Maybe estimates of sea level increases are low; maybe climate change damage will be greater than expected

Eternal Hope at Daily Kos wonders what happens if the conservative estimates of sea level rise — the ones you usually see cited in the press — turn out to be way too conservative.  What happens if sea levels rise about double what some are estimating now?

If the severity and frequency of storms does not increase much, we may be able to accommodate the changes over time (though remember, some say we can do it easily).

How willing are the skeptics and denialists to tell cities and insurance actuaries that the fears of ocean-level increases are piffles?

Speaking of insurance:  Texas has been hammered over the past 20 years by unseasonal and much more-severe-than-usual thunderstorms, ice storms, straightline winds, tornadoes and hurricanes.  Home insurance rates skyrocketed.  State regulators argue with insurance companies about whether rate increases are justified.  Insurance companies cite claims for problems that did not exist earlier, and which may be blamed on climate change.  (How much excess mold will occur due to warming?)

Sometimes the arguments erupt into lawsuits and regulatory action.  One such argument drags on now, with up to a $1 billion in overcharges at stake.  How much of the fight from the insurance companies comes from their fears of the effects of global warming?

4 Responses to Maybe estimates of sea level increases are low; maybe climate change damage will be greater than expected

  1. […] Maybe estimates of sea level changes are low; maybe climate change damage will be greater than expec… (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub) […]


  2. solarkent says:

    Its not just insurance costs that will be effected. There is also going to be an impact on teh availability of mortgages for properties at or near sea level. Who’s going to loan money on a house that will be underwater in 50 years. Even though the mortgage might be 25 years, the proprty will be worthless (unsellable) long before its underwater!


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    The facts are these:
    1. Carbon dioxide, in tiny concentrations in the atmosphere, creates a greenhouse effect.
    2. Carbon dioxide levels have been rising, rather dramatically since we started mining fossil fuels and burning them in gross quantities.
    3. The Earth’s climate shows the effects of massive infusions of energy as would be expected from an increased greenhouse effect from the added carbon dioxide.

    The reason you don’t find AGW articles without the words if, possibly, projected, maybe, and predicted is because scientists are cautious. “Cautious” should not be read as “unsure,” and rarely can it be morphed into “wrong.”

    In contrast, in AGW denial screeds one rarely sees those words, except to falsely question the science. That’s because opponents and deniers of the science are not careful, generally are haughty and arrogant and do not entertain the idea that they could possibly be in error. Pat Frank powerfully makes the case that we cannot say with absolute certainty that it is carbon alone that causes all the effects. Well, surprise, but no scientist claims it is carbon alone; and Frank is a good enough scientist not to argue that warming is not occurring. A lot of climate change science is historical, of necessity; much much of it is laboratory and observationally confirmed. I don’t grant much credence to those who argue against history and science.

    What was that old CW song, “Been down so goddamned long that it looks like up to me?” The song of the denialists might as well be “been wrong and in denial so long that it looks like right and sane to me.”

    There are a few exceptions, but very few.

    I start from the viewpoint that air pollution is generally dangerous and should be controlled, reduced if possible. That has been true over the past 200 years of industrial level emissions. Since it is true for soot, all other particulates including fly ash, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, ozone, hydrocarbons, ozone, lead, and every other emission ever studied, it’s most likely accurate for carbon dioxide, too.

    Can you make a case that it is not so? No denier seriously tries to make a case based on science. Instead, denial literature is loaded with ad hominem arguments, ridicule of science and scientists, and very rarely published in science journals for other scientists to critique.

    Facts are stubborn things indeed, bu they to not run contrary to the hypothesis that humans cause pollution that alters our climate, nor to the observations that climate changes pose serious threats to agriculture, health, and the physical safety of humans.


  4. Phil Bailey says:

    AGW movement is driven by fear mongers…not facts…”What if”, “maybe”, “possibly”…no facts just fears.

    The facts are the major obstacles for the AGW mob…not those of us who are looking at the data and discarding “models” that have failed time and again.

    Take any article about AGW and high-light the reported none facts. Usually, these non-facts start with “if”, “possibly”,”projected”, “maybe” and “predicted”. I have yet to find a single article about AWG that does not include atleast 3 of these non-facts. The non-facts ALWAYS exceed the number of facts in the article. When facts start to exceed the non-facts, then the AGW crowd will be taken more seriously.


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