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SEA LEVEL

By Charles Rhodes, P.Eng., Ph.D.

GLOBAL WARMING AND SEA LEVEL:
The experimentally observed ongoing increase in mean sea level is an important aspect of global warming. The sea level rises due to net absorption of heat by planet Earth which causes melting of land borne ice and thermal expansion of sea water. There is a further small sea water volumetric increase due to combustion of land borne oil and natural gas.
 

RISING AVERAGE SEA LEVEL:
The mean sea level at San Francisco, as measured by a recording tide gauge, during the last 150 years has been rising at about 1.94 mm / year +/- 0.19 mm / year. However, a problem with tide gauge measurements is that their readings are affected by long term land rises or subsidence.

The change in average sea level with respect to the Earth center of mass has been measured from satellites commencing in 1992. The mean sea level, as measured by NASA satellites circa 2016, is rising at 3.4 mm / year +/- 0.4 mm / year.

The rising mean sea level is an ongoing threat to low elevation communities and low elevation agricultural operations. The rate of rise of average sea level measured by NASA satellites in combination with the rate of loss of land borne ice measured by NASA satellites enables a simple calculation of the minimum rate at which the oceans and land borne glaciers are absorbing net heat energy. This net heat flux absorption is the difference between Earth's absorbed solar energy flux and Earth's emitted thermal infrared energy flux. There may be a small adjustment due to year to year changes in the amount of floating ice.
 

MEASUREMENT OF SEA LEVEL VIA SATELLITE:
The sea level is measured from a satellite through the use of a laser altimeter. To measure changes in sea level from a satellite it is necessary to determine the satellite orbital radius with respect to the Earth center of mass to an absolute accuracy better than +/- 0.2 mm.

For any artificial satellite in a circular orbit:
G Me Ms / R^2 = Ms R W^2
where:
G = Newton gravitational constant
Me = mass of planet Earth
Ms = satellite mass
R = orbital radius with respect to the Eath center of mass
W = satellite angular velocity in radians / second

Cancelling equal terms gives:
G Me / W^2 = R^3

Differentiating both sides gives:
3 R^2 dR = d(G Me) / W^2 + G Me (- 2) dW / W^3
= (1 / W^2)[d(G Me) - 2 G Me dW / W]
or
dR / R = (1 / 3) [d(G Me) / (G Me) - 2 G Me dW / (W^3 R^3)]
= (1 / 3) [d(G Me) / (G Me) - 2 dW / (W)]

(G Me) is constant in time and is very precisely known from astronomical observations of Earth satellites. Thus:
d(G Me) = 0

A small error in the absolute value of (G Me) does not affect satellite measurements of changes in sea level provided that exactly the same value of (G Me) is used in all the calculations.

Hence:
dR / R = - (2 / 3) (dW / W)
or
|dW / W| < (3 / 2) |dR / R|

Over multiple orbits W can be measured to any desired degree of accuracy. Hence R can be precisely determined in terms of (G Me). Note that to do this calculation properly there should be an additional correction for the satellite orbit being slightly elliptical.

For planet Earth:
2 Pi R / 4 = 10,000 km
or
R = 20,000 km / Pi

dR / R = (0.2 X 10^-3 m X Pi) / (20 X 10^6 m)
= Pi X 10^-11

Thus to accurately determine dR an orbital period of approximately 90 minutes must be measured to an accuracy of better than:
(3 / 2) X 90 minutes X 60 seconds / minute X (Pi) X 10^-11
= (3 Pi / 2) X 5400 X 10^-11 s
= 0.254 uS

In 10 orbits this number becomes 2.54 uS which is easily accurately measureable.

Thus determination of R with respect to the Earth center of mass is easily precisely achieved.

Then a laser altimeter gives the sea level with respect to the orbital path. The laser altimeter must itself have an absolute accuracy of better than +/- 0.2 mm at a height of typically 250 km.

Relating the satellite measured average sea level to particular tide gauge data is difficult due to the non-spherical shape of Earth. However, changes in average sea level over time are easily resolved.

The GRACE satellites use an additional laser to precisely measure inter-satellite separation. This feature allows them to sense and record the local change in mass of any projecting Earth surface feature such as a continent or glacier.
 

PEAK SEA LEVEL:
One of the major consequences of global warming is a long term increase in world wide average sea level. However, it is the increase in local peak sea level that causes flood and storm damage. The local peak sea level has multiple components:
a) Mean sea level which is the main subject of this web page.
b) Daily tidal change that is caused by rotation of the Earth about its axis in the proximity of the moon and the sun.
c) Nearly monthly tidal change caused by orbit of the Earth-Moon system about its common center of mass in the proximity of the sun.
d) Local sea level changes caused by changes in atmospheric pressure and wind due to storms.
e) Sea level changes caused by sea floor geometries that convert horizontal liquid kinetic energy into vertical gravitational potential energy of position.
f) Transient sea level changes produced by earthquakes.
g) Land subsidence/emergence due to local isostasy.

Dangerous conditions and storm damage occur when these various effects combine to produce a rise in local sea level that is much higher than normal.

Quantification of the increase in local peak sea level due to global warming triggered storm activity is beyond the scope of this analysis. The amount of damage caused by the sea at a particular location is determined by the coincidence of:
a) Average sea level rise;
b) A very low atmospheric pressure due to a storm;
c) An on-shore wind driven storm surge;
d) A very high tide due to an unfavourable Earth-Moon-Sun alignment

Fossil fuel driven global warming affects the average sea level via melting of land borne ice, thermal expansion of the water and chemical formation of more water from fossil fuels.

Global warming affects the average atmospheric water vapor content via ocean surface warming, which in turn affects the water vapor pressure and hence the local IR emission altitude and hence the local IR emission temperature and hence the apparent local IR emissivity from Top of Atmosphere (TOA).

It is shown herein that the observed rise in average sea level is due to a combination of melting of land borne ice, thermal expansion of the ocean top layer and combustion of fossil hydrocarbons. A practical way of quantifying the rate of net thermal energy absorption by the oceans is via satellite measurements of both average sea level rise per year and land borne ice mass loss per year.
 

Melting of floating ice does not raise the mean sea level. However, loss of floating ocean ice mass slightly affects calculations of the rate of net thermal energy absorption by the oceans.
 

TOTAL SEA LEVEL RISE:
(Total Sea Level Rise) = (Sea level rise due to capture of solar wind and comet material)
+ (Sea level rise due to capture of water from combustion of fossil fuels)
+ (Sea level rise due to melting of land borne ice)
+ (Sea level rise due to thermal expansion of the ocean surface layer)

A small error source that is neglected herein is ocean mass gain from capture by planet Earth of solar wind and comet tail material.
 

VOLUME OF SEA LEVEL RISE:
Assume that the rate of average sea level rise is 3.4 mm / year +/- 0.4 mm as indicated by 2016 NASA satellite measurements.

Earth circumference = 40,000 km

Earth radius: Re = 40,000 km / 2 Pi

Earth surface area = 4 Pi Re^2
= 4 Pi (40,000 km / 2 Pi)^2
= 16 X 10^8 km^2 / Pi
= (16 / Pi) X 10^14 m^2
= 5.093 X 10^14 m^2

Earth ocean area = Ao = 3.61 X 10^14 m^2
This Ao is 70.88% of Earth's surface area.

Additional ocean volume produced per year by sea level rise
= 3.4 mm X (1 m / 1000 mm) X 3.61 X 10^14 m^2
= 12.274 X 10^11 m^3 / year
= 12.274 X 10^14 lit / year
= 1.2274 X 10^15 lit / year
 

VOLUME OF WATER PRODUCED BY WORLD COMBUSTION OF COAL:
In is assumed herein that the hydrogen content of coal is sufficiently small that the volume of water produced per year by world combustion of coal is negligible.
 

VOLUME OF WATER PRODUCED BY WORLD COMBUSTION OF OIL:
Find the volume of water produced by world combustion of oil. Oil is approximately CH2 with molecular weight = 14.
Water is H2O with molecular weight = 18.
Burning 14 kg of oil produces ~ 18 kg of water.
Density of oil = 0.85 kg / lit
Density of water = 1.00 kg / lit
Burning oil volume: 14 kg / (.85 kg / lit) produces water volume: 18 kg / (1 kg / lit)
or
[(volume of water) / (volume of oil)] = (18 lit water X.85) / (14 lit oil)
= 1.093 lit water / lit oil

Combustion of world oil production produces: (90,000,000 barrels / day) X (365.25 days / year) X (158.987 lit / barrel) X 1.093 lit water / lit oil
= 5.71180 X 10^12 lit water / year
 

VOLUME OF WATER PRODUCED BY WORLD COMBUSTION OF NATURAL GAS:
Find the volume of water produced by world combustion of natural gas. Natural gas is approximately CH4 with molecular weight 16. Burning 16 kg of natural gas produces 36 kg of water.
The density of natural gas is about (16 gm / 22.4 lit) = (16 kg / 22.4 m^3) = 0.714 kg / m^3

Combustion of world natural gas production produces:
4359 X 10^9 m^3 / year X 0.714 kg natural gas / m^3 X (36 lit H2O/ 16 kg Natural gas) =
= 7.0027 X 10^12 lit water / year
 

AVERAGE SEA LEVEL RISE PRODUCED BY WORLD COMBUSTION OF OIL AND NATURAL GAS:
Thus combustion of hydrocarbons produces:
(0.0 + 5.7118 + 7.0027) X 10^12 lit / year
= 1.27145 X 10^13 lit H2O / year
= 1.27145 X 10^10 m^3 H2O / year

The corresponding rise in sea level is:
[1.27145 X 10^10 m^3 / year] / [3.61 X 10^14 m^2]
= .03522 mm / year

Hence the NASA reported sea level rise adjusted for hydrocarbon combustion is:
3.4 mm / year - 0.03522 mm / year +/- 0.4 mm / year
= 3.36478 mm / yr +/- 0.4 mm / year

Hence the net increase in ocean volume per year is:
[3.36478 mm / yr +/- 0.4 mm / year] X [3.61 X 10^14 m^2] X [1 m / 1000 mm]
= 12.1468 X 10^11 m^3 / year +/- 1.444 X 10^11 m^3 / year

This volume increase is due to the combination of melting of land borne ice and thermal expansion of the ocean water.
 

MELTING OF LAND BORNE ICE ON GREENLAND AND ANTARCTICA:
Recent NASA satellite measurements of the Greenland glacier and Antarctic glacier melting rates indicate that the annual ice loss is:
286 +/- 21 Gt / year for Greenland and 127 +/- 39 Gt / year for Antarctica.

The corresponding increase in average sea level due to melting of land borne ice is given by:
[(286 + 127) X 10^9 m^3 / year +/- 60 X10^9 m^3 / year)] / Ao
= [(413 X 10^9 m^3 / year +/- 60 X 10^9 m^3 / year) / (361 X 10^12 m^2)]
= 1.144 X 10^-3 m / year +/- 0.1662 X 10^-3 m / year
= 1.144 mm / year +/- 0.1662 mm / year
= 1.144 mm / year +/- 14.52%

Define:
Hf = heat of fusion of water = 79.72 cal / gm
The amount of heat required to melt sufficient ice to form a cubic metre of water is given by:
79.72 cal / gm X 4.18 J / cal X 10^6 gm / m^3 = 333.2296 X 10^6 J / m^3

The corresponding net amount of heat absorbed by the latent heat of fusion of melting ice per year is:
[413 X 10^9 m^3 / year +/- 60 X 10^9 m^3 / yr] X 333.2296 X 10^6 J / m^3
= 1376.24 X 10^17 J / year +/- 199.9377 X 10^17 J / year
= 0.1376 X 10^21 J / year +/- .01999377 X 10^21 J / year
= 0.1376 X 10^21 J / year +/- 14.52%

The remaining increase in sea level to be accounted for via thermal expansion is:
(3.4 m +/- 0.4 mm / year - 1.144 mm +/- 0.1662 X mm / year) / year
= 2.256 mm / year +/- 0.5662 mm / year
= 2.256 mm / year +/- 25.1%
 

STRATIFIED OCEAN:
The density of water as a function of temperature goes through a relative maximum at 4 degrees C. Ocean water in Earth's gravitational field spontaneously stratifies so that the dense 3 degree C to 5 degree C component is on the bottom and separate ponds of less dense colder water and warmer water float on top of the dense component.

In the temperate and tropical oceans the less dense upper layer of floating water is > 5 degrees C. In the polar oceans the less dense upper layer of floating water is < 3 degrees C. At the junction between the temperate ocean and the polar ocean, where the ocean surface temperature is 3 degrees C to 5 degrees C, the 3 degrees C to 5 degrees C region extends from the ocean bottom all the way to the ocean surface.
 

TEMPERATE AND TROPICAL OCEANS:
In the temperate and tropical oceans absorption of solar photons by the top ocean layer causes just the top layer to increase in temperature because due to its lower density the warm top layer cannot penetrate the underlying more dense 3 degree C to 5 degree C water. This solar energy absorption causes the top ocean layer to expand in the temperate and tropical oceans, which contributes to sea level rise.
 

POLAR OCEANS:
In the polar ocean, where the ocean surface temperature is less than 4 degrees C, lower density ice water floats on top of higher density 4 degree C water. Addition of heat to the ocean surface increases the density of the ice water causing the ice water to sink to the top of the 4 degree C bottom layer. The polar ocean surface temperature may be further fixed by the presence of floating ice.

There is a decrease in the surface level of the floating sea ice as this ice melts. However, the sea level in the polar oceans will still rise due to melting of land borne ice. Note that the net sea level rise is less in the polar oceans than in the tropical oceans. Hence the satellite measurement of average sea level rise is a bit dependent on the satellite's orbital plane incination with respect to Earth's equatorial plane.
 

THERMAL COEFFICIENT OF EXPANSION OF WATER
For the purpose of calculations herein it is assumed that the average ocean surface temperature is 15 degrees C. Hence the average temperature in the ocean surface layer is:
(15 C + 5 C) / 2 = 10.0 C

The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics gives the fractional change in density of water with temperature from 5 C to 15 C as:
- 8.6 X 10^-5 / deg C
 

THERMAL EXPANSION:
Assume that all of the added heat due to solar radiation absorption remains concentrated in the ocean top surface layer which is mostly in the temperature range 5 C to 15 C.

The fractional change in sea water surface layer thickness with temperature is 8.6 X 10^-5 / degrees C

Hence a 10 m thick layer of water when it rises by 1 degree C will expand by:
10 m X 8.6 X 10^-5 = 8.6 X 10^-4 m = 0.86 mm

The absorbed thermal energy / year necessary to realize that 0.86 mm of vertical linear expansion is given by:
(area of ocean) X 10 m X 1 degree C X 1000 kg / m^3 X 1000 cal / kg-degree C X 4.18 J / cal
= [3.61 X 10^14 m^2] X 10 m X 1 degree C X (1000 kg / m^3) X (1000 cal / kg-degree C) X (4.18 J / cal)
= [3.61 X 10^14 m^2] X 10 m X (1 / m^3) X (10^6 cal) X (4.18 J / cal)
= [3.61 X 10^14] X (10^7 cal) X (4.18 J / cal)
= 15.09 X 10^21 J

The absorbed thermal energy required to produce a 2.256 mm sea level rise by thermal expansion is:
(2.256 mm / 0.86 mm) X 15.09 X 10^21 J = 39.585 X 10^21 J

We can repeat this calculation for an assumed 20 m ocean surface layer thickness.

The change in sea water surface layer thickness with temperature at 10 C is 8.6 X 10^-5 / degrees C

Hence an 20 m thick layer of water when it rises by 1 degree C will expand by:
20 m X 8.6 X 10^-5 = 2 X 8.6 X 10^-4 m = 2 X 0.86 mm

The absorbed thermal energy / year necessary to realize that 2 X 0.86 mm linear expansion is given by:
(area of ocean) X 20 m X 1 degree C X 1000 kg / m^3 X 1000 cal / kg-degree C X 4.18 J / cal
= [3.61 X 10^14 m^2] X 20 m X 1 degree C X (1000 kg / m^3) X (1000 cal / kg-degree C) X (4.18 J / cal)
= [3.61 X 10^14 m^2] X 20 m X (1 / m^3) X (10^6 cal) X (4.18 J / cal)
= [3.61 X 10^14] X 2 X (10^7 cal) X (4.18 J / cal)
= 2 X 15.09 X 10^21 J

The absorbed energy required to produce a 2.256 mm sea level rise by thermal expansion is:
(2.256 mm / 2 X 0.86 mm) X 2 X 15.09 X 10^21 J = 39.585 X 10^21 J
which is the same as was calculated for a 10 m layer thickness.

Note that the calculation of absorbed thermal energy is independent of the ocean top layer thickness.
 

TOTAL NET ABSORBED THERMAL POWER
Thus the total net absorbed thermal power by planet Earth is:
(absorbed thermal power by oceans) + (absorbed thermal power by land borne ice)
(39.585 X 10^21 J / year +/- 25.1%) + (0.1376 X 10^21 J / year +/- 14.52%)
= 39.7226 X 10^21 J / year +/- 25.15%

If this heat is absorbed by the oceans the average thermal flux is:
(39.7226 X 10^21 J / year) X (1 year / 8766 h) X (1 h / 3600 s) X (1 / 3.61 X 10^14 m^2)
= 397.226 / (8.766 X 3.600 X 3.61) J / s-m^2
= 3.49 W / m^2 +/- 25.15%

If this number is normalized to just the solar illuminated ocean face of Earth the absorbed power increases to:
4 X 3.49 W / m^2 = 13.96 W / m^2 +/- 25.15%
 

ERROR DISCUSSION:
In the aforementioned calculation there are possible sources of minor error. For example, at this time we do not know the track of the satellites used to determine the average sea level rise. Since the sea level rise is smaller in the polar ocean than in the temperate and tropical oceans we do not know how much the calculation of average sea level rise is affected by the satellite orbital track. An equitorial orbit will give a larger result than a polar orbit.

In the above calculation there is an implicit assumption of a sharp transition between the warm ocean surface region and the cold ~ 4 degree C underlying water. For still water this assumption is supported by the experimental measurements. However, if this temperature transition occurs near an ocean surface which is disturbed by wind and wave action, part of the thermal energy will be transferred into the underlying cold water which has a much smaller thermal coefficient of expansion than the warmer water. Hence the calculation of average absorbed thermal power gives a result that is a bit smaller than reality.

This author is of the belief that a reasonable estimate of the net average absorbed thermal power by the ocean in 2017 is:
3.5 W / m^2.
 

WORST CASE THERMAL RUNAWAY CONDITIONS
The average absorbed heat per unit area of Earth is given by:
Ho (1 - Fr) / 4
where:
Ho = 1365 W / m^2

In the year 2000:
Fr = 0.297 ~ 0.3

It is contemplated that in worst case thermal runaway conditions Fr = 0.10

Thus the increase in the value of:
Ho (1 - Fr) / 4 is:
[Ho (0.9) / 4] - [Ho (0.7) / 4 ]
= [Ho (0.2 / 4 ] = Ho / 20
= (1365 / 20) W / m^2
= 68.25 W / m^2

This increase in absorbed solar radiation is potentially absorbed by both the open ocean and the land borne ice.

The area of Greenland is 2.166 X 10^6 km^2. The area of Antarctica is 14 X 10^6 km^2. The combined area of land borne glacier ice is:
16.166 X 10^6 km^2.

If this increased solar flux is absorbed by the land borne glaciers, the corresponding contribution to sea level rise due to glacier melting would be:
[68.25 W / m^2 X 8766 h / year X 3600 s / h X 1 J / W-s] X [area of land borne glaciers]
/ {[333.2296 X 10^6 J / m^3] X [ocean area]}
= [68.25 W / m^2 X 8766 h / year X 3600 s / h X 1 J / W-s] X [16.166 X 10^6 km^2 X 10^6 m^2 / km^2]
/ {[333.2296 X 10^6 J / m^3] X [3.61 X 10^14 m^2]}
= [68.25 W / m^2 X 8.766 h / year X 3.600 s / h X 1 J / W-s] X [16.166 m^2]
/ {[333.2296 J / m^3] X [3.61 X 10^2 m^2]}
= 0.289 m / year
= 289 mm / year.

The sea level rise rate contribution from thermal expansion due to this increased solar flux would be:
[68.25 W / m^2 X 3.61 X 10^14 m^2 X 8766 h / year X 3600 s / h X 1 J / W-s] X [0.86 mm / year] / [15.09 X 10^21 J / year] = 44.31 mm /year

Thus the maximum projected sea level rise rate under thermal runaway conditions is:
289 mm / year + 44.31 mm / year = 333.31 mm / year

In terms of sea wall construction 333.31 mm / year is a very rapid sea level rise rate. It is about 100X the present sea level rise rate.
 

MELTING OF FLOATING POLAR ICE:
Melting of floating polar ice absorbs heat but it does not change the sea level. However, the rate of melting of floating polar ice provides a crude indication of the rate at which heat reaches Arctic Ocean waters.

In 2007 the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research expedition to the North Polar Sea found that large areas of the Arctic sea-ice were only 1 m thick, half the thickness found in 2001. The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that in 2000 the minimum Arctic sea ice area was 6.74 X 10^6 km^2 and that in 2007 the corresponding minimum Arctic sea ice area was 4.13 X 10^6 km^2. Hence the average melting rate of Arctic sea ice over the period 2000 to 2007 is given by:
[(6.74 X 10^6 km^2 X .002 km) - (4.13 X 10^6 km^2 X .001 km)] / 7 years
= [13.48 X 10^3 km^3 - 4.13 X 10^3 km^3] / 7 years
= 1336 km^3 / year.

The corresponding rate of heat absorption by the melting floating ice is:
1336 km^3 / year X 10^9 m^3 / km^3 X 333.2296 X 10^6 J / m^3
= 1.336 X3.332296 X 10^5 X 10^15 J / year
= 4.452 X 10^20 J / year
Note that the rate of net heat absorption by the oceans is far greater than the rate of net heat absorption by melting of land borne ice.
 

OCEAN ENERGY ABSORPTION DUE TO A CHANGE IN ALBEDO OVER THE OCEAN:
The absorbed solar energy flux is:
Ho (1 - Fr) / 4 = (1363 W / m^2) (0.7 / 4) = 238.52 W / m^2

If the albedo decreases by 0.01 the new absorbed solar energy flux is:
Ho (1 - Fr) / 4 = (1363 W / m^2) (0.71 / 4) = 241.93 W / m^2

The increase in average absorbed solar energy flux is:
241.93 W / m^2 - 238.52 W / m^2 = 3.4125 W / m^2

Thus a planetary albedo decrease of 0.010 is sufficient to explain the currently observed sea level rise.
 

THE SEA LEVEL CONSEQUENCES:
One of the likely long term consequences of an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is a decrease in planetary albedo and an increase in sea level. This will be the case unless other albedo changes offset the effect of reduced solar reflection from floating sea ice.

Many of the world's human population concentrations are located at sea ports and on river deltas. These population concentrations are seriously threatened by an increase in sea level of only a few metres. Their problems are compounded by violent ocean storms which cause a local low air pressure which can raise the local sea level by several metres. When these effects are co-incident with a local high tide and an on-shore wind severe flood damage occurs.

1. Historical data over the period 1910 to 1990 indicates an average sea level increase over that period of about 1.9 mm / year. During the period 1990 to 2016 this rate of sea level rise increased to approximately 3.4 mm / year.

2. The sedimentary record shows that during an interglacial period about 125,000 years ago for a short time the average sea level reached 4 m to 6 m higher than its present level. The current sea level rise rate suggests that a large sea level rise is likely in the near future.

3. The volume of ice on Greenland, if it all melted, would increase the average sea level by 7.2 m.

4. The volume of ice on Antarctica, if it all melted, would increase the average sea level by 61.1 m.

5. The volume of ice in the grounded interior reservoir of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, if it all melted, would raise the average sea level by 5 to 6 m.

6. Thermal expansion due to net heat absorption will cause a further sea level rise.

7. The average sea level will continue rising until the excess atmospheric CO2 concentration decays, or until the average ocean surface temperature fully responds or until the ice caps melt. Once the ice cap shrinking process takes hold even if the injection of fossil CO2 is stopped, the melting process will continue due to the excess atmospheric CO2 concentration exponential decay time constant To, which is about 16 years.

8. Under uncontrolled thermal runaway conditions, assumiing that the Greenland and Antarctic glaciers gradually melt but do not otherwise slide into the adjacent oceans, the maximum possible sea level rise rate is projected to be about 333 mm / year.

9. In the event that either the Greenland glacier or the Antarctic glacier slides into the neighboring ocean the rate of sea level rise could be much larger than calculated herein.
 

SUMMARY:
The main issue that people must grasp is that currently the sea level rise rate is 3.4 mm / year but if the Bond albedo drops as projected during thermal runaway the sea level rise rate could reach 333 mm / year, which is a 100 fold sea level rise rate increase. The average sea level rise rate and the land borne ice melting rate should be carefully monitored because these parameters provide a clear indication of the advance of net heat accumulation by planet Earth. These parameters are easier to measure and easier for the public to understand than the change in planetary Bond albedo.
 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

This web page last updated June 19, 2018.

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