thomas m wilson

Fremantle five metres down.

September 9th, 2006

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2001 that the expected rise in sea level by 2100 due to glacier melting alone was between 1 and 23 centimetres. Sounds ok to me? Nothing much to worry about there?

One fear is that the entire West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets might disappear into the oceans. Greenland hosts the second-largest icecap on Earth, holding 10 per cent of the global ice mass. If the Greenland ice sheet melts then the global sea level would rise 6.5 metres.

2001 is a long time ago in the world of climate science, and things have changed. New data is in and new predictions are now being made.

Four weeks ago the notion that the IPCC website is out of date was firmly confirmed. Four weeks ago New Scientist magazine reported that the Greenland ice cap, the world’s second largest ice cap, may be melting three times faster than indicated by previous measurements, according to newly released gravity data collected by satellites. Greenland’s ice is melting faster than ever. The process could reach a point of no return before the end of the century.

Some time this century down town Fremantle may truly be down: the West End, the markets and South Terrace forever submerged under five metres of water.


[Thanks go to map expert Dave Robertson for preparing this image for me.]

If you don’t believe that you’ll live to see a five metre sea level rise, this is what Freo will look like under three metres of water.


We actually got this image published on the front page of the Fremantle Herald, the local newspaper.