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Herculean task ahead to shield New York from rising waters

33 Comments
By Catherine TRIOMPHE

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There's a lot of difference between rising seas and flooding created by storm damage - Climate has been changing centuries.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

I recently read a book The Water Will Come that deals with the realities of sea level rise around the world. One chapter is dedicated to New York.

Ultimately, it seems most of NY will end up underwater and this kind of engineering work can, at best, only offer short term fixes - and only if the best cast forecasts materialise.

So far though, it seems it is the worst case Climate Change forecasts that are most often playing out.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

 President Donald Trump's climate-skeptic administration is not financially contributing to the city's efforts -- and in some ways is "working actively in the wrong direction" by scrapping rules intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Trump's a corporatist looking out for the globe's richest, and of course himself and especially his own bank accounts.

don't be conned by those that are pushing an agenda 

paid for by global big oil, gas and coal, big ranching, and others, and of course their financiers, and aided by the politicians around the globe they pay to push their agenda. It's no more than blatant predatory corporatocracy for the benefit of the .01%.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

And Trump doesn't believe in climate change.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There's a lot of difference between rising seas and flooding created by storm damage - Climate has been changing centuries, don't be conned by those that are pushing an agenda that is no more than Socialism in disguise.

The overwhelming view of scientists versus the an opinion largely confined to the US rightwing who support a man who is knee-deep in conspiracy theories from the National Enquirer and ‘the net’ and has probably never read a book.

I think I’ll go with the former if it’s all the same.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It's amazing how every major hurricane is now taken as undeniable proof of climate change.

After Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, leaving 44 people dead and inflicting $19 billion worth of damage, New Yorkers are in little doubt about the destruction climate extremes can bring.

You would think with an editorialization like that, Sandy must have been something unheard of, right?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_York_hurricanes

Oh, apparently not. And here I thought only conservatives conflated weather with climate. I guess it's okay when liberals do it, though.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

It's amazing how every major hurricane is now taken as undeniable proof of climate change.

It's amazing how proof has no effect on people who conflate science and liberalism. The proportion of tropical storms that have developed in to hurricanes has tripled in the last 30 years. Climate change is making hurricanes more frequent and more likely to be stronger.

I know it's hard to accept something that you don't want to happen and much easier to create a conspiracy to soothe your head.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

There's a lot of difference between rising seas and flooding created by storm damage

But storms on top of rising sea levels increase the likelihood of flooding.

While a big task to keep New York safe, it shouldn't be considered impossible. About a third of the Netherlands lies below sea level, but they've managed it somehow for a long period.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Better build a New York sea wall instead of the Trump Mexican one!

Like the Thames barrier. Turn it into a tidal wave generator.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Build a giant roof to keep the sky from falling! Yes, politicians do need an open-ended excuse for grabbing ever more power.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

WilliB

Build a giant roof to keep the sky from falling! Yes, politicians do need an open-ended excuse for grabbing ever more power.

Without the Thames Barrier, London would have suffered major floods, causing billions of damage and possible loss of lives. The people of London are very grateful to have the barrier.

Most of Holland is below sea level so they built a system of dykes. In the Pacific, there are many islands being faced with rising waters taking away their homes.

With higher seas causes cliff erosion in some countries. Even the waters in Venice are rising and causing greater problems than before.

Whether you agree this is happening or not happening because of climate change but the seas are still rising and will cause major damage in places like New York.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There's a lot of difference between rising seas and flooding created by storm damage - Climate has been changing centuries, don't be conned by those that are pushing an agenda that is no more than Socialism in disguise.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There's a lot of difference between rising seas and flooding created by storm damage - Climate has been changing centuries, don't be conned by those that are pushing an agenda that is no more than Socialism in disguise.

Write this in a letter to your great great grandchildren.

They will be able to look back and see exactly the denial of their ancestor and how he arrogantly dismissed the warnings of real scientists with jejeune comments about socialism so that he didn't have to make minor changes to his destructive lifestyle.

I'm sure that they'll thank you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Is New York the only city in the world? Rising sea levels is a global catastrophe that will effect thousands of large coastal cities around the world. It will also inundate one third of the world’s agricultural land with salt water causing famine in half of the world. Over 50 million people will be displaced from Bangladesh alone. But, yeah, let’s just focus on New York.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We really need to do something as ever smart AOC predicted the universe will collapse unto itself in 12 years.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

We really need to do something as ever smart AOC predicted the universe will collapse unto itself in 12 years.

Heh, the right's hated AOC's name has been spoken.

Now we must ignore climate change. They've won.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Study of the New York sea and water levels will reveal what is happening regardless of what anyone is saying. It's takes time to build major structures like sea barriers. Even Trump won't want his tower sticking out of the top of the ocean.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Sea levels are NOT ‘equal around the world,’ because of variations produced by currents, winds, water density and temperature. Sea levels are in fact rising as a result of AGW, partly because of melting continental ice, and partly through expansion due to increased temperature. The rate of sea-level rise has increased rather dramatically in an ever-steepening curve since the 1980’s."

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Time to surround it in a dike otherwise you'd have to move millions of people. 6 and half dozen of the other in terms of cost

Or better hope America elects Andrew Yang with his $1000/month dividend so that people can move on their own if they choose to

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=8518750

Sea level rise in New York city seems to have been pretty constant since 1856, long before humans added significant CO2 to the atmosphere. And it shows no noticeable increase in rate of rise, despite humans putting increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere since the early 1900's. Maybe reality is showing that CO2 isn't causing climate change.

waters are projected to rise as much as six feet (1.8 meters) by 2100

Well the NOAA and real world data shows a steady rate of rise of less than 1 foot every hundred years. So the 'projection' of 6 feet is not based on reality or science.

and the threat of severe storms increases.

And again the real world data (as opposed to computer simulations) shows no increase in severe storms.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

One third of the Neatherlands is below sea level. You can engage in a long battle against nature that you will eventually lose or you can move. We all know that change is difficult but moving is the smart solution. In some cases it is better to adapt to nature instead of artificial and costly measures as discussed in this article. Unlike the Neatherlands America is a large country. Just move inland a bit. Problem solved.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Maybe reality is showing that CO2 isn't causing climate change.

Fair enough. So what is? There has to be a cause.

Well the NOAA and real world data shows a steady rate of rise of less than 1 foot every hundred years. So the 'projection' of 6 feet is not based on reality or science.

An average of 3.3mm per year, but that rate is increasing. At what point does it become a problem?

And again the real world data (as opposed to computer simulations) shows no increase in severe storms.

According to the National Hurricane Center that's not true. They are getting stronger, and lasting longer. Ocean temperatures are rising, this will lead to more intense storms.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you live near the ocean, this is a Darwin test.

Pass or fail?

Humans do stupid things all the time. If you plan to only live another 40 yrs in a location, you might not worry at all about the predicted rise in sea level. People who are otherwise very smart make bad decisions all the time. Or they will trust that the govt will bail them out. I hope the USgovt refuses. There is no known fix for stupidity.

New Orleans is protected most of the time, but when a storm surge happens, they have lots of flooding. NYC will be the same. Billions of US taxpayer money will be wasted to protect the interests of 10M people needlessly. There is a reason why barrier islands and brackish marshlands exist near seashores naturally. Humans are just too stupid to let nature solve the sea level rise.

If a person wants to throw their money away, and possibly their life, fine. Taxpayer money shouldn't be used to provide any protection or recovery or bail out for their stupidity.

A sister has a home on a NC barrier island. At her death, it will be sold to the next fool, and the proceeds split between the heirs. In the meantime, she gets to deal with hurricanes, flooding, mold, rebuilding, power outages, and sand everywhere. Subsidized by the US Govt Flood insurance program.

We used to live on the Bay of Houston, sorta, really a lake that feeds into it. After one flood, we relocated to 300m above sea level. Darwin test passed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So what is? There has to be a cause.

Well my guess is there are a whole bunch of causes. But maybe if scientists weren't doing 'science' to show it is only CO2 they would be able to find ALL the causes.

An average of 3.3mm per year, but the rate increasing

If you went to the NOAA website for NYC you would see it is 2.85 mm/year with no sign of any increase.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@theFu - People like convenience, and are willing to pay for it. So for some Sea-front properties ignoring the building, the land price is expensive.... typical supply & demand there.

Climate change happens periodically. I think its an underlying natural phenomena, though the abuses we make as inhabitants of this planet make matters worse, so it is within our own interests do do things better.

Ignoring Governments, maybe the better approach would be to have more local advice upon how to achieve better a personal "environmentally friendly" way of dealing with daily matters. Given current times, cost savings would be a great enticement. So if you have proven ideas that you know work, share them.... that, is perhaps the best way to take "affirmative action"...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I do not know if Manhattan is going to make it through the sea level rising with the arctic and antarctic ice melt.

https://interactive.pri.org/2019/05/antarctica/thwaites-glacier-collapse.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Jimizo:

The overwhelming view of scientists versus the an opinion largely confined to the US rightwing who support a man who is knee-deep in conspiracy theories from the National Enquirer and ‘the net’ and has probably never read a book.

I very much doubt that you are a climate researcher yourself of have interviewed the "overwhelming view of scientists". It is a pretty safe assumption you are getting your strong opinion from the corporate mainstream media, plus politicians. Correct? As for your your psychological analysis of Trump, again, you are speculating and assuming that you can read thoughts.

As for the issue of "climate change", I do not know anybody who claims it does not exist. Of course it does, seeing that the world has always gone through ice ages and warming periods. The question is to what degree this is influenced by human activity and what exactly politicians can or should do about it.

So if you have a concrete opinion about what exactly should be done, yes, that would a useful discussion. An obvious first step would be to stop the mass immigration from the third world into developed countries with a much higher energy consumption per capita, which obviously massively increases ressource consumption. Another one would be to promote nuclear energy. But let me guess..... the majority of the "climate" activists do not want either of that. Go figure!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Melissa Shimosato:

I do not know if Manhattan is going to make it through the sea level rising with the arctic and antarctic ice melt.

Can you explain how the "artic ice melt" (assuming it exists), would affect the sea level? I would very interested to learn that. (Archimedes must be curious too...)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Welcome on board the good ship Titanic.

The lookout have spotted an iceberg, but don't listen to them, they're just trying to prolong the journey so they can collect more pay.

The helmsman may natter on about us having to turn harder, but he's young, and our old Steward says turning harder than we are will interfere with the First Class passenger's roulette wheel, and THAT, unlike hitting a few ice cubes, would be a DISASTER of EPIC PROPORTIONS.

And if, despite all that, you're still worried, don't be, our engineer and oilers are the best in the world, and I've ordered them to come up with a plan to alter our course instantly if we get within a foot of what we can see of the iceberg, so even if the alarmists are right, we can wait until then to take any further, drastic, actions.

(Remember, even them majority of the richest passengers on board the Titanic drowned. Yes, wealth and power can tilt things in your favor over those who are on board with you, but rising water will still drown you if your life jacket is solid gold)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@theFu - People like convenience, and are willing to pay for it. So for some Sea-front properties ignoring the building, the land price is expensive.... typical supply & demand there.

I don't understand the convenience of being flooded.

Humans can use their brains to see what a likely event in the future will be. I have no issue with people doing what they want, provided the rest of the people who paid attention and took proactive steps aren't forced to pay anything for idiots.

If NYC wants to tax their people to pay for flood protections, great. Other NY state residence shouldn't be taxed. Certainly nobody else in the USA should be taxed for it. People who are unable to financially survive the coming floods, need to be forced out before their property is underwater. Personal responsibility. No govt bailouts. Let them fail, if they take risks, even if that means the worst.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WIlliB, while the Antarctic ice cap is mainly being supported by the Antarctic land mass, and therefore going to do a double contribution to the rise in mean sea level (The melt water and the rise in that land mass as the weight of the ice on it diminishes) and the North Pole has no land to support the ice in its vicinity, a lot of the ice in the Artic is indeed resting on land.

There are many glaciers, but even more importantly, there is the water and mud that makes up the 'permafrost' that is most of the Artic land surface. Guess what, it is melting at an alarming rate, too, and as it does so, the water and mud goes downhill into the oceans.

So, as you can see, Archimedes would fully endorse the comment that Artic melting is raising the sea level.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

, a lot of the ice in the Artic is indeed resting on land.

For the avoidance of doubt, I assume that you mean the ice sitting in the Arctic circle principally in Canada and Russia.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Richard Pearce:

So, as you can see, Archimedes would fully endorse the comment that Artic melting is raising the sea level.

LOL! So in your mind, you get more liquid in your glass when the ice cubes melt?

Got to love the science behind the climate panic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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