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Climate Emergency Declaration

Are we, as the IET, declaring a climate emergency? 

It's really that simple a topic, should we be adding our professional voice to the growing number of countries and organisations declaring such an event, to bring better awareness of the threat of the climate crisis and to encourage more discussion in addressing it! 

  • There is no climate emergency.

    Sea levels have remained constant for 165 years at 1.3mm rise per year due to natural polar ice melting and a slightly warming planet. All totally natural.

  • Global average sea level has risen about 101 mm (about 4 inches) since 1993 as a result of human-caused global warming, with recent rates being unprecedented over the past 2,500-plus years.

    For reference, 101 mm (4 inches) of sea level rise is like covering the U.S. in about 16 feet (about 5 meters) of water.

    That's from NASA climate change division

  • For reference, 101 mm (4 inches) of sea level rise is like covering the U.S. in about 16 feet (about 5 meters) of water.

    An atmospheric low will lift up the sea locally by a good bit more than 4 inches and tidal ranges of 16 feet are hardly unusual.

  • Our new Prime Minister postponed it along with stopping the Green Levies. 

  • Don't panic our new climate king will save the day.

  • Were they taking sea level measurement 2500 years ago. I don't think so.

    Your nasa chart shows a straight line. What's unprecedented about that?

  • I agree that we should not panic but be aware that an increase in sea level could occur. 

    We should look at low lying Fenlands and get an outline plan of how to best protect people and property  if a storm were suddenly to hit.


  • Well that is not surprising, but under what conditions do we expect someone to scoop the 100mm top layer of water from the sea, and put it just over the surface of the USA and stop it running off with some little fences!!

    The same volume of water is equivalent to a considerable deeper coverage over the UK or the best part km of water over the Isle of Wight ! It is a very strange and misleading thing to say, the actual MSL rise of  a touch over 100mm is the key figure as it is in the nature of the water to run downhill and spread out.The other figure is purely to scare folk incapable of critical thinking.

    100mm is still very serious for Tuvalu and other low lying countries, less so for us.

    PS The sums, verified  my way

    Total earth surface 510 million km2 (nearly a 7Mm radius sphere, not quite)

    Area of Oceans ~ 70% of that say 360 000 000 km2 depends a bit what you include for tidal fjords and so on.

    Area North America 9 500 000 km2  (say 1/37th of Ocean so 100mm ocean = 3.7m depth over USA- ignores that USA is not flat, so fill depth will vary quite a bit . )

    Area UK 250,000km2 (say 1/1400 of area of ocean so 100mm ocean -  140m depth over UK, but again, affects welsh mountains less than Norfolk...)

    Area Isle of Wight 380km2 ( call it 1km depth of water coverage. effect of local height variations is negligible. containment pressure at land level ~ 1500 PSI ~ 100 atmospheres )

    reference for land areas of countries.

  • Hi Aaron, 

    To be fair to the IET, it has been pretty clear on its responsibility to encourage engineers to find solutions both to CO2 emission reduction and coping with the change that's already happened, e.g. as described here:

    I'd suggest it's not really for the IET to declare a climate emergency as it doesn't (of itself) know - in general we're absolutely not experts in climate science or politics. BUT we are supposed to be experts in the areas required to address it. So a public declaration that the IET intends to encourage and support the engineering community to identify and implement ways to effectively react to IPCC findings and recommendations would be good. 

    Oh, and ref the rest of the replies, it's not just about sea level (although I expect the posters appreciate that).