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Title: Carbon dioxide warming and coastline flooding: physical factors and climatic impact. [Review]

Carbon dioxide warming and coastline flooding: physical factors and climatic impact. [Review] Fossil-fuel burning and some land uses have led to, and are likely to continue to lead to, increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO/sub 2/) in the atmosphere. The increases are projected by state-of-the-art equilibrium climatic models to lead to a global warming of a degree or so Celsius around 2000 AD, with this warming amplified several times near the poles. The authors review briefly the issues of the likelihood and timing of resulting coastal flooding, and also emphasize some demographic, economic, social, and geopolitical consequences of an assumed CO/sub 2/-induced rise in sea level of 15 to 25 ft (4.6 to 7.6 m). Their analyses are restricted to the continental US but conclude, nonetheless, that only in this one country on the order of $2 x 10/sup 11/ (in 1971 US dollars) in private and public land and structures would be inundated by the 7.6 m local rise. (In 1980 dollars these estimates are low by several fold). Other economic, social, and political repercussions are also likely. A final consideration of the CO/sub 2/ problem is ethics: i.e., is it ethical for this generation to allow a long-term buildup of CO/sub 2/ with potentially large consequences for posterity, more » even though the extent of the threat is presently uncertain. Although the authors suspect that assessments of the potential effects of regional climatic variations (CO/sub 2/-induced or otherwise) on regional food and water supplies will prove of greater importance to society (at least in the next few decades) than an assessment of a possible sea level rise, the latter is easier to perform quantitatively than the former. 131 references, 2 figures, 1 table. « less
Authors: ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 6367691
Resource Type:Journal Article
Resource Relation:Journal Name: Annu. Rev. Energy; (United States); Journal Volume: 5
Research Org:National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 20 FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS; CARBON DIOXIDE; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; FOSSIL-FUEL POWER PLANTS; GREENHOUSE EFFECT; FLOODS; COASTAL REGIONS; CARBON COMPOUNDS; CARBON OXIDES; CHALCOGENIDES; DISASTERS; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; POWER PLANTS; THERMAL POWER PLANTS 500200* -- Environment, Atmospheric-- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport-- (-1989); 290300 -- Energy Planning & Policy-- Environment, Health, & Safety; 200200 -- Fossil-Fueled Power Plants-- Waste Management