Previous: Life's Library
Next: Why Are Humans Suddenly Getting Better at Tetris?



View count:302,297
Last sync:2023-01-15 09:30
Graphs shouldn't be scary! They're just data! And even though I have a masters degree in environmental studies, this graph, once it was explained to me, changed how I felt about the impacts we were having on the planet completely. Of course, being scared by this graph depends on you caring about human life beyond your own lifespan which, like, seems like a fairly easy thing to me, but maybe not to a lot of other people.

Or maybe we're all just assuming that in the 500+ years it would take for the warming to result in a full melt, we'll be able to fix these problems some other way. Fingers crossed...I guess.

Check out my Hankschannel video on Global Warming here:


Global sea-level rise: weighing country responsibility and risk

Committed sea-level rise under the Paris Agreement and the legacy of delayed mitigation action

Flood damage costs under the sea level rise with
warming of 1.5 ◦C and 2 ◦C

Subscribe to our newsletter!
And join the community at
Help transcribe videos -
John's twitter -
John's tumblr -
Hank's twitter -
Hank's tumblr -
Good Morning John, This is a ice cube.

It is weird that we call them cubes even they not close to being cube shaped. When a ice cube reaches a temperature above 32 degree fahrenheit it becomes liquid water but John its around 70 degree in this room right now and the ice cube is still ice. so whats going on, well we'll put ice cube we'll come back to it.

Now, I would like to introduce you to the scariest graph I have ever seen. It was published in a paper in 2016 by a friend of mine. It's a graph of sea level rise but it is not the graph of sea level rise that we usually see,those tend to look like this.

They show how much scientist expect the sea level to have risen by a certain point in the future, they invariably show pretty bad news like a full meter of sea level rise by 2100 would cost around 14 trillion dollars a year for comparison all of the student loans outstanding in the US right now 1.5 trillion dollars but these graphs are showing you something called global mean sea level or GMSL that's where the sea level is going to be in 2100 and you can see various scenarios that IPCC has put together. In blue you've got RCP 2.6 that's like the best case scenario where everyone works really hard together very quickly to make sure that the total increase in temperature of the earth increases no more that 2 degree Celsius. In red you've got RCP 8.5 that's basically the scenario in which we do nothing and spoilers we're closer to that one than we are close to RCP2.6 but the scariest graph I've ever seen, I'll bring it back now.

Its got a surprise for us GMSL is the tiny little insignificant blip on the bottom in gray. That's global mean sea level, these big things that's what they are calling SLRC or Sea level rise commitment. It is not a graph of where the sea level is going to be .

It's a graph of what sea level rise we will have like signed up for because John my ice cube is still over being a ice cube. Its been 70 degrees here thw whole time but still ice. Sea level doesn't automatically zip to wherever it would be for any given global temperature it takes time for ice to melt, it takes time to heat to move around.

It takes forever expect not forever. If we follow out worst case scenario to 2100 we will have that 1 meter sea level rise but we will have signed up for 6 meters of sea level rise. Even today with the temperature increase that we have already seen , we in the long term have already signed up for more that a meter of sea level rise.

Now admittedly this is like long-term thinking and no model is perfect. If we pause CO2 releases right now, it would be hundreds of years before we'll see that full sea level rise, but we would see it. It would even see rise over meter if we started to decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere,there isn't a scenario of a long term that doesn't lead to more than a meter of sea level rise with current technology.

But John we are humans and we are very good at solving problems, we are just not good at solving problems that we are not able to recognize. If we wait until 2100 when we're really gonna start feeling the actual like serious sting of climate change, we will have signed up for much worse than that. So John I'll just leave you with this, the ice is dripping but it's still ice.

I'll see you on Tuesday. John congrats on the launch of Life's Library, you got those first thousand people and now it is open for folks to sign up, I just did it myself. What a wonderful value and second if you want to hear me ramble a bunch about how I feel that I think a little bit differently about climate change than a lot of people and maybe a little bit more of a nuance take, I made a big long video on Hank's Channel .

It has a bit of optimism which you need right now. Check out Life's Library at