Daily Archives: October 18, 2011

How many people live near the ocean?

The real question is, if sea levels rose due to melting glacial ice, what percentage of the word’s population would get their feet wet? There are several problems with addressing this question, including the fact that it depends on how high sea levels rose. Most studies or calculations are based on what most people consider to be a large rise in sea level of about 10 meters/30 feet. Given this sort of consideration, the number of people living in the global food zone is significant. Here are a few tidbits from the Intertubes:

  • Three-quarters of the world’s mega-cities are by the sea.*
  • By 2010, 80 per cent of people will live within 60 miles of the coast.*
  • …by 2010 some 80 percent of people will live within 62 miles of the coast, with about 40 percent living within 37 miles of a coastline.*
  • “For a while, it was said, ‘Oh, two-thirds of all the population lives within 100 kilometers of a coastline,” … The numbers showed that low-elevation areas (under 10 meters/30 feet) are home to 634 million people….”Roughly one in 10 persons in the world lives in this low-elevation coastal zone,” Balk says.*

Current estimates for the absolute maximum sea level rise, if the glaciers at both polls melted, range from 225 to 365 feet, with the latter being more likely accurate. If sea levels rose that much, coastal lands would be depressed several meters and transgressive erosion would also occur. So, for instance, even though Long Island has many points that are above 300 feet or so, none of it would survive the transgressive erosion because it is all glacial till. It is hard to extrapolate from the numbers above to a 100+ meter rise, and improper to do so, but consider that if the human population is concentrated near the seas, and 10% live below the 10 meter line, then it is probably true that well more than half live below the 100 meter line, and many more within the area that would be claimed by the sea through erosion and depression.

I’ve only done a cursory check for sources. If you have better information, please send it my way and I’ll update the post.

Why isn’t there a malaria vaccine, and could there be one soon?

There are several reasons why there is no vaccine for malaria, but the thing you might want to know is that malaria is not a virus, and it is not even a bacterium. It’s a protist. Generally speaking, there are not really vaccines for such organisms. One metastudy that looked specifically at Malaria had this to report:

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Try not to shoot anybody, OK?

Hunting season is starting soon or has already started in North America. I believe we are shooting the ducks now in Minnesota. Hmmm. I wonder if this is the year we call the Sheriff to report the guys who hunt illegally in the marsh by the cabin. People are a bit more safety conscious with a toddler toddling around, even though he actually presents a very small target and the marsh is a bit far away for a shotgun blast to be much of a problem.
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The Day the Right Wing Lost Its Last Shred of Moral Standing

I climbed half way up the old War statue and hooked my arm around the horse’s leg, with the green copper, slouch-hatted and sword-yielding war hero looming above me. From my perch high above the crowd, I could get a better look at Ted Kennedy, but from anywhere I could hear the speech he was making. It was the same as the last speech, and it was great, and there were no surprises, until he mentioned S.1. Then I was surprised, and worried. And I still am. Only now I’m also really pissed.

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