South Florida’s Rising Seas

January 16, 2014

Worth watching.

Climate change, and resultant sea level rise, are becoming impossible to ignore in South Florida, one of the world’s most vulnerable urban areas.  This documentary by South Florida Public Media depicts very matter of factly the hard facts of sea level rise, from the point of view of those whose job it is to keep up with the changes, and clean up the ever messier effects.

You can watch the whole thing at the SFPM website.
Meet back here to discuss.


182 Responses to “South Florida’s Rising Seas”

  1. “I notice in you an unpleasant tendency towards abrupt transitions. A characteristic of your generation. In this case, I must ask you to follow some sort of logical progression.” So where are we now? Whose idea is it about sea level acceleration? Why Dave’s of course. Yet what are we really talking about here? Well to Dave it’s all about accelerations. You have a way of clouding your assertions. ” V and R are shilling for Munich RE. ” What’s that mean? Never mind, it’s an innuendo not worthy of discussion if you put that little effort into it and merely an emotional retort. So you say it’s warmer now than 40s to 90s. I would say it was flat til 80s, but yes. Yet sea level rise is no greater now than then. See, now you need the equations to prove something, but your statement accomplishes nothing. It says nothing of what relationship is expected or what your assertion is based on those facts. I don’t read minds, so I don’t go to whatever those stated facts might somehow imply… Something?. Next we have temperatures held below a one year peak for 15 years, but sea level rose. First, the ocean does not care about peaks. It has a large thermal mass and integrates energy fed into it. Second, the temperature is still rising. Third, we know sea level continued to rise for a much longer time 40 to 80 when So what’s the point? The record doesn’t show any inconsistency based on itself, not a model. What we saw before is what we are seeing now. No inconsistency. But we don’t know precisely how it works. Ok. Yet still there’s no sea level acceleration. A statement with no assertion again. That’s why I began with the quote. It’s not even that you are wrong. It’s just a series of statements with no explanation of what the point is. I noticed a lot of other communication problems. I can hardly agree or disagree with assertions that are implied, not stated.
    Finally, let’s go to moriarty demolishes R and V.mi would hardly call disagreeing with a model demolishing anything. A model, then a better model.. That’s what science does. More to the point, moriarty is a discussion of models. It has nothing to do with the other mistakes H and D made. H and D isn’t about that. From what I can see, sea level acceleration might be only just detected now. Increases are predicted later according to core of engineers. Acceleration is the least certain and most difficult thing to model and predict. So what’s the big deal? Why the obsession with acceleration? You would think sea level and temperature aren’t rising. It wouldn’t surprise me if models didn’t match perfectly. Working backwards or forwards between CO2 to sea level is full of uncertainty. Not a good way to peg anything. If anything, moriarty is proving the futility of jumping to conclusions about a string if relationships between variables. Really, I am surprised you didn’t notice your own arguments tend to contradict your own assertion(s) that are rather muddied.

  2. Acceleration? What’s the obsession about? Look at NC sea level legislation. That’s where you find it. It demands SLR estimates based on a linear rate and the lower older rate, some 2.x mm / year. Never mind we are already at 3.3 mm/ year and rising. You often hear deniers say 8 inches by 2100. In order to get there you have to reverse the trend and use the much lower rate. Methinks that is the pain point for NC-20 real estate interests. In a youtube vid, good ol DB can be seen comically whining for those red lines to be placed somewhere underwater, cause even without a regulation,people don’t want to buy property that is or will soon be underwater. Is it me, or does that pained expression express remorse over underwater assets? 🙂 what DB means by no acceleration, really isn’t what he says. What he really wants is to repeal today’s rate and lower it. i.e. He wants a deceleration. Anything, as long as the 2100 SLR is only 8 inches. I wonder if we measured how high above sea level is, we would find exactl eight. What a farce. At least I learned about SLR. But the denier sphere , what a dream world.

    • daveburton Says:

      Christopher wrote, “we are already at 3.3 mm/ year [rate of sea-level rise] and rising.”

      Just 39 of NOAA’s list of 285 long term tide gauges are showing sea-level rise at a rate of 3.3 mm/year or higher. 246 of 285 (86%) are showing sea-level rise at a rate of less than 3.3 mm/year.

      (It’s easy to find this sort of thing on my web site. Pick the “data” page, click on “NOAA’s 2013 list of 285 Long Term Trend (LTT) tide stations,” then click twice on the “New trend” header to sort, and count how many stations are at 3.3 mm/yr or higher.)

      86% is higher than the agreement that Doran & Zimmerman found among geophysical scientists on their two-question survey.

      And the rate has not increased in over 80 years… a fact which you appeared to have acknowledged a couple of days ago!

      Even the satellites are showing less than 3 mm/year, and the rate measured† by the satellites has been decreasing, too.


      † the term “measured” is rather loosely defined, for satellite altimetry

      • dumboldguy Says:


        Speaking of Doran and Zimmerman (AGAIN!), HotWhopoer devoted a lot of ink to what they titled “Denier Weirdness: David Burton @wattsupwiththat finally has a 97% brain wave!” A good read and lots of laughs—-be sure to read the comment.‎

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    Dave is back, once again behaving like O-Log’s driver who is going against traffic and telling his wife that everyone else is a moron. Yes, Christopher, Dave is obsessed with his little tidal gauge mantra, and keeps grasping at straws. If course he may just be trying to get you to waste time playing with him again. Remember DNFTDBT.

    So 15% of the tide gauges are at 3.3 or higher, and the rest are lower. BFD If one googles and looks at NOAA sites and Skeptical Science and every other legitimate site, EVERYBODY who is not driving the wrong way agrees that sea level is rising and the rate is accelerating, and projects that the rate of rise will likely increase during the 21st. century. And they do this by looking at a lot more data than tidal gauges.

    Dave again cites his “web site” as a source of information? We have all looked at your “website”, Dave, and have found it to be a collection of horsepucky from deniers. I don’t think anyone on Crock goes there anymore except for laughs.

    Dave says, “Even the satellites are showing less than 3 mm/year, and the rate measured† by the satellites has been decreasing, too” († the term “measured” is rather loosely defined, for satellite altimetry). Another bald assertion, Dave?—-you make so many. How about a citation for that?

    While you’re here, how about answering all those unanswered questions? Like your GUARANTEE that CO2 production will be going down but you won’t tell us why?

    • daveburton Says:

      Old guy, why do you keep asking how I know with absolute certainty that mankind will not continue producing anthropogenic CO2 at anything like current rates for the next 20-70 centuries? Just think about it. I really think you can figure it out, if you try.

      W/r/t your request for citation, If you want to understand why the satellite altimetry data for sea-level is unreliable, I recommend that you watch this lecture by astrophysicist Willie Soon. Dr. Soon explains the problems with satellite measurement of sea level better than anyone I’ve seen, starting here:

      That segment of his lecture is 24 minutes long, starting at the 17:37 point. The link should take you directly to 17:37. But, actually, I recommend watching the whole 58 minute lecture at least once. I promise, you’ll learn a lot.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Dave, the only reason I can come up with is that the few remaining humans on earth after we suffer runaway global warming (if there are any at all) will be reduced to a “campfire” level of CO2 production. Is that what you meant?

        And you promise I’ll learn a lot if I listen to WILLIE SOON? LMAO

        The only thing I want to hear from him is how he manages to .sleep at night after accepting over one MILLION $$$ over the last ten years from the Kochs and other fossil fuel interests to spout his horsepucky. When he opens his wallet, coal dust soaked in oil must fall out.

        A question for you. Will you EVER give us a citation that leads to one of the 97% of all climate scientists that accept AGW? About the only time I can remember the names of the real scientists appearing in in your comments is when you feed us crap from one of the paid denialists saying that the honest mainstream scientist is wrong.

  4. climatebob Says:

    Dave is trying to convince himself that South Florida is not going under water and is trying to use tidal gauges to prove it to himself. We all know Florida is going to flood and the only part in doubt is the timing. NASA have the sea level rise at 3.16 mm a year and at this rate it is going to take a long time but the people who go to Greenland and Antarctica believe it will be well before the end of the century. I would not buy a waterfront property because when the acceleration starts it will too late to sell It may already be to late.

    • daveburton Says:

      “When the acceleration starts,” Bob? Don’t hold your breath!

      Mankind has been driving up CO2 levels rather dramatically for over 2/3 of a century, yet there’s been no acceleration in sea-level rise. If CO2 drove sea-level rise significantly, then all that CO2 would have had some effect by now. But it hasn’t.

      Remember that CO2 has no direct effect on sea-level. It could only affect sea-level rise indirectly, through the intermediate mechanism of an effect on temperatures. But we also know that that adding additional CO2 has a diminishing effect on temperature, which means its (already undetectably tiny) effect on sea-level rise should also be diminishing.

      So the next 100 ppm of CO2 should have less effect than than last 100 ppm — which had no detectable effect at all on sea-level.

      That means that, while it is possible that the next 100 ppm of CO2 could have enough effect to push sea-level rise acceleration across the threshold of detectability, it is not possible that such an increase could be anything other than very slight.

      Since the last 100 ppm of anthropogenic CO2 produced no detectable acceleration in sea-level rise, and the next 100 ppm must have less effect than that last 100 ppm, it is safe to conclude that the next 100 ppm (presumably over the next 40-50 years) will have little if any effect on sea-level rise.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Amazing cluelessness and obsessiveness once again displayed by Dave. His “tune” is a boring one-note, one word thing, (and the word is dumb). Sing along with me to a much less boring tune (to the tune of Stormy Weather).

        Don’t know why—-there’s no truth in all this mess,
        Faulty logic.
        Since Dave’s brain and truth ain’t together,
        Keeps risin’ all the time.
        Sea level

        (insert “faulty premise” occasionally in later verses)

  5. climatebob Says:

    Dave. You are in dreamland. The ice is melting all over the World and NASA show an acceleration in sea level rise. It is slow but it has started. Florida is going under within a small number of decades. Sell up and move to higher ground while you can still get a decent price.

    • daveburton Says:

      Bob, I’m not the one in dreamland. There is absolutely no chance that Florida will “go under within a small number of decades.”

      Both the tide gauges (very good data) and satellites (dubious data) are showing either a linear trend or a very slight deceleration.

      It is true that ice is melting. There’s probably a net grounded ice melt (that is, melt less ice & snow accumulation) of at least 100 cubic miles per year (probably closer to 150), between glaciers, ice sheets, and mountain snow pack. But that post-LIA melting has been going on for over 80 years, with no increase in rate, despite the huge increase in anthropogenic GHG emissions and levels over the last 2/3 century.

      See for yourself:

      Here’s a particularly nice European tide gauge:

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Dave is lucky because he lives not in FL but in NC, where (with his help as “science advisor”) the realtor’s group NC-20 has convinced the state legislature to outlaw sea level rise. Dave can buy all the beachfront land he wants and WILL get rich from it. Such is the world of the denialist.

  6. […] in one of America’s most vulnerable metro areas, Miami. These clips point to the ways that South Florida’s rising seas are sinking in to the way people must begin to adapt. Meanwhile, for climate deniers, business as […]

  7. […] clips point to the ways that South Florida’s rising seas are sinking in to the way people must begin to adapt. Meanwhile, for climate deniers, business as […]

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