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The Forum > Article Comments > The rising land of the midnight sun > Comments

The rising land of the midnight sun : Comments

By Roger Kalla, published 29/1/2009

Predictions of sea level rises have been made without taking into account the effects of land rise.

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You wouldn't think the weight of mountain glaciers would affect the land elevation all the way to the coast. If local land rise is 11 mm/year while global sea rise is under 2 mm I think bigger forces may be at work than nearby glacier melting. Expect a volcano in a few million years. Apart from glaciers I believe sea level rise is also complicated by ocean winds creating mounds and hollows.

I believe with the lower Murray lakes the barrage system was instigated after the 1930s depression. Fittingly the next round of landscape modification comes just as another economic downturn looms. However in future there may not be the public funds to do this. Future coast dwellers will need demountable homes they can pick up and move inland every so often.
Posted by Taswegian, Thursday, 29 January 2009 9:12:35 AM
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Good article Roger. Readjustments to land levels are certainly factors that need to be taken into account.

Iíve got no doubt that as the weight of icecaps lessens over land bodies, upward movements will occur, unevenly, in some places and not in others, and with some downwarping being triggered or accelerated in other areas as a result.

But as to how much of an effect this will have on sea level rise, within the timeframe in which it really matters to humanity, Iím not sure. Iím inclined to think that it would be an extremely minimal additional factor. The main effect would be very long-term, in line with land-rises that are still happening as a result of the melting of icecaps ten or so thousand years ago.
Posted by Ludwig, Thursday, 29 January 2009 10:46:02 AM
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I'm not quite clear about this - what percentage of the earth's landmass is subject to this rising, and does the effect of the rising land make the oceans smaller, thus increasing the rise in sea level generally?
Posted by Candide, Thursday, 29 January 2009 4:16:25 PM
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The earth is a restless beast. Yes, the Kola Peninsula (Russia/Finland/Norway junction) has been famous for continuing to rise with isostatic rebound after retreat of the ice ten millennia or so ago.
And New Guineaís Huon Peninsula is also famous - for being at the edge of tectonic plates and forced upwards at a fast clip by the collision as Australia chugs northwards at about six and a half centimeters a year.
As the author says, these ups and downs have been known for yonks. Factoring them, among umpteen other factors, into Global Warming data does keep the IPCC folk busy
Posted by colinsett, Thursday, 29 January 2009 4:57:49 PM
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The entire premise of this article is wrong. The implications of isostatic rebound for sea level changes were actually calculated (ie regionally quantified) in some detail by John Church and colleagues (particularly Kurt Lambeck) in

J.A. Church, N.J. White, R. Coleman, K. Lambeck, J.X. Mitrovica, Estimates of the regional distribution of sea-level rise over the 1950 to 2000 period, J. Climate 17 (2004) 2609Ė 2625.
Posted by Mark Duffett, Monday, 2 February 2009 10:13:10 PM
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