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False Alarm: Michael Oppenheimer Warns Seas To Surge 83 Feet Inland By 2020

Just another example of how you can make any ridiculous prediction of doom, providing it’s far enough in the future that everyone will have forgotten about it amidst the kerfuffle of the latest, updated predictions.

Here’s a 1988 news report on the findings of the UN’s World Meteorological Organization, the forerunner to the IPCC:

WASHINGTON – A group of scientists is offering a sober weather forecast for the year 2020: the planet’s average temperature hitting a 10,000 year high, and the world’s oceans surging an average of 83 feet inland.

The Hour, June 13th 1988.

Actually, the prediction that the sea would soon be swallowing up a massive 83 feet of shoreline around the world came not from the WMO, but was an extrapolation of its findings by that sober and well-respected scientist and environmental campaigner, Michael Oppenheimer. “Things are going to change too fast” Oppenheimer is reported to have said, in a comment typical of the cautious, non-hysterical manner he is widely famed for.

Michael Oppenheimer is currently a lead author with the IPCC. It is not known whether he still expects the world to lose 83 feet of coast within the next nine years or not.

Haunting the Library, 3 July 2011