Florida Mayors Press Denier Candidates on Sea Level
January 26, 2016
Above, my video about the effects of sea level rise in South Florida is the most popular entry in the “This is Not Cool” series from Yale Climate Connections.
The vid features an interview with Rolling Stone writer Jeff Goodell, who has been writing prolifically on climate change and sea level, and had just published a piece on the vulnerability of Miami to rising seas.
Anyway, heads up, I just talked to Jeff yesterday following his insightful play-by-play from the Paris Climate negotiations in November/December of last year. I’ll be combining that interview with reactions from major scientific players that I was lucky enough to record just days after the Paris agreement was announced. That vid should be coming out next week, fingers crossed..
Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, a group of hard-pressed local officials from South Florida have been clamoring for Climate denying GOP candidates to at least acknowledge the sea water that is sloshing up around their collective ankles. Good luck to them.
Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have given little priority to climate change on the Republican presidential campaign trail, and a group of South Florida mayors have had enough.
Fifteen mayors from cities in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties wrote the two Miami candidates a letter asking them to meet with local leaders to “discuss the risks facing Florida communities due to climate change and help us chart a path forward to protect our state and the entire United States.”
“As mayors representing municipalities across Florida, we call on you to acknowledge the reality and urgency of climate change and to address the upcoming crisis it presents our communities,” both letters begin. “Our cities and towns are already coping with the impacts of climate change today. We will need leadership and concrete solutions from our next president.”
Most of the mayors are Democrats, and most of them serve in nonpartisan posts. But at least two are Republican, Tomás Regalado of Miami and Jim Cason of Coral Gables. Regalado is a Rubio supporter who showed up to the Florida senator’s fundraiser at the InterContinental Hotel downtown two weeks ago.
“We are in ground zero, and we need to have our candidates from Florida address the issue,” Regalado told the Miami Herald on Monday. “I understand that it’s a very delicate issue for them, because some of their constituents do not agree or understand.”
During high tides scientists say have been worsened by sea-level rise, Miami has seen flooding in its Upper Eastside and Brickell neighborhoods, Regalado said. The city created a committee to take on the issue only recently and needs resources, he added. Miami-Dade has had a task force in place for a couple of years; the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, which comprises Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, was formed in 2009.
Meanwhile, on also-a-candidate Chris Christie’s home turf of New Jersey, elevated sea level was a bigger destructive factor than snow or wind in the recent record smashing winter storm, something the Guv attempted to gloss over…
The amount of sea level rise that comes from the oceans warming and expanding has been underestimated, and could be about twice as much as previously calculated, German researchers have said.
The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal, suggest that increasingly severe storm surges could be anticipated as a result.
Until now, researchers have believed the oceans rose between 0.7 to 1mm per year due to thermal expansion.
But a fresh look at the latest satellite data from 2002 to 2014 shows the seas are expanding about 1.4mm a year, said the study.
“To date, we have underestimated how much the heat-related expansion of the water mass in the oceans contributes to a global rise in sea level,” said co-author Jurgen Kusche, a professor at the University of Bonn.
The overall sea level rise rate is about 2.74mm per year, combining both thermal expansion and melting ice