodka.

Re:that's odd (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 months ago | (#47190687)

No, that sounds like the makings of a great party! Kinky to the max.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190749)

If you're going to be a smug fuckface, at least be correct about what you're saying. I hope some mods come and get rid of your "2, Insightful". Your comment is total nonsense. It should be at "-1, Totally Idiotic".

Sea level is not constant nor consistent across different bodies of water. The oceanic sea level can vary greatly from the sea level of isolated bodies of water like the Caspian Sea or the Dead Sea. Since the sea level threshold is defined relative to the oceanic sea level, we end up having the Dead Sea be completely above sea level, while the Caspian Sea lies completely below it. Changes in the oceanic sea level can happen independently of the sea levels of those particular bodies of water.

Re:that's odd (2)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 2 months ago | (#47191025)

Welcome to the world where that's demonstrably true. Explanations here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org] .

Maybe the evidence isn't (1)

jarek (2469) | about 2 months ago | (#47190935)

all that strong but the evidence for the enhancement of the CO2 warming (for this to be anything but a big advantage for nature) is very weak indeed. It is scary that we are wrecking the economies of the west while the dictatorships are having our lunch. If people would like to to see how science fails, do have a look at the fiasco of cholesterol research and how literally, the American Heart Association is killing people for the funding it gets by selling its logo to companies still trading in cholesterol level lowering products which is known to make heart disease worse and increase mortality. It is absolutely horrible. Another consensus driven research. All peer reviewed and payed for but the drug companies. And it is still going on.

Not so bad (0)

EzInKy (115248) | about 2 months ago | (#47189977)

People need to reminded every now and then why a certain day every year is set aside for them to cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. The Japanese died for one false god, the Allies whose bones are sure to be uncovered for another.

Faster than the global average? (2)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 2 months ago | (#47189981)

How can the water level on earth rise faster in some places than in others? I would expect water to rise uniformly on the surface of a sphere (egg).

Re:Faster than the global average? (1, Redundant)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 2 months ago | (#47190001)

How can the wind be stronger in some parts of the Earth's atmosphere than in others? I would expect the air to move uniformly on the surface of a sphere (egg).

Re:Faster than the global average? (0, Flamebait)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 2 months ago | (#47190013)

Ah yes I see, the speed at which water flows and average water level are the same thing. Thanks for this accurate explanation.

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 2 months ago | (#47190039)

Well clearly, when observation contradicts personal theories, stick to the personal theories.

Re:Faster than the global average? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190221)

There's nothing wrong with asking why something happens. Your original answer wasn't at all helpful, and "it just does, shut up" is even worse.

Re:Faster than the global average? (2, Informative)

Artifakt (700173) | about 2 months ago | (#47190793)

There's nothing wrong with asking why something happens.

So, If we were in a thread about new medical procedures that affect HIV transmission, and somebody asked why the simpler, common sense, Cabbage Patch theory of Child Origins was being ignored in favor of the S.E.X thory those silly scientists propose, there would be no reason to be dismissive? If I thought somebody asking that sort of question actually meant it, I'd try to give them an honest answer*, but why shouldn't I assume they are not really honestly confused, but tossing in a deliberately spurious question, in an attempt to throw the argument off track, politicise it, ot just plain troll? Sometimes, you read a question, and think, "What are the odds the person really doesn't know THAT and is really honestly asking to become more informed?"

There's some "simple, common sense" reasons to doubt that sea levels will or should rise uniformly, and most of us learned the first one of them about 3rd grade (in the US system).

1. The oceans aren't starting from static equilibrium - if they were, there would be no currents, as all the water would have already gotten to where it was going. So the question assumes something we already know is false, that the oceans can swiftly get to a static equilibriums state. Knowing that there are currents is enough to make a reasonable person doubt the question, Water keeps rushing from place to place all over the oceans, it never stops flowing as a whole, and it has from times well before the contemporary (AGW related) era, so why does it seem reasonable to assume that NOW it should all swiftly get to the lowest spot possible and stay there? How how old were you when you first heard about ocean currents?

2. Oceans are very large. Why does it seem like common sense to some that changes happen near instantaniously in such big objects? Wouldn't it be more common sense to find out something about the time scales for other changes in the oceans? How old were you when you learned there were tides, and did you learn that high tides are higher in some places than others, and at some times of the year than others? That's probably something people who live well away from seacoasts start getting exposed to by 6th grade or so, but if they missed it then, there's typically this course in junior high school, usually called something like Ecology or Earth Science. It's the course people who want an easy pass on their required science credits take, if Introductory Chemistry or Physics seems daunting. (all this assumes the child lives in a state with at least some science requirements for secondary education, but despite the problems of the US educational system, the vast majority of states do have science requirements) .And the majority of people live in cities, which are very frequently on seacoasts, so many people pick up many more facts about tides very early in life. Now how do I give a person a respectful answer, if that answer implies they went to a vastly substandard school system, or failed a 'bonehead' course, or ignored something they were near-constantly exposed to in their formative years? If I give a deliberately dismissive answer, I'm not honoring the principles of free, scientific enquiry, but if I ask the questions needed to find out what the other person doesn't know, I'll probably end up insulting the person anyway, and if it's deliberate trolling/politics, the person will jump on any answer and spin it in the worst possible light.

3. The Earth is a flattened sphere with some odd buldges, not either a true sphere or an egg shape. We're not just talking mountains and valleys here, but larger scale differences, caused in part by the Earth's rotation, and by the continents themselves. Many people don't pick that fact up until high school or even college, but it was probably offered too in those same Earth Science type classes. Is that enough to explain why everywhere doesn't see the exact same sea level rise? If I didn't know one way or the other, I would at least consider the possibility. Maybe the Earth's rotation means that sea levels will rise more near the equator, and less at the poles, or something like that, or maybe water piles up a bit towards the leading edges of the continents (leading being in the direction the Earth rotates). Without knowing why the Marshall islands levels are rising faster than some other places (what other places), wouldn't it make sense to find out what other places they are being compared with? (In fact, both those effects happen and have an impact on how much sea level rise some places see - there's an actual answer that applies to the Marshalls).

4. 'i kan reed (749298)' has given a fair explanation for part of this question in the same thread. I just want to point out that many people learn at an early age that the Panama canal uses locks to raise and lower ships passing through, and that these are absolutely necessary because the sea levels on the two ends are different. Again, that's the kind of thing that might make the questioner realize that the whole real world isn't staying in line with the base assumptions of the question - it's not just since AGW hit the news, but all sorts of "ocean facts" that seem to say there's something the questioner doesn't understand, but has assumed they already do. Now that bit about the Panama canal is a bit esoteric. If a reader lives in Europe or Asia, they might well have completed a good education and never run across it, and they may well have heard much more about the Suez canal, which seems to work differently re. sea levels. I'm also sure many US schools rush through Panama Canal - Teddy Roosevelt - Yellow Fever - there we're done with that decade. But how do I know if that's an informative example or the poster will come back with some B.S. question about what relevance does a man made canal have to do with natural phenomina?

*The temptation to say I'd try to give them a straight answer finally overwhelmed me. Bite me pun haters!

Re:Faster than the global average? (2)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 2 months ago | (#47191475)

"There's nothing wrong with asking why something happens."

There is nothing wrong with asking in good faith. However, it is possible to ask a question in bad faith as a way of making a stipulation that has not been supported by evidence. This is known in journalism as "telling a question".

For example, here is a slight modification of a classic: "Why did you stop beating your wife?" It carries with it the stipulation that the questioned person has been beating his wife. Any subsequent discussion is implicitly based on wife-beating having occurred, and any attempt to back up and establish whether there is a factual basis can be shown to be a diversion from the substance of the discussion.

So let's go back to the OP: "How can the water level on earth rise faster in some places than in others? I would expect water to rise uniformly on the surface of a sphere (egg)." This is not just a question about why something happens; there is also a statement about expectations not being met. The stated expectations now change the framing of the subsequent dialog. Whether the question is asked in good faith now depends on whether the expectation could be held by a reasonable person AND whether someone actually holds it. The expectation could be absurd ("I would expect water to rise uniformly because unicorns would drink the excess.") or it could not actually be held by anyone (a strawman or a concern troll).

This is more of a concern in some discussion where a side can benefit even if its own arguments are invalid. If one side employs a large number of bad faith arguments then eventually even the opposite side gets cast into doubt as a) it makes all of the participants look foolish, and b) it provokes bad behavior out of frustration from the side attempting to make good faith arguments. This discourages any action by third parties so if a side's goal is to maintain the status quo this is a practical tactic.

Re:Faster than the global average? (3, Informative)

tempestdata (457317) | about 2 months ago | (#47190405)

There are other forces involved.. currents, water densities due to fresh water inflows, tides, topography, etc.. I do not personally understand these forces involved, I am just listing out what I think could be factors... but for instance the pacific side of the panama canal is widely known to be 8 inches higher than the atlantic side. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal)

Re:Faster than the global average? (5, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47190025)

Since all you've got is a sarcastic reply that doesn't actually address the question, I'll help.

Water pressure only causes perfect leveling to human eyes, but as the transmission distance of that pressure increases, the effects of random interference, and natural obstacles becomes the dominant ones. This manifests most discernably in the relatively huge sea level differences between the pacific side the Panama canal and the Atlantic side.

Now as to what mechanisms allow changes to be different, instead of just static value, it gets a little bit beyond my comprehension as to the exact mechanisms, but I believe it might have to do with where thermal expansion occurs(the deepest parts of the ocean most) and where land ice is melting to.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 2 months ago | (#47190199)

Thank you for your informative reply. I understand the situation a little better now.

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190655)

But the air is exactly the same. You couldn't deduce that?

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 2 months ago | (#47190777)

This manifests most discernably in the relatively huge sea level differences between the pacific side the Panama canal and the Atlantic side.

Now as to what mechanisms allow changes to be different, instead of just static value, it gets a little bit beyond my comprehension as to the exact mechanisms, but I believe it might have to do with where thermal expansion occurs(the deepest parts of the ocean most) and where land ice is melting to.

There is a sea level difference between the Eastern Pacific and the Western Pacific. My understanding is that just the flow of the wind across the water causes it to be deeper in the Eastern Pacific than the Western. You don't even need continental mass between the two ends to cause a difference in level.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

The Snowman (116231) | about 2 months ago | (#47191491)

I would also add that the Moon is a factor. Its gravity is the reason for the tides: and with so much of the Earth's surface covered by water, it is reasonable that whatever ocean is facing the Moon at any given time will have a higher water level (tide) than the oceans not facing the Moon.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 months ago | (#47190029)

Because the earth isn't a perfect sphere or egg shape. It bulges in the middle, but it doesn't bulge evenly.

That was why the earth wobbles on its axis.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 months ago | (#47190109)

Yeah, yeah and obviously all of that, the continental drift, the isostatic movement of the crust, the wobbling, the uneven gravitation, the tides and effect of the moon are ALL due to global warming and coal burning power stations...

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190391)

Nailed it.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 2 months ago | (#47191063)

Don't act obtuse. GP's question was to explain why, if you increase the volume of liquid water in the system, you'll see bigger sea level rises at some places than other places. The factors you're citing do explain that. They change nothing to the fact that it's rising pretty much everywhere, so the global increase of liquid volume is real. And precisely consistent with the observed effects of the observed warming.

I wonder what bunch of idiots modded parent to +5.

Re:Faster than the global average? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47190147)

Because the earth isn't a perfect sphere or egg shape. It bulges in the middle.

So, the problem isn't global warming or whatever. The Earth is just getting fat, spinning is more of a strain than before so it's getting hotter, just like a fat guy jogging.

Stop feeding the Earth junk food! Go green!

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47191341)

Because the earth isn't a perfect sphere or egg shape. It bulges in the middle, but it doesn't bulge evenly.

I'm not sure that this matter of simple geometry has any effect other than determining ocean depths, sea coast shapes and continent elevations. The issue here is the relative altitude of actual sea level with respect to the perfect geoid. The shape of Earth's solid body and the mass distribution inside it determine the geoid, but the question here was related to the fact why isn't the ocean surface following the geoid in all places in exactly the same way (beyond the fact that simply adding more water does provide a modest amount of "spherization" of the geoid, as you're removing yourself further from the non-homogeneous solid mass, which does indeed mean a different rise in different places, but I'd expect this to be quantitatively quite a bit smaller that all the other effects causing the ssea level discrepancy).

That was why the earth wobbles on its axis.

Uh, I don't think so. It's not the unevenness of the bulge that causes precession, it's the existence of the bulge itself.

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190079)

As the water melts off of Greenland, it can takes decades for it to redistribute around the globe. The ocean isn't super-fluid, it takes time. The Panama Canal has to use locks to connect the Pacific and Atlantic because they have different sea levels.

Re:Faster than the global average? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47190151)

The Panama Canal has to use locks to connect the Pacific and Atlantic because they have different sea levels.

I think this is the perfect example to show as proof, even to someone with a low I.Q. Physical proof doesn't need scientific demonstration.

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190253)

So physical proof of no global warming for 17.5 years doesn't need scientific demonstration to disprove AGW?

Re:Faster than the global average? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190423)

That goes against the grain of acquiring scientific funding, by repeating the Anthropogenic Globalur-Warmation mantra (approved by a number of political bodies as 'The Truth' and only truth) , and is therefore "non-science" denial-ship, that we're actually trying very hard to make a thought-crime because it threatens our scientific funding...

The Earth emerged from the last little ice-age all by itself, because men were breathing or something, no wait, industry, oh wait, there was virtually no industry in Medieval times.. and the Earth's population was minimal, oh I'm so confused, man is the culprit, but he isn't.... ?

Can I get some scientific funding now? I have disproved AGW with logic.

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190275)

Physical proof doesn't need scientific demonstration.

But it's completely useless when the original question was "why?"

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190315)

Science is there to try and explain the "why", but scientific proof or not, facts are facts. Oceans aren't at the same level.

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191287)

but scientific proof or not, facts are facts.

True but the best method we have for ascertaining fact is science.

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191273)

Physical proof doesn't IS scientific demonstration.

Re:Faster than the global average? (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#47190287)

The Pamama Canal would need locks whether the sea levels were the same or not because Lago Gatun / Rio Chagres (which makes up most of the canal route) is at an even higher elevation.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 2 months ago | (#47190431)

The panama canal has locks mostly because the ships have to be lifted and dropped 85 feet, the tides would be more of a problem because they would be of opposing phase i.e. when pacific side is low the atlantic side is high, the typical sealevel difference of 8 inches would have a challenging current of about 6 MPH but it wouldn't be insurmountable.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47190081)

I'm just speculating here, but perhaps changes in ocean currents, wind patterns, rainfall patterns and evaporation patterns could be a contributing factor here? Thanks to different evaporation rates, different precipitation rates and different currents and prevailing winds in different places, you probably can't expect the water to follow the geoid precisely.

Re:Faster than the global average? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190439)

That all depends if you're trying to push a Global Warming agenda or not.... then science is flexible, and outcomes that support AGW are irrefutable.

Re:Faster than the global average? (2)

budgenator (254554) | about 2 months ago | (#47190319)

Ocean currents and Prevailing winds push water around but,

According to a recent report from the UN Environment Programme, sea level is rising in the Pacific around the Marshall's at a much higher rate than elsewhere in the world. The rate of rise between 1993 and 2009 was 12mm per year, compared with the global average of 3.2mm. Climate change helps seas disturb Japanese war dead [bbc.com]

the Marshal Islands (not realy Islands but coral atolls) are really unlikely to have graves washed away because the sea-level rose a half inch, more likely it was factors like increased water consumption due to population depleteing the ground water and causing subsistance, and paved roads reducing replenishment from rains.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 months ago | (#47190657)

If the rate of SLR in the Marshall Islands was 12 mm/year from 1993 to 2009 that's a total of 204 mm or 8 inches in the 17 year period.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 2 months ago | (#47190471)

It would indeed, if the sphere consisted of a solid, perfect sphere surrounded by water, not rotating, and not subject to the external gravitational fields of the Sun and Moon. However it meets none of those conditions: it has continents and two pairs of tidal bulges, so the water moves in a dynamic and extremely complex fashion. Remember: it's a huge mass of complex shape moving back and forth over thousands of miles.

If you could just take away the continents, and you stuck a giant dipstick in the bottom, you'd find the tidal bulges were only a matter of inches. The actual tides vary from practically nil in certain places, to +/- 25 feet in the Bay of Fundy. If you'd like to see why, jack up your car and give it an oil change -- and try to pull the bowl out from underneath without getting oil all over your driveway.

Tides are basically a sloshing effect. For a famous example, the Pacific side of the Panama Canal sees much larger tides than the Atlantic side, and has a mean sea level about 8 inches higher.

Re: Faster than the global average? (1)

io bus (3685815) | about 2 months ago | (#47190553)

Because the sea is not flat.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

kenaaker (774785) | about 2 months ago | (#47190619)

It has been observed for quite a while. At the Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean average sea level is about 8 inches higher that the Atlantic Ocean average sea level.

Re:Faster than the global average? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47191127)

How can the water level on earth rise faster in some places than in others? I would expect water to rise uniformly on the surface of a sphere (egg).

The same way the Atlantic Ocean on one side of the Panama Canal is a different height than the Pacific Ocean on the other side.

And the amount it has actually risen in the Marshalls is roughly about 3". Even then, attributing this to "Climate Change" is a bit of a leap. Even though water has risen there "more than the global average", that's really not saying much since the global average is something like 1/4" over the last century. (Roughly... I don't remember the exact figure.) It is actually lower in some places, too.

Are these the first in 70 years? (3, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47189983)

Hard to believe that a couple inches makes all that much difference. Yea, I read the article - the Marshall Islands are low and flat. But I've also seen the open Pacific Ocean, where 20 foot waves are normal. I assume bones have been washing up every year since the war; Japan lost over 17,000 soldiers during the four month battle for the two islands.

Re:Are these the first in 70 years? (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 2 months ago | (#47189993)

Not to mention that the difference between high and low tide would be much larger than the increase in average water level.

Re:Are these the first in 70 years? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47190033)

Yes, but high tide has consistently been going up as the average does. I don't think that's a particularly meaningful objection.

I'm going to have to research the material on this to be sure, but I believe one of the artifacts of increasing water levels is that the gap between high and low tide gets larger, as more mass is available to be pulled on by the moon.

Re:Are these the first in 70 years? (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 months ago | (#47190185)

Yes, but high tide has consistently been going up as the average does.

Since, from TFA, water levels have risen just bit more than seven inches, it's probably safe to say that the high-tide has increased a similar amount.

I fail to see the relationship.

By the by, have you ever noticed that when a weather event supports AGW, it's caused by AGW, but when one doesn't, it's "just weather". Hint: most of the weather events we've been seeing were just weather events, not proof-positive of AGW, nor proof-positive of !AGW....

Re:Are these the first in 70 years? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47190311)

7 inches per 60 tears is only a little bit less than the worldwide average of coastal sea level changes(of 2-3 feet per century), so no your counter-argument isn't really rational as we're not over-localizing the phenomenon. Sorry.

People buried soldiers in WWII imagining sea level as a constant thing, and evidence bears out that this isn't true.

Re:Are these the first in 70 years? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 months ago | (#47190441)

I believe one of the artifacts of increasing water levels is that the gap between high and low tide gets larger, as more mass is available to be pulled on by the moon.

Probably true. After all, in most deserts it's practically undetectable.

Now the rest of the story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190027)

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/rising-sea-levels-pacific-atolls-the-whole-story/

Re:Now the rest of the story... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190069)

Interesting quote from that article:

Dr Murray Ford, from the University of Auckland, has been comparing aerial photographs of the islands taken by the United States military during World War II with photographs taken in the 1970s and in recent years. He found that many islands are getting larger and that the shrinking shoreline along coastal villages has largely been caused by commercial development, building of seawalls and land reclamation.

How much have the seas risen? (5, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#47190031)

... I thought total it was couple centimeters.... which shouldn't be enough to uncover anything but sand crabs...

Are we sure this isn't erosion? Because that seems far more likely then sea levels changing.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 2 months ago | (#47190105)

Well, it's a bit like stairs. It's really important to make sure each riser is exactly the same, because people going up and down those stairs adapt with remarkable precision to the height of the first few steps they climb. If you took a slow motion picture, you'd see their foot gliding onto each step with a scant millimeter or so to spare. A 2mm difference in all the stairs nobody will notice; a 2mm difference in one stair will trip people up, even though you can't even *see* it.

People build around flood levels the same way. They build right up to what the historical floodline is for the frequency they can tolerate. If they can tolerate one flood every ten years, they'll build right up to to the ten year floodline. But if the sea levels rise 15cm/5.5 inches, as they have since 1945 or so, that spot might be flooded every year. You can easily imagine a gravesite that was stable in its balance between sand deposition and erosion for many years "suddenly" getting washed away, although in truth the line between stable and unstable has been continually creeping up over the decades.

Understand this is not a simple situation; 5 inches of sea level rise doesn't mean suddenly lots of homes are under water everywhere around the world. But it can mean lots of homes are getting flooded in some parts of the world. It depends on local conditions and building practices. Here in Boston, for example, we have two meter tides, and massive variation between spring and neap tides, and with the direction of wind and air pressure, and we've historically built accordingly. 5 inches of sea level rise over half a century has made no noticeable difference *here*. Other places that have very low tidal amplitudes and don't experience large storms with persistent low pressure (e.g., Venice) might find a lot of stuff getting flooded after a 5 inch sea level rise.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190239)

Understand this is not a simple situation...

And there you've hit on the real problem - its complicated and can't be compacted into a few sound bites. To really understand the situation requires a lot of research, which deniers are unwilling to do because, in their minds, it isn't happening, so why bother researching it? And also due to it being complicated, to "disprove" it all you need to say some "genius" line like, "its just normal erosion and nothing more, nothing to see here!" and the idiots buy it because all they understand are simple, one-line sound bites. Of course its erosion, but its occurring in areas where it didn't before because the tides are now going higher than before.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (3, Funny)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#47190265)

Well, I know Venice's big problem is that the city is actually sinking into the mud. That's been known for a long time. There are parts of the city that are always a good more then 5 inches under water. You'll see buildings with door ways that are about 4 feet submerged. So I'm a little dubious of that reference.

As to this situation. I'd have to see the thing. I can't take anyone's word for this sort of thing anymore. There's too much "opinion making" going on with people trying to distort the issue to suit their own personal grinding axe.

I could do the same thing... but I won't... I'll just say I'll need to see more to believe a word of it.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (0)

hxnwix (652290) | about 2 months ago | (#47190977)

Well, I know Venice's big problem is that the city is actually sinking into the mud. That's been known for a long time. There are parts of the city that are always a good more then 5 inches under water. You'll see buildings with door ways that are about 4 feet submerged. So I'm a little dubious of that reference.

As to this situation. I'd have to see the thing. I can't take anyone's word for this sort of thing anymore. There's too much "opinion making" going on with people trying to distort the issue to suit their own personal grinding axe.

I could do the same thing... but I won't... I'll just say I'll need to see more to believe a word of it.

You have no idea that you're not thinking for yourself, do you?

Re:How much have the seas risen? (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 2 months ago | (#47191149)

Well spoken! I for one don't believe in atomic theory [wikipedia.org] , continental drift or mircowave background. I'd have to see the thing.... </sarcasm>

Re:How much have the seas risen? (1)

hey! (33014) | about 2 months ago | (#47191409)

As to this situation. I'd have to see the thing. I can't take anyone's word for this sort of thing anymore..

That's an admirable thing -- if you actually make the effort. Not believing experts but not being bothered to prove them wrong is not quite as admirable.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 months ago | (#47190115)

Well, now don't confuse things and ruin the global warming story with facts...

Re:How much have the seas risen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190247)

There is a difference between Global and Local, and that's the difference most people forget. Globally the sea rise might be in millimeters, but that can result in difference in high tides of centimeters or even decimeters. Never mind what a spring tides can do. Same with temps. Global 2 degrees will mean local up to 16 degrees. Oceans warm slower, therefore land, and especially inland, must warm more faster.

We are in for one hell of a ride. The coming El Nino has a rather high chance of being a Super El Nino, which may result in a global temperature rise of 0.5 degree Celsius in 2015. Scarey stuff.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#47190291)

You can't blame that on global warming though or global sea levels.

You start talking about global warming and now you're talking about global stats. How is the sea going to CONSISTENTLY be higher in one part of the world then another if its all really one giant body of water? That doesn't make any sense.

I think there's a lot of erosion that has always been going on that is often blamed on global warming.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (1)

mpe (36238) | about 2 months ago | (#47190339)

You start talking about global warming and now you're talking about global stats. How is the sea going to CONSISTENTLY be higher in one part of the world then another if its all really one giant body of water? That doesn't make any sense.

Most likely what is actually going on here is that the land is sinking. Something which can easily be a local effect.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190461)

Most likely what is actually going on here is that the land is sinking.

That isn't unexpected, when you think about. The main reasons why the continents are above the sea is due to upwellings in the mantle lifting large portions of land up. As the ice caps melt from Antarctica, there will be less weight pushing the continent down which will cause it to rise. As there's only as much mantle as there will ever be, so if Antarctica rises, other landmasses will have to lower. There's no way to know where the displaced magma will come from, but yes, sinking land is a predictable result.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (1)

kenaaker (774785) | about 2 months ago | (#47190739)

No. Simply No. This is wrong. In almost every particular

The continents are masses of rock that are on average less dense than mantle rock. So, the continents are floating on the mantle rock. Upwelling plumes from the mantle are most often associated with volcanic activity and aren't "lifting the land up" at least in anything approaching a continental area. When ice melts off a continental area, that part of the continent will rebound, floating higher on the mantle rock. Some areas on the periphery of the land mass will sink due to the changing orientation of the mass, but the general motion is upward. All of this takes place over millennia. Parts of North America are still rebounding from the melting of the Laurentide ice sheet. The convective cells in the mantle have some effect on the height of different land masses, but those changes take millions of years to be measurable.

Re:How much have the seas risen? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 months ago | (#47190545)

How is the sea going to CONSISTENTLY be higher in one part of the world then another if its all really one giant body of water? That doesn't make any sense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal#Water_issues

Do you reckon that fish drink in the Atlantic and pee in the Pacific?

Sucks to be living there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190073)

This AC is turning up the AC! Maybe they sould just go live on boats?

Erosion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190155)

Not "global warming," "climate change," or any other trendy catch-phrase designed to instill fear upon a gullible public.

Re:Erosion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191083)

Apparently scientists agree:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/marshallislands/10883294/World-War-Two-skeletons-washed-from-Marshall-Islands-graves-by-rising-seas.html

quote:

Dr Murray Ford, from the University of Auckland, has been comparing aerial photographs of the islands taken by the United States military during World War II with photographs taken in the 1970s and in recent years. He found that many islands are getting larger and that the shrinking shoreline along coastal villages has largely been caused by commercial development, building of seawalls and land reclamation.

Re:Erosion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191357)

I think the main issue is that these small countries will find it much easier to obtain subsidies and "reparations" if they blame the issue on global warming. If the issue is erosion because they are trying to increase tourism and revenue, there will be much less sympathy. So, it's got to be global warming or there is no pay-out.

I guess I'm confused as to why observations like these are ignored, with anyone who brings up a possible counterpoint being labeld a "denier?"

Erm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190201)

waters in this part of the Pacific have risen faster than the global average.

I really have some trouble conceiving that...

Re:Erm... (1)

oz1cz (535384) | about 2 months ago | (#47190241)

waters in this part of the Pacific have risen faster than the global average.

I really have some trouble conceiving that...

This has been adressed in a previous comment: http://news.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

It's called ... subsidance (2)

American Patent Guy (653432) | about 2 months ago | (#47190237)

Some places on the earth naturally accumulate sand/soil from natural processes. In the Marshall Islands, it is a hurricane now and again. The sand/soil naturally subsides (sinks) into the surrounding lower-lying regions, or sometimes because of the pumping out of groundwater. Here's a description made for the southern shore of the U.S.:

http://www.agu.org/report/hurr... [agu.org]

When the next hurricane comes along, the graves of these soldiers will be covered again. Let this "foreign minister" flap about "global warming" all he wants: he's really just concerned about getting foreign aid for a populace trying to live on untenable land.

because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190303)

Global warming

Sea Level Hype (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 2 months ago | (#47190367)

Sea level has risen 7-8 inches over the past 100 years. By the year 2200, sea level is expected to rise somewhere between 4 and 30 inches. The sea level in the Pacific has not risen significantly more than on the rest of the earth.

When people exaggerate the effects of global warming, it only provides ammunition for the global warming deniers.

Re:Sea Level Hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191387)

Yes, if you live by the hurricane you die by the hurricane. Don't make outrageous claims about the arctic being ice-free by 2012 (or 2020, etc.). This gives the deniers something to point at. We should avoid specifics. The point it to advance the message.

oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190399)

Zombie samulai! Blaaaaaaaaaainzzzzai!

Re:oh great (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 months ago | (#47190783)

Now here come all the Global Zombie Deniers...

Outlaw soda pop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190413)

That's the problem, all the co2 released from soda pop burps and farts.

Global Cooling and Warming at the same time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190551)

So, its just been reported that we have been on an official global cooling trend since 2007, that no net global warming has occurred in 18 years according to RSS data, and that the last 2 years have shown net gain ice production at both poles ... but THIS sudden occurrence is due to global warming?

Example one... (4, Insightful)

shellster_dude (1261444) | about 2 months ago | (#47190555)

This is the reason we can't have a real conversation about Global Warming. It is a fact that islands sink. Little islands are commonly sinking slowly back into the ocean. This is long established, proved, and accepted. Erosion near cost lines is also well understood and a likely explanation. However, a bunch of "journalists" are using this story to promote Global Warming without ever even mentioning the most likely explanation. The resulting story gets promulgated across the internet because if fits a theme, that is popular and the media likes. This is simply unacceptable from a side that likes to claim "science" at every turn.

Sorry Fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190603)

Clearly fake because global climate change is a hoax. Either this is made up, or there is another more reasonable explanation. The earth could be settling, erosion, storms. Science has nothing on my opinions!

Something Smells... (2)

Bartles (1198017) | about 2 months ago | (#47190769)

...Why do the Marshall Islands have a yearly rise increase almost 4 times the world average? Is it a low pressure zone? Are there Marshall Island glaciers that no one has discovered yet? How much has the sea level risen in the Marshall Islands since WWII. There is a lot of information missing from this story, and it reeks of politics and money.

Re:Something Smells... (0)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 2 months ago | (#47191291)

...Why do the Marshall Islands have a yearly rise increase almost 4 times the world average? Is it a low pressure zone? Are there Marshall Island glaciers that no one has discovered yet?

Mostly answered here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org] . Please do read existing comments before posting.

There is a lot of information missing from this story, and it reeks of politics and money.

Oooh monies! That's right folks, it's the fearsome alternative energy cartel (the 21st century version of the lumber cartel)! Because everyone knows Big Alternative Energy has far more money to spend on lobbying and astroturfing than the poor innocent fossil fuel industry!

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191497)

They are still going on about climate change? I thought that pointless fad was pretty much dead, I suppose as long as there are people whose funding depends on, people will still keep going on about it as if it's a thing
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