In my review of AIT I deliberately obscured any science message by talking about carbon offsetting :-). But I did say: Pretty animations of 5m sea level rise flooding Manhattan and whatever. No mention of timescale. Its very dubious showing this stuff without saying "and this won't happen in 100 years".. But it looks like a lot of people have been fooled, including certain members of the House of Lords, since (in the aforementioned Antarctica debate) Avebury sez:
In December, an island off the coast of India that used to have 20,000 inhabitants vanished below the waves. It was the first of an increasing number of islands that will disappear as sea levels rise due to global warming--by as much as six metres before 2050 if we accept the figures given by Al Gore in his video, "An Inconvenient Truth". Where I live, just the other side of Camberwell New Road, we should be just above the shoreline, but if there has been a miscalculation and it turns out that sea levels rise by eight instead of six metres, the end of my road will be submerged, together with much of Lambeth and Southwark. Your Lordships can see what will happen in their own areas if they look at the website wwwflood.firetree.net, a great piece of work by Alex Tingle.
So where did lord A pick up 2050 from? My recollection is that Gore very sensibly didn't mention a timescale, since saying "500+ years" would not sound very urgent...
In today's NYT Richard Alley is quoted as saying "a sea-level rise of a foot or two in the coming decades is entirely possible." Considering that a couple of years ago we were blithely imagining that such a thing was impossible, why has such an outcome so quickly become insufficently disastrous?
I have a great respect for the British aristocracy but 10 centuries of constant intimate relationships with noble siblings and other members of the family may turn out to be a little bit too much of a good thing in some specific cases. ;-)
The issue is not only the absolute sea level rise, but erosion and a bunch of other things. If we look to colder areas than the South Pacific, difficulties are already arising.
[Or perhaps more honestly, the issue really is the bunch of other things - SLR is not causing the problems you mention -W]
Lubos, the interesting thing for those of us with an interest in history, is that no families have 10 centuries of intermarriage with other gentry alone. In fact during the later medieval period, noble families were dying out literally within about 3 generations of being ennobled.
It is only in the past century or two that survival rates have increased enough to permit decently long family lines to develop.
Mind you, the Roses of Kilravock up near Inverness have been around for something like 700 years, but their last representative is a single OAP. Mind you I have no data on their marriage habits.
It is contributing. As Rosanna Rosanadana said, if it's not one thing it's another.
Seriously a small rise on top of a storm surge is all that is needed for considerable damage.
Didn't that island the noble lord mentioned that dissapeared do its dissapearing 22 years ago? And isn't it one of a chain of 'islands' in the Bay of Bengal that have been dissapearing for a thousand years or more because the locals are cutting down the trees for firewood and the 'islanda' are thus being washed away by the currents?