The Latest Climate Predictions Just Came In And We Are Effed Beyond Belief, Dudes

If you were on the fence about doing anything radical this weekend — trying cocaine, asking a girl out, going sky surfing — go ahead and do it, because the odds we’ll all be dead sooner rather than later just got revised and death is in the lead.

By a LOT.

This was already not a great couple of weeks for us believing we could survive Earth’s drastically changing climate. There was a study that we were pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere than the planet could handle, and then another by top climate scientists that predicted the world would soon by a cataclysmic hell hole.

Now this.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, long thought to hold enough water to raise the oceans by 12 feet, but unlikely to melt for 1,000 years, could be basically gone by 2100.

Ninety four years.

That would imperil, hey, here’s a fucking list of important cities: New York, Miami, London, Charleston, New Orleans, Venice, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney.

All fucking leveled if this comes true.

From The New York Times:

The vast West Antarctic ice sheet sits on bedrock that dips thousands of feet below sea level. New computer simulations suggest that the warming atmosphere and ocean could attack the ice sheet from above and below, causing sea levels to rise much faster than previously thought.

With ice melting in other regions, too, the total rise of the sea could reach five or six feet by 2100, the researchers found. That is roughly twice the increase reported as a plausible worst-case scenario by a United Nations panel just three years ago, and so high it would likely provoke a profound crisis within the lifetimes of children being born today.

Like I said. Why bother not doing ketamine when the world is about to become a post-apocalyptic wasteland in 90 years?

Snort city.

It’s gonna get worse, too.

The situation would grow far worse beyond 2100, the researchers found, with the rise of the sea exceeding a pace of a foot per decade by the middle of the 22nd century. Scientists had documented such rates of increase in the geologic past, when far larger ice sheets were collapsing, but most of them had long assumed it would be impossible to reach rates so extreme with the smaller ice sheets of today.

That’s no longer true.

The new research, published by the journal Nature, is based on improvements in a computerized model of Antarctica and its complex landscape of rocks and glaciers, meant to capture factors newly recognized as imperiling the stability of the ice.

The new version of the model allowed the scientists, for the first time, to reproduce high sea levels of the past, such as a climatic period about 125,000 years ago when the seas rose to levels 20 to 30 feet higher than today.

That gave them greater confidence in the model’s ability to project the future sea level, though they acknowledged that they do not yet have an answer that could be called definitive.

It may not happen, they are saying. But don’t bet on it.

“You could think of all sorts of ways that we might duck this one,” said Richard B. Alley, a leading expert on glacial ice at Pennsylvania State University. “I’m hopeful that will happen. But given what we know, I don’t think we can tell people that we’re confident of that.”

Yea, so, up your nose this weekend.

All of it.

[Via The New York Times]