Rising waters

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The polar regions are warming faster than the rest of the planet. Rising sea levels will cause tremendous damage to coastal regions. According to the most pessimistic scenarios, this could displace a billion human beings.  Where would these refugees go?

Rising Waters

Heat waves alert us to the warming planet. But as the Arctic is heating faster than thetemperate zones, the high altitude air current known as the jet stream (1) which normally regulates the temperatures of our region, ceases to retain its nice circular form around the North Pole; it makes more and more pronounced zigzags as can be seen on the weather bulletins of networks such as Radio-Canada/CBC and CTV (2). North of the current it is cold, south of the jet stream it is hot.

The warming is more pronounced in the Arctic than in other regions of the globe. In the Autumn of 2016, the Washington Post pointed out that the temperature of this region was 36 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees C) above normal (3). More heat in the polar regions means melting ice in the Antarctic as well as around Greenland. Le Monde notes the detachment of a mega-glacier <6 km wide, 800 m deep, and 1,6 km long. This iceberg would weigh between 10 and 14 billions tonnes>. And in La Presse, Charles Côté tells us that the Larsen C ice shelf broke away from Antartica; it is <<...an iceberg of 6600 square kilometers. That is greater than the area of Prince Edward Island ...>>(5)

Certainly there has always been ice breaking away from the great glaciers, but nothing of that magnitude. According to Wikipedia, << … the rise in sea level is attributed to climate change due to the thermal expansion of the water and the melting of land glaciers … A report from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) tells us that this rise in sea level could be between .3 meters and 2.5 meters over this century…. there will be a great deal of flooding of the coastal regions….>> (6)

With only a minor increase of sea level, the coasts of the Gaspé and the Gulf of the St Lawrence were damaged several times since the storm of 2010 (7) So the Gaspé experience teaches us that damage is felt long before the shoreline is permanently flooded.

According to NOAA, <<…With continued ocean and atmospheric warming, sea levels will likely rise for many centuries at rates higher than that of the current century. In the United States, almost 40 percent of the population lives in relatively high-population-density coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding, shoreline erosion, and hazards from storms. Globally, eight of the world’s 10 largest cities are near a coast....>>(8) GoodbyeFlorida (9), Venice, The Netherlands, and Bangladesh.

Some of the more pessimistic scenarios predict sea level rise of up to 7 meters. If that should be the case, there would be billions of displaced persons. Over a billion climate refugees! Where would they go? As a comparison, a “mere” million Syrian refugees have caused a headache for the authorities and political tensions in Germany and the rest of Europe. In order to halt the flood of migration, Trump wants to build a wall on the Mexican border. And we feel pressured by a few hundred refugees which arrive daily at Roxham Road. Then imagine more than a billion people unable to return to their homes because these are flooded!!! How can they rebuild their life?  Where?

<<Will the warming of the planet encourage conflicts? >>(10) That is THE QUESTION! And the rise of water level is just one factor that will aggravate the tensions between people who will be faced with famine, violence and the loss of their habitat.

In the Bible, a flood engulfed all life , because,<<…men became more and more evil in the world…>>After the Ark, God said,<< …Henceforth I will not curse the Earth because of Man … » (11) In the 21stcentury, God has no need to curse the planet; the unbridled combustion of fossil fuels promoted by climate change deniers fills the bill in His place. The problem is that our grandchildren will have to face the terrifying reality caused by these  »evil » men … who take refuge in FAKE NEWS. Is sea level rise the Apocalypse knocking at our door?

Gérard Montpetit

August 1, 2018






6]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise (ma traduction)

7] https://www.lavantage.qc.ca/actualites/2017/12/6/il-y-a-sept-ans–les-grandes-marees-deferlaient–sur-les-cotes-d.html


9] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/26/rising-seas-florida-climate-change-elizabeth-rush


11] La Bible, par la Société biblique canadienne, 1988, traduite en français courant, Genèse chap 6, v 5 et chap 8, v 21