Miami’s Dominant Climate Narrative

By Keith Kloor | July 14, 2014 5:08 pm

In 2013, Jeff Goodell wrote a long piece in Rolling Stone explaining how rising seas would eventually drown the city of Miami, Florida. The money quote:

“Miami, as we know it today, is doomed,” says Harold Wanless, the chairman of the department of geological sciences at the University of Miami. “It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.

Later in the story, Goodell is with Wanless in Miami Beach when the skies open up. They watch flood waters stall a Toyota driver on a main road:

“This is what global warming looks like,” he [Wanless] explained. “If you live in South Florida and you’re not building a boat, you’re not facing reality.”

Call me crazy, but this sounds a tad hyperbolic.

In May, Coral Davenport in the New York Times wrote a much less shouty story on South Florida’s climate change-challenged future. But like the Rolling Stone piece, her story emphasized the seeming inevitability of Miami’s demise and the culpability of Florida’s leading Republicans.

This weekend, a long feature by Robin McKie in the UK’s Observer, a sunday paper that shares a website with the Guardian, covered much the same territory.* It even features some of the same characters in both the Rolling Stone and NYT pieces. Here is McKie quoting Wanless:

“Every day we continue to pump uncontrolled amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, we strengthen the monster that is going to consume us. We are heating up the atmosphere and then we are heating up the oceans so that they expand and rise. There doesn’t look as if anything is going to stop that. People are starting to plan in Miami but really they just don’t see where it is all going.”

Thus one of the great cities of the world faces obliteration in the coming decades. “It is over for south Florida. It is as simple as that.”

Michael Grunwald at Time magazine rues the catastrophic tone and depictions in the Observer piece, characterizing it as “climate porn” and “yellow journalism.” He also notes the Observer story featured a quote from a flooded shopkeeper that appears taken (without attribution) from Davenport’s NYT piece.

The bottom line, Grunwald writes:

I understand that stories about how climate change is already affecting our cities and our farms and our lives—even our wine–can make the issue feel more pressing to ordinary Americans. But fortunately, the effects are not yet calamitous; the reason we ought to DO SOMETHING is that they’ll get calamitous if we don’t.

Very true. But what bothers me even more about the Observer doomsday piece and the Rolling Stone and NYT stories is how they all virtually ignore a serious and sustained climate change-related campaign by South Florida leaders. Here’s essential information on that:

Fortunately, a thoughtful South Florida coalition is leading the nation’s conversation on sea level rise, a primary effect of a warming ocean. In November, at the fifth annual meeting of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, several hundred officials and concerned citizens gathered in Fort Lauderdale (at just a few feet above sea level) to debate and plan for the inevitable rising of the sea.

The Compact combines leaders from Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Its work since 2009 has been recognized nationally and internationally. Member Kristin Jacobs, the mayor of Broward County, became the only Florida appointee to the new White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

“It’s not an abstract problem,” said Jacobs at the meeting. “and we’re at the forefront of these challenges.” She praised the Compact’s ability to work across jurisdictions and in a nonpartisan way.

That is from the Biscayne TimesMore on this trail-blazing effort here and here. I’m not going to say that whatever comes of this will necessarily be enough to save Miami later this century, but neither is it accurate to infer–as the Observer’s scaremongering story does–that South Florida has willfully turned deaf and dumb to the very real threats posed by climate change.

Government officials and various stakeholders representing the region know they are on the front lines of climate change and they seem to be facing up to this. That’s a pretty neat story, but obviously not as compelling as portrayals of Miami’s supposed doomed future.

* This sentence has been appended. I thought the Guardian and Observer were connected, but they are separate papers, even though they share the same website (and owner).

UPDATE: I’m sorry to see Michael Grunwald getting tarred like this:

 

 

  • realheadline

    “Government officials and various stakeholders representing the region know they are on the front lines of climate change and they seem to be facing up to this.”
    Change the word ‘region’ to ‘religion’ and I believe we have agreement.

    • Tim

      Hey, I see what you did there! Brilliant. Presumably, that’s why the US is no longer an effective fighting force: the military’s had some kind of climate-religious commie conversion.

      • realheadline

        Wow, got all that out of it did you? You end-of-the-world guys sure have a fertile imagination, but then I guess that’s why you joined a cult in the first place. Kind of OT, but any word on alien invasion threats lately?

  • JH

    The climate doom prophets. Birds in the bush.

    Florida is facing several serious environmental issues that have nothing to do with GG/CC and really are happening now: groundwater withdrawal, for one, which will sink Florida quicker than climate change ever will. What a bunch of….

    • Tim

      Thank god you had the courage to say this. I stupidly believed all those pointyhead scientists until you started using caps and exclamation marks.

      • JH

        So you’d say it’s better to ignore current serious problems and focus on long-term possibilities? :)

    • Paul Shipley

      A great example of the American education system. I sit in my chair looking at facebook and listening to politicians on Fox News. God forbid that I would listen to the people that bought us my TV, computer and every over thing I have in my house that make my life easy. They are only scientists what would they know?

      • JH

        It’s too bad you waste so much time doing that. Perhaps you’d find an education useful. I do.

        • Paul Shipley

          So that was at HITSU (Head In The Sand University) or somewhere reputable like mine.

      • Matt B

        Be careful how much you trust scientists:

        1. Shockley – invents transistor, pro eugenics

        2. Brian Josephson – Wins Nobel for work in solid state physics, pro telepathy

    • Paul Shipley

      I have been looking for a suitable person to get involved in my investments in Nigeria. You see they recently made me king and they are looking for somebody to open their bank account up so we can transfer all the global warming money into an account. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS!!! IT IS THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME!!! You seem like the right person to me!!!!!!!!

  • Richard Stroker

    wait so is Miami going to be flooded to destruction or not? Yes? Please? Come on

    • Tim

      It’s a choice between destruction & evacuation, vs. a precarious & heinously expensive defensive position against constant flooding. Not wonderful options.

      • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

        That’s a false construct.

      • JH

        Speaking of favorite conspiracy theories….

      • Tom Scharf

        Can you give me your sea level rise estimates for Miami over the next 50 and 100 years?

        I’d like to verify these against the IPCC and NOAA data.

  • 20WilliamHolder10

    The Rolling Stone article and a similar recent article in the Guardian are straight-up lies. Sea level rise in Miami has been consistent since long before we could have had any impact on the climate.

    Sea level trend Miami – NOAA. http://1.usa.gov/1woOXxL

    We’re on to these hoaxters. There hasn’t been any global warming of the Earth’s surface for over 17 years. NOAA confirms a decade of no warming stateside.
    http://1.usa.gov/1nNWgud
    http://bit.ly/VsxMQP

    • Tim

      ‘Why, the comments section of this article seems like the perfect place to leave this stuff I just regurgitated from my favourite conspiracy-theory blog.’

      • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

        I’m glad to see you push back against some of the nonsensical comments, but I wouldn’t infer anything based on such a small sample size.

    • DavidAppell

      “There hasn’t been any global warming of the Earth’s surface for over 17 years.”

      Untrue. See:
      https://twitter.com/KHayhoe/status/488926499135713281/photo/1

      • Tom Scharf

        The “no warming” clan mostly uses the RSS satellite based temperature estimates.

        Beyond the statistical whizzing matches and source choices, the warming has clearly slowed down from what was expected. Even here the rate is about 0.07C / decade which would result in temperature increases of less than 1C over by 2100.

        Many are still peddling estimates in the 3C range and greater.

        The real story of the pause is that it makes higher climate sensitivities (>3C) less likely, and the model estimates are looking worse every year.

        We shall see what the future holds.

        • DavidAppell

          Yes, GISS’s warming has only been about 0.07 C/decade in the last 17 years. On the other hand, there was an “anti-pause” in the 1980s and 1990s where the trend was about 0.3 C/decade, but no one notes that.

          • Tom Scharf

            I think the run up from 1980 to 2000 was noted about a million times by the media and AGW advocates.

            The hyperbole about it being worse than we thought and expectation for it to get even “more worser” just setup this embarrassing situation. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

            Temperatures will likely continue to rise, but the hyperbole as shown in this post only ends up being counter productive in the long run. Own goal.

            It should be encouraging to many advocates that some people are calling this out.

          • DavidAppell

            Calling what out? It’s simply false that there’s been no warming for 17 years, a interval that isn’t representative of climate anyway and is cherry picked to begin with a large El Nino. It’s simply obfuscation, by people who in they next comment will claimed that the data is rigged. They think it’s good enough to show the pause, though, somehow.

            Climate change is here, and it will last centuries. What it did in the last decade or so — mostly natural variability — will ultimately be of little significance.

          • Tom Scharf

            I can confidently call the run up after 1980 “mostly natural variability — will ultimately be of little significance”, but since nobody really knows, I won’t.

            I’m referring to calling out statements such as:

            “Thus one of the great cities of the world faces obliteration in the coming decades.”

            “Miami, as we know it today, is doomed,”

            “If you live in South Florida and you’re not building a boat, you’re not facing reality.”

            “It is over for south Florida. It is as simple as that.”

            “The effect is calamitous. Shops and houses are inundated; city life is paralysed; cars are ruined by the corrosive seawater that immerses them.”

            “By the end of this century we could easily have a rise of six feet, possibly 10 feet.”

            “Miami and its surroundings are facing a calamity worthy of the Old Testament.”

            “The thing about Miami is that when it goes, it will all be gone,”

            “Long before the seas have risen a further three or four feet, there will be irreversible breakdowns in society”

            “”The next two or three feet of sea-level rise that we get will do away with just about every barrier island we have across the planet.”

            That’s one article. One. By the science editor of the Observer. My opinion is this does a great deal more damage to credibility than raising public awareness, but maybe I am wrong?

          • DavidAppell

            Yes, a lot of that is hyperbole and hype by the likes of the ThinkProgress crowd, and I agree it is damaging — perhaps as bad as denialism.

            I do think MIami will eventually be inundated, though who knows what they might decide to do to adapt to it. Lots of barrier islands will go too, and Pacific atolls and a good piece of Norfolk, VA. But we’re not talking Waterworld, and problems like this probably won’t hit the fan until the second half of this century.

            The right has its deniers. The left has its hypers. Like usual, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

          • Tom Scharf

            The thing about coastal areas in Florida is that it isn’t about sea level, it is about hurricane storm surge level (with high tide). Most areas below 5 feet are already abandoned, but not all. Storm surge increases with sea level, so people should take this into account. Building a 100 year structure, it would be wise to build it 2 or 3 feet higher than today’s limits.

            People should be allowed to build at their own risk. Yearly insurance premiums will reflect the proper risk for the next 12 months (not the next 50 years). Property taxes will increase to reflect increased infrastructure costs as necessary as conditions change. It’s just not that hard, and the system is already in place. But there will be some increased costs in some areas, no doubt.

          • DavidAppell

            Yeah, but a lot of the risk is (and increasingly will) be taken by the government, who already is subsidiizing flood and storm insurance in places no private insurer will go. And it will be mostly government who will repair infrastructure after storm, and who will build seawalls, and who will raise taxes (and not just beachside taxes) to bail out affluent homeowners who are going under. Not to mention the property losses to asset owners who will be without a chair when the music stops.

            It is all going to cost a great deal of money, and it will be everyone who pays for it. We will pay for climate change one way or another, but we will pay (and already are).

          • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

            David, the problem is that across much of the communication landscape, the climate dialogue is framed between the denialist/dismissives and the hypers. There is no tolerance, much less oxygen for anything in between.

          • JH

            ” It’s simply false that there’s been no warming for 17 years”

            “17 years, a interval that isn’t representative of climate anyway”

            ha ha ha! “Dear Credibility: I don’t understand why you’ve left me! Was it because I cheated and lied, or was it because I did it so badly?”

          • DavidAppell

            What I wrote is credible, because all of it’s true.

          • JH

            “all of it’s true.”

            Isn’t that the rub? It’s true and your credibility is still zero! Think about why that might be.

      • JH

        Hey, man, why don’t you squeeze up the X axis and lengthen the Y axis to steepen up that slope a bit? It’s looking kind of flat.

        • DavidAppell

          If what I said wasn’t true, you would have refuted it. But you aren’t even trying to do that. Instead you’re making up imaginary thoughts you then arbitrarily ascribe to imaginary people.

          It’s pretty lame, really.

          • JH

            But it is true. I have no intention of refuting it. Or, actually, it doesn’t really matter if it’s true or not, so lets assume it is for the sake of argument.

            The problem, David, is that you are implying that this barely discernible temperture increase means something different than no temperature increase. It doesn’t. Even if there were a decline of the same magnitude, it would be meaningless compared to no change. Right? You’re an educated man. I don’t have to convince you. You know this is true.

            Moreover, even twice the increase that you claim would still be a blow to “mainstream” climate science, which projected an exponential increase for the period in question not just once but several times. You’re arguing a strawman and you know it. The point is not about the increase or decrease. The point is that the magnitude of the change – whatever it may be – is dramatically below the projection. Again, I don’t need to convince you. Whether you admit it or not, you know it’s true.

            See why you’re eating credibility crow? The point is the projections stink. You know that’s the point and you know it’s true but instead of conceding it, you try to strawman your way out of it. Tisk tisk. That’s costing you credibility and hurting your cause. And helping mine.

          • DavidAppell

            No one ever said surface warming would increase by 0.200 C every 10 years, lockstep.

            Cowtan & Way’s methodology gives a 0.17 C increase over 17 years = 0.10 C/decade. That’s below 0.2 C/decade, but then the 1980s and 90s were above 0.20/decade. People forget that, because they were busy complaining that the data was rigged. Then the data became good enough to identify a “pause,” except on Tuesdays and Fridays when it’s all corrupt again because of adjustments and other conspiracies.

            17 years is not an interval representative of climate anyway, but of weather — especially weather in the ocean, such as ENSOs. Intervals like this have happened before, and they will happen again:
            http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-lesser-of-two-pauses.html

            The projections don’t “stink.” They’re a lot better than your projections. Modelers are learning from this disagreement and will modify their models accordingly, probably to better incorporate natural oceanic variability. That’s called “Science,” and that’s the way it’s happened for hundreds of years.

      • 20WilliamHolder10

        David – you’re aware the “pause” or “hiatus” is widely accepted by climate scientists. As a result, many studies have been produced over the last decade to account for this pause. A more recent study suggests the fragrance from pine needles has kept us from warming.
        If climate scientists had told us 30 years ago that AGW would result in some imperceptable warming of our oceans – that research would have been dismissed.
        The only period where there has been any correlation between temperature and our co2 emissions was from the late 70’s through the late 90’s. Prior to this warmer temperatures produced higher levels of co2 in the atmosphere – not the other way around.

        • DavidAppell

          “…you’re aware the “pause” or “hiatus” is widely accepted by climate scientists.”

          Or maybe they did before Cowtan & Way’s kriging model cut the pause in half. (That was post-5AR.)

          These simple and elegant graphs show that the “pause” is just the same old fluctuations around the same trendline:
          http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/by-request/

          • 20WilliamHolder10

            Well, it’s all natural fluctuations. Here’s 10,000 years of climate fluctuations.
            http://mclean.ch/climate/figures_2/Vostok_to_10Kybp.gif

          • DavidAppell

            No, it’s not. Most of today’s climate change is anthropogenic.

          • 20WilliamHolder10

            If you say so, but there really isn’t a lot of evidence to back that up.
            In 2008 NOAA told us it was unlikely we would see a flat trend past 15 years. The MET Office repeated this less than 2 years ago.

          • DavidAppell

            I don’t say so, the science says so, based on the evidence. See the IPCC 5AR WG1 Technical Summary, Table 8.6.

            We haven’t seen a “flat” trend for 15 years. So NOAA and the Met Office were right.

        • David Skurnick

          David — I agree with you that the current “pause” or “hiatus” doesn’t prove that global warming has ceased. It does prove that the models used by the IPCC are invalid. These models have now been tested against reality and failed the test.

          • DavidAppell

            Ridiculous — models haven’t “failed,” and models at this level can’t “fail” — they will be improved, just as all models have been since Galileo.

            Climate models get a lot of things right — a lot – and no one is going to toss them out because they didn’t project a pause. The pause — if the data truly shows it — will be examined, and the reasons for the underprojection will result in changes to the models so they do hindcast more accurately.

            Unless you can read the future, climate models are the only available tool to get a handle on future climate change. But they’re not perfect, and never will be.

            What they get right is far more important than a ~0.1 C overprediction for the last decade. Whatever we do, we’re not going to do something different because temperatures in 2100 are 2.7 C higher instead of 2.8 C.

          • JH

            ‘”models haven’t “failed,”‘
            “they will be improved”

            So wait, we’re supposed to stake $Bs ($Ts???) on the outcome of models which haven’t failed but even you, one of their most ardent supporters, readily agree that they need improvement? :)

            “What they get right is far more important than a ~0.1 C overprediction ”

            Um, excuse me but the temp trajectory is falling out of the error envelope!

          • DavidAppell

            Whether we spend money isn’t dependent on a 0.1 C/decade overprediction over 17 years. It’s noise, which you are confusing for climate. Whether warming by 2100 is 2.4 C or 2.5 C does not matter at this point — both are serious. Models will never get to the point where these numbers can be distinguished — we will have to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. But then, we do that all the time,.

            We don’t even need climate models to know we have a problem, we just need to study past episodes of climate change, such as the PETM or ice age transitions. They give the same values for climate sensitivity as computer models do.

            If you have a better way to project future than with a climate model, now is the time to introduce it. I’ll wait.

          • David Skurnick

            David — Are you aware that individual models developed by various IPCC scientists came up with climate sensitivity ranges from less than 1 to greater than 9 deg. C. (At today’s rate of atmospheric CO2 increase, sensitivity is the approximate temperature increase in 70 years.) Which of these models should we deal with?
            If the sensitivity is less than 1 deg. C., then we don’t need to take action for a very long time. If the true value is over 9, then the world will be destroyed unless billions of human beings are killed. All of these models could be off, so the true value could be well outside the range of 1 – 9 deg. C.
            President Obama’s solution is to reduce CO2 emissions by an amount that’s far too little to save us. So, what do you think we should do? It’s not a question of action vs. inaction, but rather how radical an action we should take.

          • DavidAppell

            The range is 1.8 to 6.7 C, with a strong peak around 3 C, according to the IPCC 5AR WG1, Technical Summary TFE.6, Figure 1, pg 83.

            You should believe the one you find most convincing. No one OWES you an answer. It’s the most difficult calculation science has ever attempted, and scientists are doing the best they can. If you don’t like their work, go do your own.

          • David Skurnick

            I have done my own. The global surface temperature trend is less reliable than the Troposphere trend, because of the Urban Heat Island effect and because of the many adjustments to the figures. The Troposphere record runs from 1979 to today — a period when greenhouse gases were growing rapidly. During this period, temperature rose at a rate of about 1 1/2 deg. C per century. Presumably the warming was due to some combination of natural and anthropogenic causes. IMHO that’s the best guess as to the current rate of warming.

          • DavidAppell

            And have you investigated what the science says about the UHI effect? Or why it requires adjustments? Or why scientists claim almost all of the warming since 1950 is manmade?

            It’s great to think and do the analysis for yourself. But if you aren’t asking why the majority of the world’s experts have come to a different conclusion than you, then you aren’t really doing any analysis.

          • David Skurnick

            David, as a casualty actuary, I am well aware that some data requires adjustments. However, adjustments cannot be precisely calculated. The process of adjusting data adds additional uncertainty. That’s why I believe the Troposphere temperatures are a better basis for measuring the trend.
            I don’t think the majority of climate scientists have come to a different conclusion than I have. On the contrary, I think your position is contradicted by the IPCC scientists. The most recent IPCC report said the IPCC doesn’t know the true value of climate sensitivity. It’s “highly likely” to be between 1.5 and 4.5 deg. C, but the true value could be lower or higher than that range.
            You mention most of the warming since 1950 being man-made. The warming between 1950 and today has been at a rate of around 1 deg. C per century. If at over half of this warming was manmade, then man’s activity has contributed warming at a rate between 0.5 and 1.0 deg. C per century.

          • DavidAppell

            The tropospheric temperatures require adjustments too — for satellite drift, instrument heating, and more. Extracting temperature from microwave readings requires a complicated model, and it’s far from obvious that it’s simpler than surface temperature models. (I don’t think it is.) Here, for example, are notes on RSS’s algorithm:

            http://images.remss.com/papers/msu/MSU_AMSU_C-ATBD.pdf

            And here are some of the corrections UAH has made over the years:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UAH_satellite_temperature_dataset#Corrections_made

            There is no inherent reason future warming should be linear, or at same linear rate as past warming. Actually the science doens’t expect it to be, as feedbacks become larger. See the IPCC 5AR WG1 Fig TS.14b pg 87. And there’s no reason warming isn’t going to continue after the year 2100.

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    Florida – where Cubans flee to live and Jews migrate to die (“God’s waiting room”). It is also the national hotspot for drug and weapon running. Ram all illegal border traffic into Florida (for processing!). Then, Kilkenny cats followed by a five gallon flush. Klimate Kaos is our BFF..

  • Tom Scharf

    I don’t know whether to sigh for the utter incompetence of science journalism, or squeal with delight on how the climate activists so glaringly torpedo their own credibility with such easily verifiable misinformation.

    “Thus one of the great cities of the world faces obliteration in the coming decades.”

    For the record (sigh), here is a detailed topographical map of Florida:
    http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3047/

    NOAA sea level trends:
    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/

    How hard could it possibly be to verify this information? At 1 inch per decade the “coming decades” will see 3 to 6 inches of sea level rise. 8 inches of rise already occurred over the last 100 years (seas were rising without AGW by the way)

    The vast low lying areas in southern Florida are otherwise known as the “Everglades”, a vast unoccupied swamp. The bulk of Miami is 5 to 15 feet above sea level. The IPCC expects anywhere from 18 to 36 inches of sea level rise by 2100 even in worst case emissions scenarios. There is no indication of increasing rates of SLR over 1 inch per decade in the satellite altimeter data since 1980.

    And yes, Miami will probably face several meters of sea level rise….over the next 10,000 years. Leaving out this minor detail is not incompetence, it is intentionally misleading.

    If you want to wring your hands over cities and sea levels, might want to go investigate New Orleans first. Somehow man overcame this situation without abandoning the city, although it isn’t so smart to live below sea level as Katrina demonstrated.

    And finally (sigh), current Florida coastal building codes are for 100 year hurricane storm surge levels, which are 10 to 12 feet above sea level in many areas, and as buildings are replaced through the usual upgrade process, the infrastructure will be hardened against the (minor) effects of sea level changes.

    This information is easily available to anyone interested in looking for it, it’s just that many people aren’t interested in looking for it.

    • CB

      “Miami will probably face several meters of sea level rise….over the next 10,000 years”

      …and on what do you base that time line?

      If we haven’t set the Earth on a course toward 75 meters of sea level rise, just with the CO₂ we’ve already emitted, why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high?

      • Tom Scharf

        The Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets are melting at a slow rate and will likely continue to do so. They contribute 80% of the Antarctic Ice is currently growing and is not expecting to start losing ice anytime soon due to more snow than ice melt every year.

        The time scales are millennial. Do the math, check the science.

        • Matt

          Tom, thanks for the level-headed responses to what Grunwald accurately dubbed “climate porn”.
          I live in the Chesapeake Bay area, so I would be directly affected if the sea level was to rise as quickly as the more hyperbolic voices suggest.

          I fully believe in AGW, and I’d like to see the U.S. take much stronger measures now toward a low-carbon future, but I can’t help but wonder if the constant, hyperbolic prophesies of imminent doom that we hear from Romm, et al., hurt the message of pro-climate folks when such prophesies do not come to pass (at least not along a recent time scale).

          You can only cry wolf a number of times before your voice is ignored. If, over the coming decades, the pro-climate folks are ignored due to failed prophesies, there will be only two losers: our children and the Earth.

          • CB

            “I can’t help but wonder if the constant, hyperbolic prophesies of imminent doom that we hear from Romm, et al., hurt the message of pro-climate folks”

            Joe Romm has suggested there will be 6 to 12 inches of sea level rise per decade:

            thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/02/01/1527551/manmade-carbon-pollution-has-already-put-us-on-track-for-69-feet-of-sea-level-rise

            The current energy imbalance as calculated by NASA is 0.58W/m²:

            http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_16

            At this rate, all ice on Earth will be gone in about 860 years, which means a more realistic number would be 34 inches of sea level rise per decade.

            …so why are you saying Joe Romm’s claims are hyperbolic?

  • SocraticGadfly

    It sounds like a lot of the “facing up” is either talk between committees or passing resolutions to state-level officials that said state-level officials will ignore. Now, things may not be as dire as McKee predicts, but action on the ground in South Florida, vs. talk on the ground in South Florida, is a lot less than Kloor cracks it up to be.

    No surprise there.

    • Tom Scharf

      What action are you proposing should happen?

  • Tom Scharf

    A bit off topic but, wow, I must be in an alternate universe.

    The NYT just ran what I would have to call a puff piece on a high profile skeptic scientist (John Christy). I thought I would never see anything like this from the NYT, especially with all the recent screeching about false balance.

    Skeptic of Climate Change Finds Himself a Target of Suspicion

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/us/skeptic-of-climate-change-john-christy-finds-himself-a-target-of-suspicion.html

    Probably a good thing they aren’t allowing comments on this one…the usual suspects will no doubt be howling about this. It is way off the consensus reservation.

  • Tom Scharf

    Current sea level trend for Key West Florida:

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/trends/8724580.png

    I’m having a hard time seeing acceleration here…

  • Tom Scharf

    Current sea level trend for Miami, Florida (stops in 1980)

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/trends/8723170.png

  • Tom Scharf

    Global mean sea level via satellite altimeter

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2014_rel4/sl_ns_global.png

  • Ray Del Colle

    “Whether you look at tide gauges or satellite data, sea levels are going up.” http://clmtr.lt/c/JQn0hY0cMJ

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »