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Scientists Identify 'Triple Threat' Endangering US Coastal Cities


#1

Scientists Identify 'Triple Threat' Endangering US Coastal Cities

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

A trio of phenomena attributed at least in part to climate change—sea-level rise, storm surges, and heavy rainfall—poses an increasing risk to residents of major U.S. cities including Boston, New York, Houston, San Diego, and San Francisco, according to new research published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.


#2

I could definitely see parts of Boston and even other cities in our vicinity being totally underwater in a matter of years if concise action on the part of leaders here in the United States and throughout the world are not taken right away.


#5

We just can't seem to face the fact that it can all be happening so much faster than we have been told. What was supposed to happen in 2050 is starting to happen now! When I see people like Sen. Inhofe throwing snowballs like a fool, I realize that even when he finally is forced to admit that he has been wrong that he will not pay a price for the harm his delaying actions will have caused. That's life.

We as a species are not used to the idea that the sea level could rise so fast. That the rains could be so devastating all of a sudden. That storms could be so huge and destructive like never before. We just don't want to believe it... and so thanks to people like Sen. Inhofe and other professional deniers... we will suffer. I pity the young because we should be getting started or rather ...we have have started a long time ago actually.


#7

So now the brilliant minds will do a risk analysis so the corporate lackeys can argue about its accuracy and how it doesn't take God's plan into account. I'm so glad that something concrete is being thought of as a thing that ought to be done. So reassuring.


#8

Hansen and other scientists have just submitted a report that sea level rise happening 10 times faster than expected for peer review but provided copies of the paper to reporters prior to the Paris summit on the climate. The paper states that the polar ice caps are melting at such a rate that many cities like NYC and Boston (MaPol get that new swimsuit) and that the feedback loops involved in the melting will continually accelerate the process and may make cities like NYC and Boston uninhabitable in only a few decades.

He cites a 10 foot sea level rise by 2050 ... Folks teach your kids to swim... when crossing the street.


#9

Maybe those oil pipelines can be used to carry flood water to drought stricken areas instead.

For sea level rise, I'm learning how to live on a sailboat.


#11

I'm not saying Water World will be the norm but if ever there's a chance to have a set of gills put in , I'd go for it just in case! Here's another scenario for a planet 3/4's covered by ocean... seas so full of poisonous jellyfish that going for a swim is impossible and a possibly lethal experience if you fall off the boat.


#14

While you are probably correct that those who do not want to see something usually end up not seeing it, I think the world is finally starting to realize that you can't just keep your eyes closed about climate change. Too much is happening too fast and there is no avoiding that fact. Whether they will reach meaningful accord on setting targets is another thing?

Hansen rightfully has a significant status as the scientist who got it right and said it was happening early on when most were still saying no it wasn't. That makes his (plus 16 other accredited scientists of note) predictions carry weight early on once again. The fact is that even if his predictions are off by half (that does seem unlikely since he and they aren't just guessing but are in fact extrapolating data) that would still leave a sea level rise of 5 feet by 2050. I'd say tell me what happened but both me and Hansen (along with a lot of other old coots and cootesses) won't be here to see for ourselves. For me 2050 is far away...too far by half lol... for many of the younglings... it will not be.

Maybe that is the problem... people like Hansen and me and others are old enough to have seen what things were like and can remember. We are shocked at how things are changing so rapidly. Younger people don't know and their children will know even less. No one really cares about how once there were tens of millions of Bison on the plains because that is a history book fact and those plains are long gone anyway. There were also millions of pronghorn and deer at the same time btw. Billions of passenger pigeons billions ...most people think of the colonial America days and never once imagine what it was like to have the sun blotted out by a flock of tens of millions of birds in a flock at one time.

We don't look back to what we never knew... and we don't look forward to what we have yet to see. When that first foot of sea level rise starts washing away beaches and messing with Florida's economy and real estate... people will start really seeing and believing what is coming ahead.

Is Hansen right about how fast? We will see (or somebody will) ... all I can say is >>>

Was Hansen wrong before?


#15

I keep remembering that mega typhoon in the Philippines too. There was this satellite image of three typhoons one right after the other heading for the islands and SE Asia. Three super storms at once.

I'll tell ya... the days when the phrase >>> 'standing around just talking about the weather' stood for boring and unimportant conversation are damn over. Talking about the weather will not be boring that much longer. Good luck kiddies.

I blame the repubs...lol


#17

Went to my Green Party meeting tonight.... the people there have all good intentions and are working hard, but, when I bring up this scenario... and the speed at which change must occur....AND that we need to reduce emissions 5-6% each year from now, WHICH MEANS a POWERING DOWN, they just cannot grasp it.....when the meeting was over, I did talk to a couple of people, so that they wouldn't think I was completely crazy.... my ideas for powering down kinda' made me look that way.... like getting rid of casinos, NASCAR.... giving away land grants and mass debt forgiveness..... so that millions and millions of people are not left homeless.... yeah, I -We have a lot of work to do.... THE KEY.... is a massive campaign for WORLD CO2 EMISSIONS DOWN THIS YEAR BY 5%..!!! Signs everywhere.... PLANNED POWERING DOWN... and DOWN WITH THE 1%..... AND MASS DEBT FORGIVENESS.... KEEP PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES.... TRANSFORM THE ECONOMY TO SAVE OUR CHILDRENS LIVES NOW!!
If we do not get serious about QUANITFIABLE RESULTS..... we will not have any results.... just end up using more electricity with lots of renewables.... on top of all the extra oil and coal and gas that is being dug up, pumped up and spewed into the atmosphere.... when we see emissions numbers going down... then we know we are doing something.... in order to do that.... KEVING ANDERSEN STATES....do your renewables.... but POWER DOWN AT THE SAME TIME.... or else.... you'll die... basically that says it all


#18

You explained it extremely well.... I have thought some thing like that... about how the young do not know the difference...


#19

THE FLOOD

The water is a spider
long legs tunneling across the city
where we used to raise zinnias
and thieves
and the genius of revolt.

The waters swallow us
like hallucinogens and everything
turns oil slick rainbow
and a wall of cars and roofs
push over the streets we walked.

We have seen the pictures,
radioactive farms,
swollen carcass stuck in the tree,
whole nations swept under
the spider's reach.

The spider's work
a web that is wrecked
and repaired wrecked
and repaired.
I have seen the pictures

the old terrors from a children’s Bible:
as the waters recede, naked
and bloated sons, daughters, mothers
and fathers strung across the ruins.
The movies rarely show that.

We are not the heroes that escape,
the pumped up he-man
who pushes the little boat
up the face of the tsunami, no
we will not survive.

Even the rich succumb
though they are the last
to believe it.
The water is a spider
and every hour wasted, counting

money in its web,
has never been its concern.


#20

Now this is what I 'm talkin' about...


#21

A quadruple whammy… if you include the emergency pumps clogged up with the jellyfish that seems to be taking over our oceans in place of the finned fish that are dying (because of overfishing and/or carbon-acidification).

If you want to look at what your coastline looks like under various sea level scenarios, check this out:
http://www.floodmap.net


#23

I think that expecting a uniform gradual rise is a mistake and while I haven't read the paper yet, from my own knowledge and extrapolating based on the rate of increase in rapidity i.e. the rate that these changes are increasing in rapidity year by year, that there will be a jump from our present more or less gradual but increasingly rapid state to a higher activity state at some point. After that the increases will have accelerated significantly and the process begins again until another tipping point threshold is passed and another significant jump in activity (in this case sea level rise) occurs again and so forth.

At present we are still in the 'pre-albedo effect' state which will end in probably the next decade. After that the rate of melt will increase significantly as warmer waters erode the ice shelves from beneath which will allow glaciers to flow towards the sea faster. As the glacial water enters the sea we will then see higher levels faster.

That post albedo effect state will signal huge changes.

It is that momentary grace that we experience now before the polar waters become free of ice and the land based ice caps begin to melt faster and faster that will account for the jump in the rate of sea level rise... not a steady gradual melt.

Whether after 2050 a catastrophic melt scenario occurs is up for grabs but that will happen sooner or later. 2050 seems so close and the rate of melt seems so gradual (now) that such a thing appears unlikely but consider the rate of melt and how fast it has increased year by year as opposed to just considering the total melt figures and you see why he is worried. We are due to cross a threshold tipping point where the effects are more drastic.

We have only yet begun... to heat!
...and...
Three decades from now is a very long long time considering how quickly the rate of melt is increasing.


#25

Gee whiz. I should have published that in Nature; I recognised it 30 years ago, but of course I wasn't thinking of the USA at the time......How unexceptional of me.


#26

Martin O'Malley recently observed that the rise of ISIS was linked to climate change, and was promptly mocked by the usual rightwing fools. More significantly, neither Bernie Sanders nor Hillary Clinton rushed to defend his point.

In fact, much of of the disorder labeled terrorism by the West is the result of climate change in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. However, political systems in the industrialized world are also very weak, and would not be able to address major threats like the flooding described in this article. The EU has proven itself to be the tool of big finance. Russia is simply a showcase for Putin's ego, and the U.S. scene is divided between supposed liberals who say the right things and do nothing, and supposed conservatives who prefer to deny reality. How long could any of these systems last if people face a collapse of the power grid or famine? There are plenty of demagogues in any country waiting in the wings to offer spurious solutions and easy targets for angry populations.

Faced with chaos and unrest, the Chinese model of state-directed capitalism may appear a solution to those Western elites who see everything slipping away, even as their European predecessors once saw fascism. Back then, the plutocrats were impressed that Mussolini made the trains run on time. You hear very similar comments today from establishment pundits like Thomas Friedman who waxes euphoric about Chinese high speed trains and shiny new airports.


#27

You are forgetting the point he is trying to make.... IF WE DO NOT REDUCE EMISSIONS NOW, BY 5% ...THEN, WE WILL HAVE THOSE SCENARIOS.... SO LET'S PLEASE REDUCE BY 5% AND WE WONT' HAVE THOSE Scenarios.... IF WE WAIT TILL WE SEE IT.... WE ARE TOO LATE...


#28

"The water is a spider
and every hour wasted, counting

money in its web,
has never been its concern."

As if. The only species that has made up the concept of money, much less counts it, and problems we face are made by the human one, and not the spiders whose extermination would no doubt more negatively affect the earth than our own.
As a fellow poet, I'm sorry to say I don't understand your metaphor choice as it doesn't enlighten but, for me, obscures instead.


#29

And just think, money isn't real. This unreal thing, made up concept, is preventing the saving of lives or even the entire biosphere. Something's not right with this picture. And how come so many still think of money as real?