When To Build Sea Walls

During the month of December 2021 two warnings of impending sea level rise were issued by highly respected groups of climate scientists. These are professional scientists who do not deal in hyperbole. Rather, they are archetypical conservative serious-minded scientists who follow the facts.

The most recent warning on December 30th is of deteriorating conditions at the Arctic and Greenland. The second warning is the threatening collapse in Antarctica of one of the largest glaciers in the world. As these events unfortunately coincide so close together, one at the top of the world, the other at the bottom, should coastal cities plan to build sea walls?

The scale of time and material and costs to build seawalls is nearly overwhelming. In fact, it is overwhelming.

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The Surfside Condo Collapse And Its Environmental Warning Signals

The hunt is on to find out why the Champlain Towers South in the Miami suburb of Surfside collapsed. On Friday, reports surfaced that in 2018 Frank P. Morabito, an engineer, assessed the 40-year old building and reported that he had found “major structural damage” in a concrete slab below the pool deck, near the base of the tower that collapsed.

Morabito had recommended repairs, including waterproofing below the pool deck and entrance way. These repairs had not been carried out when the collapse occurred.

Morabito also found “abundant cracking” in the columns and pillars that support the parking garage located under the pool deck.

On Saturday, Surfside mayor Charles Burkett ordered the evacuation of residents of the sister Champlain Towers North next door.

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Are We Really Past The Point Of No Return On Climate?

A controversial new climate study has found that, even if greenhouse gas emissions were halted tomorrow, it might not be enough to stop temperatures from continuing to rise.

The study, published in Scientific Reports Thursday, was conducted by two researchers at the BI Norwegian Business School. They used the ESCIMO climate model to determine that, even if emissions ceased tomorrow, the permafrost would continue to thaw for hundreds of years.

“According to our models, humanity is beyond the point-of-no-return when it comes to halting the melting of permafrost using greenhouse gas cuts as the single tool,” lead author and professor emeritus of climate strategy Jorgen Randers told AFP.

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Iceland Holds Funeral For Glacier Destroyed By Climate Change

To put things into perspective, if the Antarctic ice sheet melted, it would raise global sea levels by around 200 feet. We’ve already seen a noticeable loss of mass on the west end of the glacier, one of the many reasons why we should all be screaming. And Iceland most certainly is: Locals there just held a politically charged funeral for a 700-year-old glacier called Okjökull. Jökull is Icelandic for glacier, so that portion of Okjökull’s name has been removed, and what remains is now referred to as Ok. But Ok is not OK.

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The Great Flood

How many times will we rebuild Florida’s cities, Houston, coastal New Jersey, New Orleans and other population centers ravaged by storms lethally intensified by global warming? At what point, surveying the devastation and knowing more is inevitable, will we walk away, leaving behind vast coastal dead zones? Will we retreat even further into magical thinking to cope with the fury we have unleashed from the natural world? Or will we respond rationally and radically alter our relationship to this earth that gives us life?

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U.S. Costal Communities Face More Than $400 Billion In Seawall Costs By 2040

20 June 2019– Coastal communities in the contiguous U.S. face more than $400 billion in costs over the next 20 years, much of it sooner, to defend coastal communities from inevitable sea-level rise, according to a new report released today by the Center for Climate Integrity in partnership with the engineering firm, Resilient Analytics. This is approaching the cost of the original interstate highway system and will require the construction of more than 50,000 miles of coastal barriers in 22 states by 2040, half the time it took to create the nation’s iconic roadway network. 

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Addressing Sea Level Rise Through Citizen Science

Coastal communities across the United States are experiencing tangible impacts of climate change as sea level rise worsens. “Sunny day flooding”and  “king tides” range from annoyance to serious danger in cities like Miami, San Francisco and Seattle. Coastal commissions and city planners are working against the clock to calculate and prepare for a future in which entire neighborhoods may disappear. In order to create effective plans, sea level rise and flood rates need to be carefully documented.

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Antarctica Ice Loss Tripled in 5 Years, And That’s Raising Sea Level Risks

The most complete assessment to date of Antarctica’s ice sheets confirms that the meltdown accelerated sharply in the past five years, and there is no sign of a slowdown. That means sea level is expected to rise at a rate that will catch some coastal communities unprepared despite persistent warnings, according to the international team of scientists publishing a series of related studies this week in the journal Nature. The scientists found that the rate of ice loss over the past five years had tripled compared to the previous two decades, suggesting an additional 6 inches of sea level rise from Antarctica alone by 2100, on top of the 2 feet already projected from all sources, including Greenland. “That may not sound like a lot, but it’s a big deal for people living along coasts,” said University of Leeds climate researcher Andrew Shepherd, who led the assessment, supported by NASA and the European Space Agency.

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Sea Level Rise Is Creeping Into Coastal Cities.

To get a sense of how much it will cost the nation to save itself from rising seas over the next 50 years, consider Norfolk, Virginia. In November, the Army Corps released a proposal for protecting the city from coastal flooding that would cost $1.8 billion. Some experts consider the estimate low. And it doesn’t include the Navy’s largest base, which lies within city limits and likely needs at least another $1 billion in construction. Then consider the costs to protect Boston, New York, Baltimore, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Houston and the more than 3,000 miles of coastline in between. Rising seas driven by climate change are flooding the nation’s coasts now. The problem will get worse over the next 50 years, but the United States has barely begun to consider what’s needed and hasn’t grappled with the costs or who will pay.

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Louisiana Faces Faster Sea-Level Rise Than Any Land On Earth

By Lorraine Chow for Eco Watch – These dire predictions were pulled from a new rewrite of the state’s Coastal Master Plan for 2017 released Tuesday by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The plan, first introduced in 2007 post- Hurricane Katrina, acts as a 50-year blueprint for restoring the Pelican State’s rapidly disappearing coastal wetlands and protecting the state’s natural resources and communities. Louisiana’s Legislature unanimously approved the 2007 and 2012 versions. The new plan, which is now out for public review and must be voted up or down by the Legislature, calls for 120 new projects…

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Video: Trump Dumps NASA, ‘Reforms’ EPA

By Eleanor Goldfield for ActOut! Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Trump thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax. So in light of recent reports from NASA climate scientists, which for example reveal a gigantic rift in the Antarctic’s Larsen ice sheet, Trump is gutting their research and plans to put climate change deniers at the helm of the EPA. Once the ice sheet is set adrift, it will be equal to the size of Delaware. An ice shelf on the West side of the Antarctic is breaking up from the inside, which is highly unusual. Temperatures in the Arctic are record-breaking. All of this adds up to warmer ocean temperatures and higher predicted sea levels. Scientists are calling this a climate emergency. There is only one thing standing in the way of continued climate destruction…

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Study Reveals Stunning Acceleration Of Sea Level Rise

By John Upton for Climate Central – The oceans have heaved up and down as world temperatures have waxed and waned, but as new research tracking the past 2,800 years shows, never during that time did the seas rise as sharply or as suddenly as has been the case during the last century. The new study, the culmination of a decade of work by three teams of farflung scientists, has charted what they called an “acceleration” in sea level rise that’s triggering and worsening flooding in coastlines around the world.

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Too Late To Save Over 400 Cities From Rising Seas

By Reynard Loki for Alternet – An alarming new study has found that, no matter what we do to fight climate change, it is already too late for more than 400 U.S. cities — including Miami and New Orleans — which will be overcome by rising sea levels caused by anthropogenic climate change. Under a worst-case scenario, New York could be unlivable by the year 2085. Most of the population in those cities live within five feet of the current high tide line. “Some of this could happen as early as next century,” said lead author Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, a nonprofit climate news organization with offices in New York and Princeton, New Jersey.

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W. Post Should Tell Readers Of Conflicts Of Interest

hy would you ignore all the negative consequences of rapidly changing the Earth’s climate, and insist that instead of doing anything about it, we ought to meet a vague list of other problems with an even vaguer gesture toward supposed solutions (e.g., “There is also a lot he could do to take the reins and provide American leadership around the world”)? Well, maybe you’re paid to do just that.

The Post‘s bio for Rogers notes that he “is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group,” but it doesn’t give any clue who his clients are. Luckily, lobbyists are required by law to disclose their clients . . . BGR got another $590,000 from Chevron, and $450,000 in 2012. In 2011, they got a million dollars form Gas Natural SDG, a Spanish methane-burning utility. And on and on.

What do you get when you give BGR that kind of money? Among other things, you get an employee who has a regular platform in the Washington Post, and has no qualms about advancing opinions that boost his clients’ profits. Don’t think that isn’t mentioned when the agency is soliciting business.

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