New York Underwater: Could This Really Be?

The past few weeks here in New Jersey and New York have been pretty rainy and not so nice. With that in mind, I came across a video that really caught my attention and had me confused for a good minute or so. For a while I thought I had been out of the loop, when suddenly I realized that this was just another sort of filming "trick" to fool the eye. Relating to my last article, this "video" takes it to another level showing a city we probably all know flooded by water. For me, it was not much of a pleasant sight and if this were to really happen, I can't imagine how much we would all be affected by it.

I have to say that I am impressed with this work. I can imagine that these are stills and the water and movement is added in. There is an extreme attention to detail with the movement of the flags, the lights, reflections in the water, wet stains on the building, and everything else going on. It is amazing how real everything looks and because of that, I almost thought this actually happened in New York and I was wondering why I didn't hear about it. The video was very gloomy, pretty much all silent aside from a few words that leaves it up to us viewers to interpret what exactly is going on.

Check out some more work by Claire and Max on their website.

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26 Comments

Michael Yearout's picture

Ty: Yes very gloomy, but a very real possibility. The segment with the statute of Liberty surrounded by water and looking so tiny was a dramatic scene.

jonas y's picture

Very, very cool video.

Climate change is very real and constant. But here's a few questions I have for a long time and I hope someone can answer.

First thing first, 2 degrees is lesser than the difference between summer and winter for the Antarctica, so if 2 degrees are going to results in sea water flood New York is my first question.

Secondly how much human activity is going to results in 2 degrees of temperature rise? Climate change is constant and 2 degrees in average can go completely because of human activity or mostly because of Sun activities. What is the estimated model?

The final question is, Netherland is largely under water if is wasn't for human activities, such as dam building and water pumping. How much is the upper limit for the people to give up a city like New York, or how much money do we have to make to SAVE a city like this?

Anonymous's picture

"Climate change is very real and constant" but you don't seem to know anything about it!? I'm not trying to be a jerk (it comes naturally to me ;-)) but your statements seem incongruous. In any case, I'm not sure a photography blog is the best place to get your answers. I recently read an article from a right-wing guy stating, if people are really concerned about the effects of climate change, they should probably look at potential solutions to those effects in addition to ways to slow it down. Personally, and I admit my bias, I think they're more interested in creating drama than actually fixing anything. JMO

jonas y's picture

Great points, thanks. Actually, I know quite a bit about what the mainstream ideas about climate change as one who grew up with Discovery Channel and NG.
But the fact is no one seems to have a reliable model of human impacts. And what makes the question harder to answer is fossil fuels are the most economical power source we have, and the better the economy the area is, the more crisis resistance the area will be. So when I see a post like this I will have to question what actually is science and what is just belief.

Patrick Hall's picture

I've actually just started reading the real science about global warming (as in man made). The real scientific evidence isn't necessarily what you would think it is by watching the media. The real data shows that on average the earth warms and cools about 2 degrees per 100 years. The problem with so much of the global warming doomsday media talk is that they rely on computer models that have not been shown to be very accurate at all and rely on variables and constants that do not act the way they are programmed to act in these models. Imagine how difficult a job a meteorologist has predicting the weather in a week....now imagine that in 50 - 100 years.

I haven't come down to any conclusive opinion on global warming yet but we do know that even without humans, the planet has had massive swings of warm periods and glacier ice ages. CO2 levels have also been drastically different through out the ice core samples we have harvested from Antarctica and we are pretty confident the ice over the land of Antarctica has never melted at least in 200 Million years. Even when CO2 levels were much higher than they are now that ice did not melt.

It's fun to think about and read the actual literature (it's super dense stuff) but I'm convinced at the very least that the media and global powers that be are spinning man's involvement in global warming so that it appears worse than it is. Green power isn't some free lunch and in most cases the natural energy needed to build green energy is not an efficient use of power yet. That being said, I totally believe the pollution of our water systems is a MUCH MUCH more serious situation and I don't want anyone thinking that if global warming is a false flag that we should also ignore the problem of pollution in general.

I'm all for looking into the source material over just accepting whatever you are told.

The comparison between a weather forecast and climate models is a bit off though. They work differently, since climate models work on a much larger scale and do not depend so much on fluctuating local effects. However, all climate simulation models come with caveats and uncertainties that need to be taken into account when considering their respective results.

The problem with only reporting the scientific base results is that absolutely no one would care one tiny bit. And if that is the case, nothing would happen at all, which would be especially terrible if man made climate change is real (which I am positive it is). Isn't the purpose of mass media to shed light on topics that are important? And climate change (man made or not) is definitely important.

Concerning "renewable" energy: sure, it might not be a complete replacement yet, but if the tech is not pushed, then it will never be. And even if you suppose that CO2 emissions don't drive climate change or at least augment it, just going back to fossil fuels will at most be a temporary advantage.
Even if you do not care about pollution, they will definitely run out at some point.
I guess what I'm saying is wind and solar power plus battery research are just common sense, regardless of your standpoint on man made climate change.

Anonymous's picture

Your comments make a lot of sense. My only caveat being, any light shed on a topic needs to be commensurate with the topic being highlighted.
Absolutely agree pollution is an issue that should be addressed. If the Global Warming crowd attacked it from that angle, along with making sensible suggestions to attack it, they'd enjoy a lot more success and a lot less derision.

Hi Patrick, I don't pretend to be any kind of climate scientist, but even a non-expert like me can tell that none of the points you've made are correct. I don't mean to be a dick about this, and I certainly don't think you're trying to mislead anyone. But someone stopping to read FStoppers comments about science or environmental policy may end up misled, so I hope you don't mind me providing corrections on each of the points mentioned.

1. "The real data shows that on average the earth warms and cools about 2 degrees per 100 years"

This is flagrantly untrue. Where did you hear this?

2. "they rely on computer models that have not been shown to be very accurate at all"

Climate models work fine for what they're supposed to be. They are not the same thing as weather prediction models used by short-term weather forecasters. A good analogy is putting an MLB player on steroids. If he hits one home run in one game, you cannot be 100% sure it was because of the steroids. But if his record improves overall.... so it is with climate change. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are the steroids we're adding to the Earth's energy flows, and adding more energy to the Earth's energy balance will cause global warming. But we don't need sophisticated climate models for that, the evidence from the laboratory, simple models, and paleoclimate evidence is more than enough. The GCMs are just a small piece of evidence among a vast body of other evidence.

3. "CO2 levels have also been drastically different through out the ice core samples"

To be specific, CO2 levels were much lower than concentrations today. The maximum CO2 level over the past million years was perhaps 300ppm. We're now at 410ppm, and increasing at a faster rate than probably at any point in Earth's entire history. In a few million years, aliens or super-advanced octopus paleontologists who dig down to our layer will wonder what the hell happened.

4. "Even when CO2 levels were much higher than they are now that ice did not melt"

I'm really glad the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is so durable! The West Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets unfortunately aren't quite as tough. During the last integlacial period, which was only 2 degrees Celsius warmer than today, sea levels were up to 10 metres higher than they are today. It would take thousands of years before we reached the maximum level, but even at 2 metres (probable by the end of the century) we're looking at losing huge swathes of coastal land and cities. And creating a giant problem for humanity that lasts for thousands of years is kind of a dick move.

These XKCD comics are good for perspective:

https://xkcd.com/1379/
https://xkcd.com/1732/

4. "Green power isn't some free lunch"

Certainly not, but some things we just have to pay for, if we want to avoid severely negative consequences later on. Sea level rise is just the tip of the iceberg.

5. "I don't want anyone thinking that if global warming is a false flag that we should also ignore the problem of pollution in general."

I doubt anyone who is seriously concerned about climate change, is also the kind of person who would say "okay let's just not deal with any kind of water pollution." After all, climate change also causes ocean acidification, exacerbates coral bleaching events, and so on. Dealing with climate change is also necessary for all those water-related issues as well.

Next time you see a source making one of these claims, make sure that it's actually a legitimate source and trace it all the way back to the original publication. If it's not a peer-reviewed journal of science, it's probably not legitimate. One great website for all these rebuttals, with good sources for every argument, is this place: https://skepticalscience.com/

And if you have the time, I also recommend reading Merchants of Doubt, a book on the history of organized science denial movements in the US.

Patrick Hall's picture

I'm still reading and investigating the affects of CO2, man made or not, so I can't speak authoritatively on the subject, but there are a few things I've already found to be pretty truthful in the scientific debate. The main things I'm reading (all well documented, pier reviewed, published books, etc) is that we simply do not know "to what extent CO2 plays a role in global warming". We know C02 is rising but at .0001% of the gas in our atmosphere, there are a lot of other gases at play. Most physicists and chemists believe the #1 determinant of global weather predictions deals with solar radiation, ocean temps, and changes in the orbital pattern of the earth. Sometimes oceans change temperatures within a year in a relatively unexplained fashion (look up pacific ocean temps off the US west coast after the El Nino of 1990 I believe).

The planet has an uncanny way of equalizing climate and we believe the planet has under gone dozens of ice ages and glacial warming periods over the course of it's life. These oscillating periods have drifted far greater than anything humans have experienced on our limited time on this planet. As you mentioned, it has been much warmer on earth than it is today which has caused oceans to rise as glaciers have melted. Like wise, we have had mini Ice Ages where groups of settlers on Greenland died (which happened less than 1000 years ago). North America has been entirely covered by ice many times before.

Concerning the temp increase, in the last 100 - 120 years, the earth has increased on average about 1.3 degrees. This is within the normal observed temp change when studies are done on fossils records, stalagmites, ice cores, shore lines, etc etc. I've yet to understand how a blanket of C02 which traps warmth in on our planet can also allow for record cold spells. It appears that every 10 years we have a couple 1000 records being broken on way or the other but compared to the records broken between 1930-40, extreme weather isn't as crazy as it was pre WWII. On another note, there is absolutely no evidence that "extreme" weather (hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes,tornadoes) has anything to do with global warming. In fact, living on a coast affected by hurricanes myself, we know that hurricanes and most other cyclones are fueled by a difference in water temps and air temps. At some point if the the waters and air become too warm, hurricanes could cease to exist at all. As I was getting hit by Hurricane Matthew this last year, I was shocked to hear on the news that a hurricane had not hit Florida in over 10 years! I looked it up, and sure enough, hurricane activity has been down lately (some science actually suggests we might be leaving a warm period from the 90s-20s and entering into a cool period).

As for your claim in #3, it might be true that C02 levels are higher now than they were a million years ago (or throughout human existence), BUT....the earth is speculated to be 4.5 billion years old. The less than 1 million year period makes up .00017% of the earth's life span which is hardly enough time to talk about record high or low C02 levels. What we do know is that the current warming period we have been on over the last 150 years started well before the industrial revolution and well before the whole world was heavily producing C02. How can C02 levels trend upwards before mass burning of fuels? Either C02 actually isn't a great indicator of temperature (again solar activity, water temps, and earth's orbit seems to be the best indicator) or/and C02 levels fluctuate greatly through a natural process.

At the end of the day, Mankind has to worry about massive Global Cooling and Global Warming because it has been proven time and time again that the earth's climate oscillates between these periods without human intervention. If it comes in 100 years or comes in 50,000 years....it is coming regardless of what humans do with CO2. The difference in temperature changes need to bring on one of these changes is relatively small (2-4 degrees Celsius) and I think humans a species will be able to live through them through innovation but the biggest fear is actually global cooling. If we enter another ice age, we will experience droughts like never seen because most of the water will be frozen in glaciers and food production will be very difficult. Many argue that a global warming scenario will not be as dangerous for humanity because 1) more people die from cold than heat, 2) increased temperatures, longer seasons, and higher CO2 levels increase diversification and plant growth (our equator is evidence of that vs the poles) and 3) although ocean levels will rise potentially killing or displacing people living on the coast, the amount of available freshwater would be much greater if glaciers melted.

All this being said, I'm not on one side of the coin or the other (yet). BUT, I think 99% of the people who believe global warming is man made or not man made have done absolutely ZERO in researching it. People always say stuff like "the overwhelming consensus is" or "all of the world believes.." but the truth of the matter is consensus and public opinion are not part of the scientific mind. Galileo was proving the earth orbited the sun while the vast majority of the world argued the planets and sun orbited around the earth. Consensus can be a very dangerous measurement when it is often used in place of hard evidence science.

jonas y's picture

Thank you, Patrick. I do actually believe the same thing you said. Furthermore, I found that when artists try to make some art regarding hot bottom issues they are often times embarrassingly wrong.

Paolo Veglio's picture

Some arguments on what you say:
1. you keep confusing weather prediction with climate modeling. Those are totally different things that use completely different approaches and someone here already explained why

2. We do know how the CO2 works, it's basic chemistry and physics. CO2 is a formidable absorber of infrared radiation, the more this radiation is absorbed instead of being released into space, the more the atmosphere will warm up. The argument that the CO2 is only a 0.00something % is weak at best. The fact that something is small doesn't mean that is irrelevant otherwise, with the same logic I could argue that since bacteria and viruses are so insignificantly smaller compared to humans, it's impossible that they make us sick.

3. The El Niño is a recurring event that happens every 5 to 8 years. On a climate change scenario we are talking of 2 degrees in 100 years, so the El Niño effect would disappear, since it's a periodic phenomenon, and wouldn't effect the global trend on such a long timespan.

4. The planet's equilibrium is actually not really that stable and the ice ages that happened in the past occurred over tens of thousands of years. In a climate change scenario we are talking of changes happening in a couple of centuries top, that usually took 10000 years, which is quite a difference in time scales.

5. The 1.3 degrees change is probably within the "norm" if you look at fossils (again hundred of thousands, if not millions of years ago), it is not if you consider that what's happening now it's way faster than has ever happened.

6. Since this argument is pretty common, It is important to clarify that the global warming is, well global. This means that on average the entire planet is warming by one or two degrees. This allows for locally colder weather.

7. Yes, there is evidence that global warming can in fact lead to more extreme events. It is a matter of energy that, in the case of hurricanes for example, is stored as heat in the ocean. So, when you have a warmer ocean, if the air above is colder you might have a more extreme hurricane, because the amount of energy released in the atmosphere is larger. Again physics 101.

8. I don't know about the frequency of hurricanes in Florida, but I want to be thought provoking and ask you, if a tree falls in a forest, does it make noise? It could be that hurricanes haven't hit Florida in some time, while maybe other regions of the caribbean have been hit more. Again, in this case I'm speculating, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong

9. Earth is 4.5 billions years old, and it's been a fireball covered in volcanoes for quite some time. Back then I guess the main gases could easily have been carbonic acid, sulfates and who knows how many other toxic stuff. I can look it up if you're interested. Since the planet stabilized enough to allow for life it's been relatively stationary ever since, with relatively large changes (ice ages) only occurring on time scales of several orders of magnitude larger than what's happening right now.

10. I'd like a reference on this statement of yours: "What we do know is that the current warming period we have been on over the last 150 years started well before the industrial revolution and well before the whole world was heavily producing C02"

11. The argument that 2-4 degrees is a small change is again relative. Yes, it is a small change if you consider the seasonal variation of the temperatures of one specific location, but on average, globally that's quite a number. Try to think how long you must keep your heating (or A/C) turned on to change the temperature of a room of a couple degrees, and then think about the size of the planet compared to that room.

12. A global warming scenario could be dangerous because if the arctic ice cap and Greenland melt, there will be a significant injection of freshwater in the ocean that can destabilize the oceanic circulation, which is an important regulator of the Earth temperature. This could lead to extreme heat in certain regions of the globe and extreme cold in others, that is a scenario with droughts and desertification on one side and frozen lands that can't be cultivated on the other.

13. "the overwhelming consensus" is among the scientific community and more specifically among those who spend their lives studying climate. It's not a consensus based on guesses and weird hypotheses but on fact and science. It can be wrong, but since the scientific evidence seem to point in that direction, unless there's someone with equally strong scientific evidence that can explain otherwise, I'll follow the "overwhelming consensus".

I really apologize for the wall of text, that is probably also off topic, but I'd love if people understood that science doesn't care about politics. If I have headache I don't ask my local representative, but I go see a doctor. When you look for information on this topic, or any other scientific topic, please spend a few seconds to verify whether who's talking has the qualifications to do so properly.

Patrick Hall's picture

As I told Alex below, I def appreciate the thorough posts and will enjoy investigating everything both of you have said over the course of the next week.

I believe it was Alex who recommended reading Skeptical Science, and here is a graph showing that the upward levels of CO2 pre WWII were almost at the same average mean as what they are today. This graph can be found else where too

https://www.skepticalscience.com/The-CO2-Temperature-correlation-over-th...

Greenland is interesting because it is theorized that it has rapidly frozen and melted quite a bit over the last 1000 years (even more cycles if you look at millions of years). Anthropologists have been studying the Norse people who were basically Icelandic vikings who left Iceland and settled the north western Greenland coast. The general idea is that 1000 years ago the earth was warmer and more of the ice on Greenland was melted which allowed them to settle very far north. Then the small ice age hit and over the course of a few generations, maybe 200 years, the Norse people retreated as cattle and growing seasons diminished. Basically, in a near past Greenland glaciers were melted more than they are today although they are thawing from this smaller ice age just as they did a few centuries ago. Why in the world was the Earth going through mini Ice ages (and warming like the Roman Warming around 1AD) well before CO2 emissions by global industries even an issue?

You can read about it here: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/why-did-greenland-s-vikings-disap...

Patrick Hall's picture

Since you mentioned hurricanes, here is a chart of hurricanes from NOAA over the last 150 years. One MIGHT try to say the trend is upward but if you look at the left axis you see that at most the trend shows 1-2 more major hurricanes over 150 years which seems pretty insignificant or at least within the realm of normal random-ability. Furthermore, you have major periods where there is very little activity (1970-1995) and other periods where there is a lot of activity(1935-1965). It doesn't seem like there is a correlation between more storms with the industrial revolution to me. Another thing to account for is there is probably a very real scientific bias during 1850 - say 1940 when less hurricanes were actually observed because of primitive satellites, fewer weather buoys, and overall less ways to see the storms in general.
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/climo/images/Atlantic_Storm_Count.jpg

Paolo Veglio's picture

I don't really understand the point this guy is trying to make. I mean, first he says that there are contributors other than CO2 (duh, no one ever said otherwise, CH4 for example is a stronger GHG than CO2, although being less abundant is usually taken into account as a second order term) and then he concludes that in the last 35 years CO2 correlates with the temperature anomaly, which is the whole point of people freaking out for the carbon dioxide.

His only argument seems to be that in the '40-'70 period there is a cooling (apparently). Ok, yes, maybe, but it's kind of a weak point since the Earth System doesn't respond instantly to variations.

What happened in Greenland is again a problem of global vs local. On a global scale the planet has been cooling at least since the 800 (until the industrial revolution) but in the late middle ages areas like Europe where warmer than the global average of that period, thus allowing for crops and cattle at northern than usual latitudes. When those areas caught up with the average temperature trend a lot of people found themselves in trouble. Scientists are well aware of the Little Ice Age and the main argument is that it was a "non synchronous event", that is, those variations weren't as widespread as they are right now, and most likely were caused by a series of coincidental events like solar irradiance variations, orbital patterns and volcanic eruptions. In contrast, what is happening now, can't be explained by those coincidental events alone.

I know that, while it's relatively easy to agree with evidence that the planet is indeed warming, is way more difficult to understand, and explain, how this is caused by human activity. The Earth System is extremely complex and many aspects require further knowledge to be fully comprehended. Scientists often tend to liquidate specific topics as trivial only because they are well understood in the community, without thinking that maybe the average person has no idea why the CO2 is so important.

If you want to have a comprehensive idea of what's the status of the scientific knowledge on the matter I'd suggest to take a look at the summary of the 5th assessment report of the IPCC: https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_TS_FINAL.pdf

Thank you for your comprehensive response. I'm sorry to do this again, and to gum up a photography site with more science talk, but your claims are all based on skeptic memes that have been circulating for decades now. They have no basis in the scientific literature.

When I asked you where you heard some of the things you've heard, I actually want to know. Because when you say, "The main things I'm reading (all well documented, pier reviewed, published books, etc)", where are these publications? Are they REALLY legitimate sources? NASA, NOAA, USGS, the US National Academy of Science, and actually every country's national academies of science I've heard of, the related UN agencies (IPCC, WMO, etc.), and the top tier science journals (Science, Nature, PNAS, etc.) all agree that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause of global warming, and encouraging the mitigation of climate change as the broad direction in which environmental policies are headed.

Here is just a few of those joint statements from scientific associations:
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/292/5520/1261
http://www.pik-potsdam.de/aktuelles/nachrichten/dateien/G8_Academies%20D...
http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/climatechangestatement.pdf
http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/events/a-discussion-on-clima...
http://www.leopoldina.org/de/publikationen/detailansicht/publication/fac...

"we simply do not know "to what extent CO2 plays a role in global warming" "

Again, I don't presume to mean that you are intentionally misleading anyone, but that statement is also in a total inversion of reality. The increase in CO2 accounts for nearly 100% of the observed warming since 1950. If we had natural factors alone, there wouldn't have been any significant change at all.

Source:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00382-016-3079-6

"We know C02 is rising but at .0001% of the gas in our atmosphere, there are a lot of other gases at play."

99% of the gas in the atmosphere is actually not a greenhouse gas at all, meaning that those gases have no effect on the temperature. Consider cyanide. Cyanide is highly lethal to the human body at 3ppm, which is 0.0003%. Tiny amount, but it'll still kill you. CO2 is actually the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. If you magically removed all CO2 from the atmosphere, the Earth would actually completely freeze over. Back during the one or two Snowball Earth periods, CO2 outgassing from volcanoes was necessary to melt the ice and give us the habitable planet that we have today.

Source:
https://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/

"Most physicists and chemists believe the #1 determinant of global weather predictions deals with solar radiation, ocean temps, and changes in the orbital pattern of the earth."

I assume that you meant "climate" rather than "weather." If you meant "weather" then it's still quite an inaccurate statement, changes in solar irradiance are stable and dwarfed by other factors.

Assuming you did mean that the main factor controlling global climate is not greenhouse gas emissions, that would be a gross inaccuracy. The Lacis et al. 2010 paper, cited above, explains why. There's also general energy budget accounting papers that all come to the same conclusion.

An example:
https://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/full/ngeo1580.html

"The planet has an uncanny way of equalizing climate"

This is true. The planet does this using the carbon cycle.

Source:
https://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/14/3/pdf/i1052-5173-14-3-4.pdf

"North America has been entirely covered by ice many times before."

That's exactly my point: do we want to create a climate change that is equally extreme, but in the other direction? Why would we want to do that?

"This is within the normal observed temp change when studies are done on fossils records, stalagmites, ice cores, shore lines, etc etc."

It depends on how far back you want to go. It may have been this warm 10,000 years ago, but we're not certain of that. The problem isn't the level of warming we've experienced up until now. Yes, there are some things that are hurting some people at this moment, but it's not a huge issue for all of human civilization yet. The problem is that whatever carbon dioxide was emitted decades ago, will stay in the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years. Warming lags after the initial greenhouse gas emission, ice sheet melt lags behind that, and finally last in line is sea level rise. There's tremendous inertia in the Earth's climate system that would be extremely difficult to put the brakes on, if we wait too long.

Source:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2004JC002625/full

"On another note, there is absolutely no evidence that "extreme" weather (hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes,tornadoes) has anything to do with global warming."

It's debatable. Earthquakes, naturally, have nothing to do with climate change, and there's no solid evidence on what's going on with tropical storms (hurricanes). But heat waves, desertification, extreme weather events (smaller than hurricanes), and the like are going to get worse.

Source:
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep45242

"I've yet to understand how a blanket of C02 which traps warmth in on our planet can also allow for record cold spells."

This is the fundamental misunderstanding a lot of people have about the difference between climate change on the one hand, and regional climate and local weather on the other. Increasing the energy balance across the entire global Earth system is not going to cause every point on Earth to warm exactly the same or have the same kinds of changes. To oversimplify things: the Northern Hemisphere is warming faster than the Southern Hemisphere, the continental interiors more than the coasts, the land more than the oceans, the ocean surface more than the abyssal plains, nights more than days, and so on. "Global warming" doesn't mean that Jakarta and New York and Moscow are going to warm exactly 1 degree Celsius, from January to December, and they'll all get 10% more thunderstorms or something. Even sea level rise is not uniform, it's affected by all kinds of local factors like coastal subsidence, isostatic rebound (polar lands still "rebounding" after the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago) or fluctuations in Earth's gravity.

A primer:
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html

"BUT....the earth is speculated to be 4.5 billion years old."

What does it matter that the Earth is that old? Would you want to replicate the climate of the Hadean period, when the floor was literally lava? How about the Jurassic Period, where stegosaurus thrived? We're not stegosaurs; if exposed to the same conditions, we would be dead from heat stroke in a matter of hours.

Source:
http://www.pnas.org/content/107/21/9552.abstract

"If we enter another ice age"

We won't. That's not on the table, so we should orient our societies around dealing with the most likely problem facing us in the fairly certain future.

Source:
https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v529/n7585/full/nature16494.html

"the amount of available freshwater would be much greater if glaciers melted."

This is untrue. The glaciers provide a steady stream of freshwater because they still exist, and they're replenished by snow every winter. So if in the future, when populations increase and water demand increases, AND evaporation increases due to climate change, AND winters are shorter and less snow falls on glaciers, any region that has glacier-fed regions (much of western US, Peru, China, India, Pakistan) will have a major problem on their hands.

Source:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7066/abs/nature04141.html

"People always say stuff like "the overwhelming consensus is" or "all of the world believes.."

Remember that thing about how you said "most physicists and chemists" don't think that climate change is a thing? Most surveys of climate scientists reveal the opposite: 97% of them agree that it's a thing:

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/media/erl460291suppdata.pdf

This is an unusually high level of agreement in any scientific field. You may say that "Consensus can be a very dangerous measurement when it is often used in place of hard evidence science," but what do you think these scientists have been working on their entire careers? Note that Galileo wasn't considered heretical by other scientists (a job that basically didn't exist in his day), but by the Church.

Scientists in 2017, and for the past century or two, have been using evidence and not religion to fight over what theories are the most correct. What would it even mean for us randos to examine the evidence personally? We're not going on an epic expedition to Antarctic to extract a mile-long ice core (although that would be badass). We aren't developing new radiocarbon dating techniques, or coding intricate GCMs in MIT supercomputers, or attending geoscience conferences year after year. You're too busy running a website and shooting photos; I'm too busy being addicted to an MMO and shopping for photography gear that I'll never use. Ultimately, the evidence we see has to be filtered by somebody who is actually a career scientist who specialized in his or her field. Who is the Galileo in this situation? Which rogue scientist actually managed to turn everything on its head? I bet you Exxon would be really interested in that guy, but they had to settle for paying off corrupt hacks. Plus Rex Tillerson of all people urged Trump to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement; even the oil companies can't avoid reality now.

I don't mean to accuse you of being a creationist. But this argumentation style, this sort of accusation that the experts don't really know what they're talking about, or that you have actually done your research while nobody else has, trotting out a dozen tired old wrong arguments that have been refuted a thousand times in a single post; these are all similar to a creationist type of approach to a scientific disagreements. You alluded at sources, but you never actually linked anything, so there's no way to verify anything you've said. You used anecdotes from your personal life as a substitute. You were, to be blunt, wrong about almost everything.

I'm not saying these things to you to be a dick! I just think it would be a damn shame if everyone's looking at some political campaign to spread misinformation, especially misinformation on a grave a matter as this one, and then deciding that nothing needs to be done about a "fake" problem.

Patrick Hall's picture

There is no way I have the energy to respond to all of these posts but I def appreciate the thorough explanations and I hope others will take the time to read the dense literature on the topic too.

You said that C02 is the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere yet everything I've read that is skeptical of global warming hints that it's actually water vapor that is the most important gas. Many of the computer models rely on unsubstantiated levels of water vapor for their catastrophic predictions. If you build a greenhouse for plants, the relative humidity more than the level of CO2 will predict how hot the actual environment will become. Am I missing something here?

Patrick Hall's picture

I know I've read about this statement you said: Earthquakes, naturally, have nothing to do with climate change...

Much of the current consensus is that when large glaciers are resting on top of bodies of land, earthquakes and volcanoes are less likely to occur. Obviously this is still up for debate but the idea is that when glaciers melt and remove the weight and stress off the land, the ability for lava flow and tectonic movement is less hindered. I'd have to read up on it, but the current idea with Antarctica is that it was part of South America and when the earth was much warmer, tectonic movement and earthquakes helped push it towards the south pole where it eventually froze over. I'm not confident saying that climate,especially in relation to ocean size and glacier size, has no affect on earthquakes or earth movement.

I appreciate your appreciation! And for taking the time to read everything. I hope others read more too, but we need to be aware that not all sources are of equal quality. Here's my ranking of reliability tiers, and you may have a different one:

1. Consensus statements from major scientific associations (IPCC, NAS, the Royal Society, etc.). Downside: they're boring.
2. Peer-reviewed journal articles and government science agencies' reports. And they need to be peer-reviewed by people in the same field, not completely unrelated ones (Do economists know more about physics than physicists do?). Not every article turns out to be correct of course, but that's why the consensus statements are actually more reliable. Dowside: you have to pay money or be part of a research institution to read them, but usually there's a free PDF floating around somewhere.
3. Press releases for those articles. Once in a while, you get an editor going for a clickbaity title, but always actually read the content of the releases themselves. Geared towards laymen and shorter, so non-specialists can understand them more easily.
4. Reputable NGO and private business reports.
5. Newspaper articles (not op-eds!).
6. Most cable TV news. Public broadcasters are better than CNN/ABC/MSNBC.
7. "some guy told me"
8. Fox News. Certain organizations like The Heritage Foundation who are ideologically committed to zero-regulation free markets, science or the public good be damned.
....
999. Breitbart

"everything I've read that is skeptical of global warming hints that it's actually water vapor that is the most important gas."

This part can be confusing. If you're talking about total amount, then it is true that water vapour is the constitutes the largest greenhouse gas in both concentration and forcing power. But water vapour is controlled by temperature, rather than the other way around. It can't increase or decrease independently, absent of other forcings on temperature, so it can act as a positive or negative feedback only. Consider a bullet fired from a gun: the energy of the gunpowder has more energy than the pull of the trigger, but the trigger must be, uh, triggered in order to fire a bullet. CO2 is the trigger for all those other positive feedbacks: permafrost melt, ice sheet melt, and increased water vapour in the atmosphere. A simple one-dimensional climate model that a college physics student might try out will always include at least the water vapour and ice albedo (reflectivity) feedback, and you can bet NASA's ultra-fancy GCMs will have that factored too.

Let's say we had a magical machine that could instantly transform all water on Earth into water vapour. The temperature of the Earth wouldn't change in the long run, because the water vapour would precipitate once it hits its saturation point. It would Biblically rain for 50 days and we'd resume having oceans.

Have a look at Venus's situation: There are no oceans of CO2. Instead, CO2 continued to increase until it reached ~96% concentration on Venus's atmosphere. That's because once CO2 saturates locally, it doesn't rain out: it just keeps layering on top of itself until the whole atmosphere is dominated by CO2. (Note that this isn't a possibility on Earth, thankfully) These explanations are found in the Lacis et al. 2010 article I mentioned in the previous comment.

" If you build a greenhouse for plants, the relative humidity more than the level of CO2 will predict how hot the actual environment will become."

Another confusing thing, "greenhouse gases" don't work the same way as actual greenhouses. Greenhouses are like solid blankets, they trap air heated by the Sun with glass in the case of the former, or of human bodies with blankets in the latter. CO2 is different, it absorbs shortwave (i.e. UV) radiation from the Sun, and then re-radiates it in all directions as longwave (infrared) radiation. A greenhouse is not the best laboratory for observing the behaviour of greenhouse gases.

Papers based on actual laboratory measurements of CO2 look more like this: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022407307003512

" the current consensus is that when large glaciers are resting on top of bodies of land, earthquakes and volcanoes are less likely to occur."

This is the first I've heard of it.

After a quick search, I've found sources that say the opposite: retreating glaciers and melting ice sheets may cause more earthquakes. I was wrong about climate change having nothing to do with geophysical events, but not in the way we wanted.

Some examples:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL033510/full
http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1919/2535.short
http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1919/2317.short

Patrick Hall's picture

" the current consensus is that when large glaciers are resting on top of bodies of land, earthquakes and volcanoes are less likely to occur."

This is the first I've heard of it.

After a quick search, I've found sources that say the opposite: retreating glaciers and melting ice sheets may cause more earthquakes. I was wrong about climate change having nothing to do with geophysical events, but not in the way we wanted.

I think we are saying the same thing...melting glaciers cause more earthquakes.

jonas y's picture

Different answer of these questions WILL require the different response, and I think is important to choose the right solution for the situation.

ALEXANDER TARDIF's picture

Whoa, trippy and disturbing for sure, especially if you know NY. Nicely done and a cleaver way to get your message across, I like it quite a bit.

Since I was in elementary school in the mid-70's I've been hearing that NYC was likely going to be underwater in 10 years.

Anonymous's picture

If you wanted to call attention to a cool video, you should have left it at that. Not all artsy folks are liberal progressives, buying into this stuff without, oh, I don't know...actual, realistic scientific facts to support the hysteria. I'm not saying the earth isn't getting warmer but, having worked with modelers for the past 30 years, I know its value and limitations. Can we get back to photography now? :-/

Ariel Martini's picture

"my high risers are safe. lol" - trump

Studio 403's picture

I sure like this. At 71,I can use my swamp boat to get around and not more cab fee's. And uber, you are sunk! . Free swimming, less people. I could book tourist to underwater gigs, ":How it was" Less air pollution from autos. This is a climate change wonder. I am excited for new opportunities to capitalize. I know, Bernie won't like me, that dirty money. But with all this new water I can clean the money in all this fresh water. And to think we get rid of a lot or rats! Less space for the police to patrol. This is such good news. I can now dock my yacht close to my home on 5th ave. and pay no docking fees. If only we can have water rise in Washington DC, President Trump won't need to drain the swamp. Rising water will do it for him. WOW do I love this climate change.

William Howell's picture

We will defeat the cult of "global hotness."

This new religion is truly a scam, but good news, there are people fighting this bulls___ every day and I think we'll be triumphant.

MAGA