Worse than We Thought – Sea Level Rise on the Mid Atlantic Coast

March 23, 2015

A reader pointed me to this brief (10 minute) but very informative video from Maryland Sea Grant at the University of Maryland.

If you watched the new video about the slowing of the North Atlantic Circulation, then you’ll be primed to take in this multi-dimensional view of factors influencing sea level rise in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. Turns out there are a number of counter-intuitive factors that are going to make for devastating rise in these regions, as soon as mid century.

Description:

In 2013, scientists released new projections for future sea level rise for the Chesapeake Bay and for Maryland, Virginia and nearby Mid-Atlantic coastal areas. In these regions, sea levels are rising faster than the global average, the result of subsiding lands, a slowing Gulf Stream and melting land ice in Antarctica.

29 Responses to “Worse than We Thought – Sea Level Rise on the Mid Atlantic Coast”

  1. Linda Plano Says:

    All right. So when should I sell my condo in Boston??? Between the increasingly cold winters and rising water, I imagine the real estate market will cool down (sorry) considerably at some point.

    Ack. Should have stayed in the middle of North Carolina. At least I’m not still in CA.

    Not that one person’s financial future is of much concern compared to the broad array of environmental and other problems that are growing in urgency.


  2. > All right. So when should I sell my condo in Boston???

    I don’t know how long it will take for real estate prices to collapse in Boston, but if you want to continue to live in that city perhaps you ought to sell the condo now and buy a houseboat. Probably a good idea to check on the price of marina docking space first.

    • Linda Plano Says:

      You’re probably mostly joking, but I’ll probably go for Plan B and move out of the city into a suburban rental somewhere in the next couple years. So not what I want to do, but most of my money is tied up in this place and I definitely can’t afford to get old (especially old and sick) without it.

      Sigh.

      I just reached out to my brother who was converted from liberal to right-of-Rush by his wife within a few years of their marriage. Asked him what his current thinking is on climate change. He was a rabid denier a few years ago, so I guess I should be pleased that his response was “Happening, but negligible human impact”. Asked for data to back up his position but, for some reason, he didn’t respond to that email.

      I guess if I had kids like he does that I’d be a lot more inclined to deny what’s going on just to keep from losing my mind out of worry.

      I wish I knew what to do.


      • > You’re probably mostly joking, but I’ll probably go for Plan B
        > and move out of the city into a suburban rental somewhere
        > in the next couple years.

        I was mostly joking, though living on a houseboat does have its charms. The main problem with it is that the facilities are rather cramped, plus boats needs maintenance, and of course you need dock space which forces you to live on a harbor, river or lake, places that usually have a lot of restrictions in terms of zoning laws, sewage disposal, etc.

        It is a whole lot less complicated to simply buy a place in the suburbs, on dry land. Choose your location carefully – minimum 50 feet above sea level and you don’t want to be on a river flood plain.

        At least in Massachusetts you don’t have earthquakes. We had a rather significant 6.0 on the Richter last night here in Taiwan. No damage, but a reminder that the Earth gets the final say.

        Good luck.


  3. a few weeks ago:
    Sea levels across the Northeast coast of the United States rose nearly 3.9 inches between 2009 and 2010, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Arizona and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The waters near Portland, Maine, saw an even greater rise — 5 inches — over the two-year period.

    Click to access os-10-683-2014.pdf

    The study found that the increase in the Northeast was caused by a 30 percent slowdown in a major ocean current system known as the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and a fluctuation in atmospheric pressure at sea level. The Gulf Steam is one component of the AMOC, which moves warm water northward in the upper levels of the Atlantic.

    A 2014 study of the AMOC over that period found the slowdown also contributed to severe winter conditions in northwestern Europe and the intensity of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which was the third-most active on record.


  4. […] A reader pointed me to this brief (10 minute) but very informative video from Maryland Sea Grant at the University of Maryland. If you watched the new video about the slowing of the North Atlantic …  […]


  5. Here we go, the classic “worse than we thought” alarmist headline seen in the wild once again. Take note, students!


    • The problem with dismissing “alarmism” is that the alarmists only have to be right once.

      I personally wouldn’t be looking to buy real estate in the Florida Keys these days.


      • Sand is cheap, only need three millimeters per year to stay above the sea level rise. I’m happy to buy any Keys property if anyone is so scared they’re selling it for firesale prices. Just looked and no one is though.

        • Linda Plano Says:

          Bart, I’m confused by your comments. How is it alarmist to report factual information? Sea levels have raised by inches in relatively short periods of time in some regions.

          You can say that I am being alarmist when I think about selling my condo in Boston for fear of (eventually) crashing property values, and you may be right.

          But I don’t understand how it is alarmist to report on actual measurements that may be alarming.


          • Models and predictions are not facts: they can be wrong.

            Here are the facts about Boston’s sea level rise over the past several years:

            http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8443970

            Over 100 years, it rises quite slowly and linearly. No cause for alarm.


          • Hey Linda, I really appreciate that you want to discuss this further.

            Unfortunately, this site isn’t really a good place to do it, nor do I have the time. I’m trying to do my taxes now (!).

            Maybe you can discuss it with Richard Lindzen. He’s in your neighborhood, at MIT.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            “Unfortunately, this site isn’t really a good place to do it”, says Bart. Maybe he’s not as dumb as he appears and realizes that he will be eaten alive if he continues to spout BS here.

            “Maybe you can discuss it with Richard Lindzen. He’s in your neighborhood, at MIT”, says Bart.

            Oh yeah, do talk to Lindzen. Better yet, go straight to the source—-bypass Lindzen and go to the PR departments of the coal and oil companies that have given him and the various conservative think tanks he is connected to so much money over the years. You can find a list here:

            http://www.desmogblog.com/richard-lindzen

          • Linda Plano Says:

            Sorry for the delay – down in Baltimore now.

            “Hey Linda, I really appreciate that you want to discuss this further.”

            Great!

            “Unfortunately, this site isn’t really a good place to do it”

            No worries, we can move to my website, planoandsimple.com. I propose I set up a blog post that frames one topic and just you and I are allowed to comment on it, unless there’s a mutual agreement to bring more people into it.

            “nor do I have the time. I’m trying to do my taxes now (!)”

            I’m super-busy too. It’s not essential that we get going on this before April 15 (I won’t have time to even start my taxes till I get back from Baltimore next week). In fact, I really have to update my website, so it’s just as well if we don’t start before I complete that transition… though there’s no technical reason not to start right away. It’s just a matter of what works for us.

            “Maybe you can discuss it with Richard Lindzen.”

            I agree that he is likely a decent proxy for you. So is the guy I referenced earlier, with whom I am trying to start a dialog. But you and I are here and talking, and we have a shot at a positive discussion. So man up, let’s get to work! 🙂

        • Linda Plano Says:

          [For whatever reason, I can’t post a reply to your latest comment, so I am putting it here.]

          “Models and predictions are not facts: they can be wrong.”
          Well, yes, of course they can be wrong. That is why I specifically said that “sea levels *have* raised” not “are projected to rise”.

          E.g., as pointed out by Anthropogenic climate change passenger above, Portland, Maine saw a 5″ rise in two years (2009-2010). For the scientific article, you can go to his/her link. If you’d prefer something more accessible, try this:
          http://www.pressherald.com/2015/02/26/sea-levels-rising-rapidly-along-northeast-especially-near-portland/

          Near Boston it was under 4″. That’s a lot of sea rise, and it’s documented. Of course, it’s just for a two-year period and there is a lot of annual fluctuation… but it’s still an unprecedented rise and NOAA et al tie it directly to warming.

          To be sure, I don’t understand how to reconcile those numbers with the NOAA data in your post (though there is a spike in the monthly data for that time period) and my jetlagged brain is not helping me get there, so I guess I’ll leave it at that for now.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Linda,
            You waste your time trying to understand or “reconcile” Bart’s figures. He is a troll and his only goal is to waste your time with cherry-picking, distortion, and obfuscation. Ignore him.

          • Linda Plano Says:

            Thanks, DOG (why couldn’t I come up with a cool acronym-generating username like that?). I understand your point and for 10 years have avoided engaging those who are so diametrically opposed to my views and what to you and me are the clear data supporting ACC. Instead, I have chosen to try to make whatever difference one person can make through my entrepreneur clients.

            But dammit, if my expertise is in communication, it is my duty to find a way to communicate.

            I’ll grant you that the classic maneuvers of the “climate change is a hoax” people can make discussion frustrating and unproductive. Fine. No doubt they feel the same way about my approach. Time to find a better way.

            So, bartholomewtali and omnologos, let’s talk. Let’s go with the assumption that all three of us are unshakeable in our beliefs that the data support our positions (except for my comments above on the timing for selling my condo – there are no data to support when/if the Boston real estate market will crash; that was an emotional response on my part to the information on the slowdown of NAC).

            I don’t want to argue over the data as neither side has budged in that regard and I don’t much feel like lobbing links across the transom. I *do* want to know what you care about and what you think should be done about it. Is it the economic impacts of shifting to other technologies? Do you think acidification of the oceans is something that should be ameliorated? Are you concerned about the hijacking of the scientific method? Do you worry about ceding leadership in important areas to other countries (wherever you’re from) by using resources to pursue solutions to AGW?

            What matters to you (in terms of AGW) and what would you do about it if you had the resources to make it happen?

            Thanks,
            Linda

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Since you’re going to “communicate”, how about LIP? Your initials and the “I” would be for “indomitable”, because that’s what you’ll have to be to make any headway with the willfully ignorant.

          • Linda Plano Says:

            😀 Let’s go one further: how about Hot LIPs (’cause I loved M*A*S*H plus Hot goes so well with Warming).

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Live your fantasies. Satisfy your inner needs. Everyone else is doing it.


          • “Is it the economic impacts of shifting to other technologies?”

            Yes that is one thing, when neither the science nor the alternative technologies are well understood right now. As I pointed out with the sea level chart, the climate changes we are experiencing are very slow moving. We have time to study things, and nothing drastic needs to be done right now.

            “Do you think acidification of the oceans is something that should be ameliorated?”

            It needs to be studied further first. There isn’t any immediate danger. The changes are slow, and the ocean is still alkaline.

            “Are you concerned about the hijacking of the scientific method?”

            Yes.

            “Do you worry about ceding leadership in important areas to other countries (wherever you’re from) by using resources to pursue solutions to AGW?”

            No.

            “What matters to you (in terms of AGW) and what would you do about it if you had the resources to make it happen?”

            We should continue to invest in climate science and study it further, and without preconceived notions and politics. Skepticism should be treated in climate science as it is in all other branches of science: as a fundamental way that science can deliver sound theories.

            That’s it: nothing else needs to be done until the science is better understood.

            If rocket science was in the same state in the 1960s as climate science is today, we would have never made it to the moon.

          • Linda Plano Says:

            Oh c’mon man, you don’t want to prove DOG correct right out of the box, do you? 😉

            I could argue and send you a pile of links refuting your points… but what is the point? You would come back with the same on your side. Let’s stop wasting each other’s time and do something productive.

            “That’s it: nothing else needs to be done until the science is better understood.”

            Perhaps so – I disagree but so what? The issue is that things *are* being done, whether you or I agree with them or not.

            You have indicated 3 areas that have potential for us as the start of a productive discussion:

            1. “Yes [the economic impacts of shifting to other technologies] is one thing [that concerns me]”

            2. “Yes, [I am concerned about the hijacking of the scientific method]”

            3. “We should continue to invest in climate science and study it further, and without preconceived notions and politics.”

            With which one would you like to start?

            Thanks,
            Linda

          • dumboldguy Says:

            LIP,

            It’s always a good idea to go to the end of a troll’s comment and start there. If he says something stupid as his “grand closure”, you can be sure what goes before is BS. For example, Bart closes with a non sequitur—–“If rocket science was in the same state in the 1960s as climate science is today, we would have never made it to the moon”. Yeah, and all the snow Boston got this winter proves that the planet is cooling, and because roses are red, violets must be blue.

            If you look back at Bart’s “answers”, his position can be summed up by these statements:

            We have time to study things, and nothing drastic needs to be done right now.
            It needs to be studied further first. There isn’t any immediate danger.
            We should continue to invest in climate science and study it further.
            Nothing else needs to be done until the science is better understood.

            Her has clearly identified himself as a denier of the “no big hurry” persuasion, which is only one cut above the “it’s a hoax” and “man isn’t causing it” groups. I told you not to waste your time with him. This is why.

          • Linda Plano Says:

            DOG, I am no more in agreement with Bart’s responses than you are. I could argue until I was blue in the face about each one of his points. In the past, I have.

            But argument is not my goal. I am tired of endless arguments and I am tired of the US and its citizens wasting effort and money on fighting. I am tired of feeling stressed out every time I see a post that contradicts reality as I perceive it (I feel the same way about “intelligent” design discussions), which I like to think more often than not reflects actual reality.

            There’s the rub: my reality is not Bart’s reality. I don’t know why the conclusions that I draw that seem clearly based on real data are the opposite that Bart draws. There is nothing I can do about that, and of course I expect that Bart feels the same about his interpretation of data and my inability to see what is clear to him. Any attempt to win him over to my perspective or vice versa is doomed to failure because we have both looked at the same data and come away with opposite conclusions; in my opinion, there’s just no added value in more attempts to win over or bully the other side into agreement.

            As a scientist by training (businesswoman by practice), I hated writing that paragraph. Data should be convincing in and of itself. But plenty of smart people – whatever else I may think of Lindzen, Dyson, etc. etc., they are smart, educated people – have come to a radically different conclusion from the same data. Perhaps there are external factors driving those differences, or perhaps there is another explanation, but it doesn’t matter – discussion devolves almost instantly to derision and then there’s no way to move forward.

            I want solutions. I agree that consensus on the implications of the underlying facts would radically improve the speed at which we implement solutions. As long as I am wishing, can I have a pony, too? Consensus in the US is not happening tomorrow (maybe the day after tomorrow ;). But as long as we are creating legislation and spending money and developing products and launching companies and otherwise investing valuable resources into addressing the facts, we should look for efficiencies.

            What combined vision can we develop? How can we make that vision – no matter how small a step – into a reality? What can we do to work together on something we can both believe in? That’s what I want to find out.

            Once again, I apologize for my over-long posts. It takes time and effort to write concisely and I am afraid that I am sacrificing your time for my own.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Here we go, the classic “worse than stupid” comment from a low-IQ attention-seeking troll. You’ve been noticed, Bart. Go away,


  6. […] Worse than We Thought – Sea Level Rise on the Mid Atlantic Coast | Climate Denial Crock of the… Sign in or Register Now to reply […]

  7. Peter Mizla Says:

    I do not think living in North Carolina is a solution either, Is likely to become hotter in the future. In fact leaving the entire east and gulf coasts might be a good idea. 100 miles north of San Francisco- or the Willamette valley of Oregon, also Portland OR, and Seattle look good.


  8. […] A reader pointed me to this brief (10 minute) but very informative video from Maryland Sea Grant at the University of Maryland.If you watched the new video about the slowing of the North Atlantic Circulation, then you’ll be primed to take in this multi-dimensional view of factors influencing sea level rise in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. Turns out there are a number of counter-intuitive factors that are going to make for devastating rise in these regions, as soon as mid century.Description: In 2013, scientists released new projections for future sea level rise for the Chesapeake Bay and for Maryland, Virginia and nearby Mid-Atlantic coastal areas. In these regions, sea levels are rising faster than the global average, the result of subsiding lands, a slowing Gulf Stream and melting land ice in Antarctica.Click headline to access hot links and watch video clip–  […]


  9. […] A reader pointed me to this brief (10 minute) but very informative video from Maryland Sea Grant at the University of Maryland. If you watched the new video about the slowing of the North Atlantic…  […]


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