Can we arrange for the sea level to rise just far enough to come to the edge of my front yard? Instant ocean front property and a longer, hotter summer to enjoy it.

It depends on where you live. There are two issues to consider. First, if you live high enough, no amount of sea level rise from Earth’s surface water and ice is going to reach your front lawn. We’d have to get hit by a few ice-rich comets as well. If, however, you don’t live more than about 60 meters above sea level, you have a shot.

The other problem is that we’re talking about the potential for a runaway greenhouse effect. In that scenario, you really can’t halt the rise of the sea level until all of the ice is gone. In that case, your lawn will ultimately get flooded, and it’s anybody’s guess as to whether it will keep going to the point that the seas are boiling. In that event, you at least have a nice sauna, though you may end up boiling as well.

If you’re lucky, however, and you don’t live at too high an elevation and the corresponding sea level rise doesn’t indicate a runaway greenhouse effect, but merely a shift of the global climate to a new, higher equilibrium point, then you can look forward to enjoying those summers with a few thousand displaced refugees camped out on your lawn. Assuming, of course, it’s still your lawn at that point. A heavily-armed refugee from Texas may decide it’s his lawn and that you’re camping on his property. We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

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