Lisbon and London could end up like Atlantis

news: Lisbon and London could end up like Atlantis

CONTROVERSIAL CLIMATOLOGIST Sir David King issued dire warnings that coastal cities could end up submerged if we continue burning fossil fuels at our present rate.

“We may have broken the planet’s natural ice age to warm period cycles by artificially raising the earth’s temperature,” he told a British Embassy organised seminar in Lisbon last week.

This means that Portugal could become hotter and drier with parts in the south more like Morocco, while Britain could experience a warmer climate capable of producing wines to rival the French and wheat to rival the US, while torrential rain could well cause flash floods on a regular basis.

Going back in history to the beginning of our understanding of the world’s climate system in the 19th century with French mathematician Fourier (1820s), it was discovered that the effect of the atmosphere is “like putting a duvet cover on your bed.”

English scientist, Tyndall, discovered in 1860 that water vapour, methane and carbon dioxide, not oxygen or nitrogen was responsible for absorbing radiation and keeping heat on the planet – the so-called greenhouse effect.

Swedish scientist Arrhenius said in 1898-1903 that the difference between an ice age and a warm age is between five to eight degrees centigrade.

It is being predicted that there will be a doubling of carbon dioxide levels with temperatures rising somewhere between 1.6 and six degrees centigrade in the coming years.

The carbon dioxide levels for the past 25 million years had been stable because carbon has been stored within the earth in the form of coal, oil and gas.

“But we’ve learned how to find all this stored carbon and burn it, and we have to go back 50 million years to find a time when carbon dioxide levels were as high as today,” he warned. “At that point the planet lost all of its ice, as ice is lost from land based areas such as the Antarctic and Arctic, the sea level rises.

The difference between sea levels during an ice age and a warm period is around 150 metres. If all the ice on the planet were to melt the sea level would rise by 150 metres resulting in substantial changes in the boundaries of our landmasses.

“Most of our cities are built on the boundaries of land masses (i.e. on the coast) and what I’m hinting at is that those cities are at risk if we see more ice melting,” he concluded. Chris Graeme