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More Bad News For Bangladesh And The East Coast
By Ernest Stewart

Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense. ~~~ Ronald Reagan ~ state of the Union address, Jan. 25, 1984

According to a new study, Indian Ocean sea levels are on the rise. A new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research shows that sea level rise in the northern Indian Ocean rose twice as fast as the global average since 2003. This represents a stark contrast to the previous decade when the region experienced very little sea level rise at all.

Philip Thompson, associate director of the University of Hawaii's Sea Level Center in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), analyzed two and a half decades of ocean surface height measurements taken from satellites. The satellite data showed a substantial and abrupt increase in decade-long sea level trends in the Indian Ocean region, prompting oceanographers to investigate the cause of the shift using computer simulations of ocean circulation. Thompson said:
"Wind blowing over the ocean caused changes in the movement of heat across the equator in the Indian Ocean. This lead to suppression of sea level rise during the 1990s and early 2000s; but now we are seeing the winds amplify sea level rise by increasing the amount of ocean heat brought into the region.

"This is caused by the reversal of winds. When trade winds in the Indian Ocean are weaker north of the equator compared to the south, warmer water at the ocean surface is driven out of the Northern Hemisphere, and colder, deep water is moved in. This has a net cooling effect on the ocean, leading to the suppression of sea level rise. This is what occurred early in the satellite record; but recently the situation reversed, causing heat to build up in the northern Indian Ocean and enhancing the rate of sea level rise."
Many of the world's most vulnerable populations to sea level rise can be found in these parts of the Indian Ocean, including those in Bangladesh and Jakarta.

"What we are learning is that the interaction between the ocean and atmosphere causes sea level to rise like a staircase instead of a straight line-starting and stopping for many years at a time. What we've done here is described one stair, which will help us better understand and plan for the future," said Thompson.

The science team will continue their work using similar techniques to understand sea level variability in the South Indian Ocean, investigating how heat is exchanged between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Until the Atlantic Ocean starts producing hurricanes like the monsters in the Pacific Ocean, we can't blame Matthew on global warming -- even with its 2 feet of rain and hurricane force winds; but, we can blame the higher tides on global warming. All that melting ice in the Arctic has been pushing water levels up on the East Coast.

The cruise ship Crystal Serenity made her cruise through the Northwest Passage, and now lies at dock in Manhattan. You may recall she's the size of the Battleship Bismarck -- with half the Bismarck's tonnage. Not only is the land ice melting at a faster rate than ever, but so is the sea ice; and all that water has to go somewhere; and it's going to the shores of the East Coast; so when even a small hurricane like Matthew goes by, the results can be catastrophic. Ask the folks in eastern North Carolina how that's working out for them!


06-15-1962 ~ 10-12-2016
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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 42 (c) 10/14/2016