The northern part of the East Coast of the USA is going to get a sea level rise of up to 48 inches higher than the rest of the world. Maybe. It depends.
Greenland just mystified scientists by suddenly and rapidly melting 95% of its ice. Normally only 40% of Greenland's Ice is melting so fast. If Greenland keeps on doing this it will change an ocean current that flows by the northeast coast of the USA. This current makes the oceans in that area lower than the rest of the world.
Yes, I wondered how that works out too. The oceans of the earth are not level like a bathtub. Some areas are lower or higher than others. Part of the difference is caused by temperature differences of the water in different areas and different depths. My take on how this works is that if enough cold water is flowing by an area and is deep under the ocean, it compacts the water and makes it take up less room.
The northeast coast of the USA currently has a lower than average sea level because a cold current compacts the water there. If Greenland keeps melting as fast as it is in July 2012 - no more current packing down the water along the northeast coast of the USA. That equals a fast rise in sea level. It may be as much as 48 inches more than the rest of the world.
I had visions of the statue of liberty with it's torch barely clearing the ocean, but apparently it won't be that bad, right away anyway.
There are some maps on the internet that are supposed to help you understand what the rise in sea level will look like. Some of them show different amounts of sea level rise. Some will let you check the rise for a particular area. I will give you links so you can play with it and get an idea of what might happen.
Simply not having the whole east coast of the USA inundated by the ocean doesn't let everybody off the hook, however. Storm surges will go a lot higher when the sea level is higher. That does not even take into account that storms are getting bigger due to climate change.
People who live on the northeast coast of the USA have more reason than ever to cut down their lifestyles, including fuel/energy use. Humans are making climate change worse. We are going to have very serious consequences because of using so much fuel/energy. We must change what we are doing if we want to keep our lifestyles, perhaps even our lives.
No. You are not off the hook if you do not live on the northeast coast of the USA. It is unlikely that you will be completely unscathed by direct effects of climate change. Even if you are unscathed by direct effects, the indirect ones will still get you.
A lot of things that people use all over the world are made on the northeast USA coast. Guess what happens to prices of those things if that area has to pay for a lot of storm damage?
No matter where you are, you will pay for climate change one way or another. You may as well face it. You have to change your life so that you are not making climate change speed up. You need to care about climate change as if your life depends on it. That is serious disaster prevention.
Here are links if you want to know more about this:
In the course of doing research for this post I discovered that the Antarctic has an even more unpleasant surprise in store for us. I just do not feel like posting on it. I need to recoup a little to tackle that. I will work on that as soon as possible.