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 »
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