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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ocean Expected to Rise 1-1/2 Meters by Century's End!

The above is a public domain Photo from Wikipedia, where I get most of my public domain photos. This one was taken by an unnamed NOAA photographer. It looks to me like Force 7 or 8.

I placed the photo here for lack of another to illustrate the prediction mentioned in the header, i.e. that the ocean is rising faster than people expected. Story from the BBC here.

My problem with all this eon-type forecasting is this: So what?

Our sun is going to run out fuel some day. It will turn into a red dwarf and cook everything on the planet. If not everything, it will just cook the oceans. Or it will consume us in its corona as it expands.

However, the universe is most likely going to end in a gigantic whimper, continually expanding to a point of absolute zero temperature. The big whimper is the opposite of the big bang scenario, the phenomenon predicted by cosmologists who think there is enough mass in the universe to reverse the expansion and collapse it to a point-source of infinite energy.

But don't worry. Even if the universe continues to expand and we all face death by extreme frostbite, there is the possibility we can escape into a dimension the size of the Planck Constant. This gets into superstring theory, and I'm not sure I have enough time to go into that. Trust me, it involves steaming into a wormhole.

In the meantime, if you live on the coast, and you're worried about the next century, maybe you should buy some flood insurance.


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