Sea level rise | Letter

I highly respect Burk Gossom as a family physician, however, his view (“Do Our Part,” in the Jan. 31, 2018 edition of the Journal) that future rise in sea level will be minimal (4-12 inches in the next 100 years) contradicts the vast opinion of climate scientists that sea level rise will occur at a much faster rate. From 1,870 to 2,000, sea level rose at an average of 1.5 millimeters per year. However, since 1993, sea level rose about 3 mm per year (See, a rate that is predicted to increase significantly in the future due to mass wasting of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets corresponding to increasing average global temperatures caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases. Between 2081 and 2100, the rate of sea level rise is predicted to be between 13 and 41 mm (0.5 to 1.6 inches) per year, about 10 times the rate shown by Gossom. (See Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report summary of 2014.) Further studies show that this rise could be much greater (see “Contributions of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise” in Nature, Vol. 531, 31 March 2016). To minimize the effect of global warming on catastrophic sea-level rise is unfortunate. As a society, we should be sure that our national leaders are truly aware of hazards associated with the rapid increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases.

James Frampton

San Juan Island