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Is Climate Change Elevating Coastal Flooding Risk?

Image: Is Climate Change Elevating Coastal Flooding Risk?

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Monday, 26 Sep 2016 10:44 AM Current | Bio | Archive

A Sept. 3 New York Times article by Justin Gillis headlined “Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Begun” breathlessly reported that “Scientists’ warnings that the rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ [Atlantic] coastline are no longer theoretical."

Citing street flooding in Norfolk, Va., a roadway connection to Tybee Island, Ga., and saltwater-battered roads and drains in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. as supporting evidence, it concludes that human CO2 emissions have caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, causing an accelerating rise of sea levels " . . . to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes.”

Gillis is clearly right about correlating “recent” sea level rise with warming global temperatures. After all, it has risen about 400 feet since the peak of the last ice age around 18,000 years ago . . . a dramatic change in what amounts to merely a cosmic blink in the planet’s 4.5 billion-year history.

As for doom and gloom prophet and profiteer Al Gore’s hyperventilated warning 10 years ago that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next ten years, Arctic and Antarctic melts would cause a sea level rise up to 20 feet “in the near future” and an ice-free North Pole by around 2013 . . . it’s his alarm that is proving to be all wet. By 2014 that sea ice was even thicker and covered a larger area than when he originated that hype.

Sea levels have actually been rising at a constant rate of barely seven inches per century over the past three thousand years without any measured acceleration. If patterns hold, they will probably continue to do so with little or no influence from us until the predicted arrival of the next ice age in about 3,000 years.

Even the U.N.’s latest 2013 IPCC report states, “It is likely that GMSL [Global Mean Sea Level] rose between 1920 and 1950 at a rate comparable to that observed between 1993 and 2010.”

None of the foregoing is intended to suggest that coastal flooding isn’t a very real and seriously consequential threat for many low-elevation regions and peoples, particularly those frequented by hurricanes and tropical storms.

Yet even the reliably alarmist IPCC admitted in 2010 that: “Historical shoreline position change over 20 to 60 years on 27 central Pacific atoll islands showed that total land area remained relatively stable in 43 per cent of islands, whilst another 43 per cent had increased in area, and the rest showed a net reduction in land area.”

IPCC also reported that most inundation of islands is presently linked to earthquakes, storm surges and swell waves as well as sea level rise. Regarding tropical storm surges, both NOAA and the IPCC have confirmed that there have been no increases in the severities or frequencies of droughts, floods, thunderstorms, or tornadoes in decades.

Also consider that while the world’s mean surface temperatures have been gradually rising in fits and starts over the past 150 years or so, they have been flat between the two major El Niño’s over the past 18 years despite rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

A 2015 study published in The Anthropocene Review by New Zealand researchers Murray Ford and Paul Kench at the University of Auckland noted there has been a “paucity of evidence” to underpin mainstay political claims and popular media accounts and projections of islands being “washed away."

Historic aerial photographs and recent high-resolution satellite imagery of “shoreline changes on six atolls and two mid-ocean reef islands in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.” show otherwise.

They reported that “since the middle of the 20th century more shoreline has accreted than eroded, with 17.23 percent showing erosion, compared to 39.7 percent showing no change.”

The islands examined registered a net growth from 9.09 km2 to 9.46 km2 between World War Two and 2010.

Ford and Kench consequently urged that “governments of small island nations need to acknowledge that island shorelines are highly dynamic and islands have persisted and in many cases grown in tandem with sea level rise.”

Warren Buffet whose Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. is the largest shareholder in Munich Re, the world’s biggest re-insurance company, summed up his take on the situation in its 2015 annual report: “Up to now, climate change has not produced more frequent nor more costly hurricanes nor other weather-related events covered by insurance.”

Buffet ended with some good advice: “As a citizen, you may understandably find climate change keeping you up at nights. As a homeowner in a low-lying area, you may wish to consider moving. But when you are thinking only as a shareholder of a major insurer, climate change should not be on your list of worries.”

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

 

 



 

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LarryBell
Doom prophet Al Gore’s warning that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within ten years, Arctic and Antarctic melts would cause a sea level rise, is proving to be all wet. By 2014 sea ice was even thicker and covered a larger area than when he originated that hype.
al gore, ice
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2016-44-26
Monday, 26 Sep 2016 10:44 AM
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