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Sunday, December 30, 2012


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Hi Matt,
this is a great piece of writing on the potential for a multi-metre sea level rise this century, especially articulating the impact on housing for the USA. I am preparing my own review and article on Hansen's paper and came across this piece. I am adding a link to this article, just in preparation now. You can check out my site at http://takvera.blogspot.com


Martin Gisser

It's quite amazing how fast the "conventional" view on sea level rise has changed.

3 years ago, there was a nice discussion at realclimate.org. Back then, 1m SLR was seen the upper bound. But assuming exponential decay of Greenland ice I found a SLR of 4 meter by 2100 would be unsurprising. (It didn't even need a pencil to do that math.) Gavin Schmidt's response:

[Response: I would be very surprised. 1 meter would already be a disaster, (...) - gavin]


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Convert carbon dioxide (CO2) weight to carbon (C) weight


CO2/3.67 = C 


ex: 40 GtCO2 ≈ 10.9 GtC


1 Gt (Gigatonne) = 1 billion tonnes

1 tonne = 1,000 kg


Also: 1 Pg = 1 Gt


1 Pg (Petagram) = 1 quadrillion grams


Soil specialists tend to use Pg, as they are used to working with gram units per square meter of soil area. Atmospheric specialists tend to use Gt. 

Convert carbon emissions to ppm atmospheric CO2


GtC/2.12 = ppm

To convert emissions of carbon to atmospheric ppm CO2, carbon sinks must be taken into account. 

So far, terrestrial and oceanic sinks have taken up about 50% of CO2.



ex: 40 GtCO2 emissions ≈ 10.9 GtC

10.9 GtC/2.12 ≈ 5.14 ppm CO2 before accounting for sinks

5.14 ppm CO2 x 0.5 ≈ 2.57 ppm CO2 after accounting for sinks


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