11 thoughts on “Sea Level Rise Coffee Mug

  1. Hmm, it seems their algorithm is a bit bugged. It seems they assumed any place below the sea level will be covered with water, whether or not it can be connected to the oceans with a connected path of water.

  2. Well, it’s a coffee cup, not the USGS!

    But actually, that could happen in some places. I’ll have to look at the mug and get back to you. Also, I am looking for where to get one.

  3. Loth: Where do you mean exactly?

    I added a link to a place to get the mug. The same company (click around) seems to sell a number of interesting mugs, like the Adam and Eve disappearing fig leaf mug, and the Disappearing Civil Liberties mug.

  4. It’s really hard to see in the mug but in some websites the problem is more obvious. For example, look at this website: http://flood.firetree.net/

    Increase the sea level by 1 meter and you’ll see that some places such as Caspian sea will also enlarge which is not possible because Caspian sea is not really connected to world oceans so the rise in the level of world oceans cannot change the water level in the Caspian sea.

    The reason behind “bug” is mostly computational. For example, when you increase the sea level by 1 meter, it is much easier to color all the regions with altitude less than 1 with blue than to compute which areas of altitude less than 1 can be connected to world oceans by a path that is entirely below 1 meter in altitude.

  5. Yea, I can see that. In the case of the Caspian on the mug, the Black Sea eventually overflows into it (and I have no idea if that’s possible, but that’s what it does on the mug) so eventually it “works”

    What I find interesting about the various sites is that the maximum setting is lower than the actual possible maximum, which is well over 100 meters.

    Plus, when you get fifty or sixty meters of water, the land will depress so you get a few more meters in some areas. Plus, a contained inland basin can indeed fill up without being connected to the ocean. Not referring here to any particular basin, but it is possible. And, finally, when sea levels go up, the sea also moves laterally, in some places, a great distance, though erosion. This depends on the substrate. Again, I don’t have a specific example of an inland basin being connected. Most inland basis are either rifts or orogeny of some kind putting solid rock between the rising sea and the inland basin. But, over the long term ….

  6. Thanks for the link Greg 🙂

    Turns out Amazon.de (=in Germany) has exactly ONE such coffee mug for sale and that one is USED! How weird is that?

    I’m as likely to buy that as the selection of used condoms someone recently put on eBay!

  7. Interesting, clever cup design. I like it. The key bits though – the southern and northern poles seem to be missing. (Top and base of cup?) Be great if they could have a design that shows the shrinking icecaps too.

    Perhaps with the note around it somewhere saying something like :

    “Ice reflects 80% of the sunlight striking it, open water absorbs 80% of the sunlight it recieves.”

    Wonder if there’s one with a pattern (hypercolour style?) that, um.., reflects our Earth’s changing albedo as a result of Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as I call it.

  8. @Lotharloo | October 12, 2011 7:53 PM :

    It seems they assumed any place below the sea level will be covered with water, whether or not it can be connected to the oceans with a connected path of water.

    Well there’s always extra rainfall and underground aquifers rising and expanding to consider isn’t there?

    Pretty sure I remember a good series of maps in one National Geographic magazine showing the evolution of the Capsian-Aral-Black Seas over time with them all being connected at one point many thousands or millions of years ago but an online search has, alas, failed to turn this up so far.

  9. SteveR, the best way to think of it is this: Imagine Africa as an isolated continent from Eurasia, and a big flat area running from the Pyrenees to the Caucasus Mts in Eurais, and from Morocco to the Red Sea in Africa. It is not hard to image a sea that connected the Atlantic to the Indian oceans. Then, Africa makes a slight counter-clockwise turn as it moves north into Eurasia, and MUSH you get the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Caucasus and all the other high regions, and the Atlas and other nortnern African high areas rise higher (they may have already been partly there).

    The Mediterranean Sea, Black, Blatic, Caspian, etc. are all the puddles left over from the original sea, called the Tethys . Those famous shell fossils in the Alps that are often referred to in discussions Europe’s departure from the intellectual dark ages were sediments from an early version of that sea raised up by this event. The closing of the sea that circumscribed Africa would have been a major climate change forcing event. Also, the huge inland sea(s) of the margin of Africa (in what is not parts of the great North African deserts, were probably the home of the evolution of a number of aquatic mammals including manatees, hippos, and elephants (the latter re-evolving to become land mammals later).

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