AuthorTopic: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.  (Read 8990 times)

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2017, 01:33:05 PM »
2017-08-13 - Study explains rapidly rising sea level on U.S. East Coast – 'We need to understand that the ocean is coming':
http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/08/study-explains-rapidly-rising-sea-level.html
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2017, 06:51:44 PM »




<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/geeO-mM8APY&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/geeO-mM8APY&fs=1</a>
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14532
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2017, 01:40:52 AM »
2017-08-13 - Ocean mysteriously suddenly recedes from beaches in Brazil and Uruguay:
http://strangesounds.org/2017/08/and-the-sea-disappeared-suddenly-ocean-water-mysteriously-recedes-from-various-beaches-in-brazil-and-uruguay.html

Note: Extremely bizarre! Subsurface landslide in the area? Massive methane eruptions in the ocean?

Me, I would GTFO as fast as my legs or vehicle would carry me.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2017, 03:36:57 AM »
2017-08-13 - Ocean mysteriously suddenly recedes from beaches in Brazil and Uruguay:
http://strangesounds.org/2017/08/and-the-sea-disappeared-suddenly-ocean-water-mysteriously-recedes-from-various-beaches-in-brazil-and-uruguay.html

Note: Extremely bizarre! Subsurface landslide in the area? Massive methane eruptions in the ocean?

Me, I would GTFO as fast as my legs or vehicle would carry me.


About a year ago I had a friend take his wife down to Mexico to a resort town on the coast, not sure if it was the
Pacific or the Sea of Cortez. Anyway, they were there for about a week & Danny said to me, that the whole time they were
there the tide never receded or encroached  :icon_scratch:....

With these waters receding in Brazil, they had massive tidal surges on the African coast about the same time.
I guess the planet must have a pretty good wobble going on currently or the cosmic energies are messing
with the tidal surges.

On a side note I just heard in the most current Clif High interview that those strange anomalies coming from
Antarctica (sound wave patterns) are the cause of the tidal changes. Interesting time to be topside !
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2017, 09:03:59 AM »
2017-08-14 - Rising sea level already driving people from their homes around the world:
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/11/climate-change-refugees-grapple-with-effects-of-rising-seas.html

Quote: "Increasingly, the phenomenon of rising sea levels has amplified fears over climate refugees — individuals forced to leave their homes due to changing environmental conditions in their respective homelands. Climate watchers estimate that at least 26 million people around the world have already been displaced, and that figure could balloon to 150 million by 2050, according to the Worldwatch Institute."
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2017, 09:04:40 AM »
2017-08-14 - Rising sea level causing serious problems in Egypt:
http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/08/13/542645647/in-egypt-a-rising-sea-and-growing-worries-about-climate-changes-effects
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2017, 12:59:02 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Kh5VRIgWuiM&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Kh5VRIgWuiM&fs=1</a>
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
The Oceans are Coming-2017 The year of Rogue Tsunami's
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2017, 01:34:02 PM »
2017-08-18 - 2017, the year of 'rogue tsunamis':
http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2017/08/tsunamis-in-strange-places.html
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
The Oceans are Coming-Sea Level Rise has Accelerated
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2017, 11:08:12 AM »
2017-08-26 - Sea level rise has accelerated:
http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/08/tamino-sea-level-rise-has-accelerated.html
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
Impossible! - Hurricane IRMA drains Pensacola Bay, FL - Visible on Google Earth
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2017, 04:45:37 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/X04fMkRRD9U&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/X04fMkRRD9U&fs=1</a>
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 7186
    • View Profile
Re: The Oceans are going ?
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2017, 06:35:13 PM »
http://strangesounds.org/2017/09/water-disappears-from-beaches-in-guaratuba-brazil-video-pictures-is-brazil-bracing-for-a-huge-storm.html

I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34823
    • View Profile
http://www.ibtimes.com/these-cities-may-be-risk-drowning-due-global-warming-according-nasa-2615631

These Cities May Be At Risk Of Drowning Due To Global Warming, According To NASA
By Hannah Preston On 11/16/17 AT 11:47 AM


Cities like Miami, New York and other vulnerable spots around the world strategize about how to respond to climate change Photo: Getty

While the effects of melting glaciers on Earth's sea levels have been widely cited, NASA concluded Wednesday that areas around the globe will all be affected differently due to varying climates and conditions. If all of Earth's glaciers melted, sea levels will reportedly rise around 70 meters, but coastal cities may be in deeper waters, according to the NASA research.

Eric Larour, Erik Ivins and Surendra Adhikari of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory created a tool which compared nearly 300 coastal cities around the globe and concluded how the effects of certain glaciers will affect surrounding sea levels. The primary glaciers on NASA's radar are located near Greenland and Antartica -which hold the majority of Earth's freshwater.

NASA included cities such as Los Angeles, New York, London and Hong Kong within their research and each city showed various effects by different glaciers at different levels. The glaciers studied were Petermann Glacier, Helheim Glacier, North-East Greenland Ice Stream and Jakobshavn Glacier.

New York, for example, will experience more change as a result of the North-East Greenland Ice Stream than any of the other glaciers studied. A 2.83-inch difference in sea level surrounding New York could occur over the 200-year period, the study found. The city likely to be most affected by rising sea levels was Rio de Janeiro with an expected 5.1-inch increase.

Sydney, meanwhile, may be "strongly affected" by diminishing glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Though the rise of sea levels is a relevant issue, melting glaciers could also result in a decrease of sea levels. The city that would likely see the greatest impact from decreasing sea levels was Ellesmere, a small town in England. Ellesmere could experience a 37.2-inch decrease of surrounding sea levels if the Petermann Glacier collapsed.

With this new study, scientists are able to see in greater detail the effects of global warming. This particular study, however, did not take into account other factors that could affect sea levels. Nonetheless, this new research provided new methods of sea level projections.

“The authors of this study have developed a tool to determine the sensitivity of sea level rise at specific coastal sites to melting from different sectors of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets,” said Natalya Gomez, a geoscientist at McGill University in Canada who studies sea level rise, in a Washington Post report Wednesday. “This tool will help to provide coastal planners with improved sea level projections as models and measurements of ice loss are refined.”

In August 2016, Earth & Space Science News offered extensive research that large coastal cities sink faster than oceans can rise.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34823
    • View Profile
Sea level rise may be twice earlier estimates, dooming coastal cities
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2017, 12:15:31 AM »
http://mashable.com/2017/12/13/sea-level-rise-could-be-double-previous-estimates-climate-change-study/#n7Q2wEMeCSqC

Sea level rise may be twice earlier estimates, dooming coastal cities


A calving glacier is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft.
Image: Mario tama/Getty Images

2016%2f09%2f15%2f9c%2fhttpsd2mhye01h4nj2n.cloudfront.netmediazgkymde1lzaz.949e4By Andrew Freedman
6 hours ago

The amount of sea level rise that many of us will experience in our lifetimes may be more than double what was previously anticipated, unless we sharply curtail greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study that factors in emerging, unsettling research on the tenuous stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Importantly, the study highlights that cuts we could still make to greenhouse gas emissions during the next several years would significantly reduce the possibility of a sea level rise calamity after 2050.

Published Wednesday in the open access journal Earth's Future, the study is the first to pair recently discovered mechanisms that would lead to the sudden collapse of parts of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, such as the disintegration of floating ice shelves and mechanical failure of tall ice cliffs facing the sea. The study also goes a step further by showing how the new projections could play out city by city around the world.

SEE ALSO: Emmanuel Macron lures top U.S. climate scientists fleeing from Trump research cuts

Researchers from several institutions, including Rutgers University, Princeton, Harvard, and the nonprofit research group Climate Central found that sea level rise predictions that incorporate a faster — even sudden — disintegration of huge parts of the Antarctic Ice Sheet would yield far more dire projections.

This is especially the case when compared to the consensus put forward by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2014.


Median sea level rise projections including the newest results that incorporate new findings on Antarctica.
Image: climate central

The IPCC did not incorporate the possibility that the Antarctic Ice Sheet could become unstable as air and sea temperatures warm, and essentially crumble into the sea, in rapid succession. 
More than 4 feet of sea level rise

Specifically, the new study finds a median sea level rise projection of 4 feet and 9 inches during the 21st Century if greenhouse gas emissions remain on their current high trajectory.

Or, when expressed as a range, the study shows that a high emissions scenario that takes new Antarctic melt mechanisms into account would yield between 3 and 8 feet of global average sea level rise by the year 2100. This contrasts with the projection that does not include the rapid Antarctic melt mechanisms, which shows just 1.6 to 3.9 feet of sea level rise through 2100.

The new study paints a far more alarming picture compared to what the IPCC found, which was a median projection of two feet and five inches of sea level rise by 2100 under a high emissions scenario. Most sea level rise predictions since that report was published have indicated that figure was too low, however.

The study shows that global average sea level is projected to increase by one foot by the year 2050, and several more feet by the year 2100, depending on the significance of any cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. If the temperature targets in the Paris Climate Agreement are met — which is a big if at the moment — then we're unlikely to trigger a rapid Antarctic meltdown, the study found.

Prior sea level rise projections have not included the recently discovered mechanism of marine ice-cliff instability in Antarctica. Instead, those projections relied on other assumptions of how significantly the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets might melt during the course of the 21st Century. Nor have they included all of the ways that floating ice shelves might disintegrate rapidly, either, weakening inland ice.

Sea level rise projection for Miami in 2100, factoring in sharp emissions cuts and new Antarctic research findings.

Sea level rise projection for Miami in 2100, factoring in sharp emissions cuts and new Antarctic research findings.

Image: climate central

Sea level rise projection for Miami in 2100, factoring in high emissions and new Antarctic research findings.

Sea level rise projection for Miami in 2100, factoring in high emissions and new Antarctic research findings.

Image: climate central

Two of the authors of the new paper, Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts and David Pollard of Pennsylvania State University, have published studies raising unsettling questions about the stability of Antarctic ice.

In an interview at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting in New Orleans, coauthors Robert Kopp and DeConto emphasized that our understanding of the physics of Antarctic ice melt mean that there is a large amount of uncertainty regarding sea level rise projections for post-2050, so large and complex, in fact, that it's referred to as "deep uncertainty."
Ice cliffs and shelves

One of these mechanisms involves ice shelves that hold back large quantities of land-based ice, but that are vulnerable to melting from relatively warm water below and fracturing from melt ponds that can form during the summer on the surface of the ice.

Such melt ponds appeared en masse shortly before the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002.

“The meltwater can move around, which can put different stresses onto the ice shelf, and the meltwater itself can get into crevasses in the ice shelves, and that meltwater getting into crevasses can make the crevasses go deeper and deeper and deeper," DeConto said. "Eventually they’ll penetrate so much of the ice shelf that it won’t be able to hold itself together and it’ll break up.”

“In a future, warmer world we’ll start to see summers where there’s days, weeks, months where there’s persistent meltwater and even rain falling on the ice shelf surfaces and we’ll start to see ponding,” DeConto said. “You could have these ice shelves break up really suddenly… We’ve seen these happen in the past.”

Close look at the Thwaites Ice Shelf edge as seen from a NASA aircraft in Oct. 2012.

Close look at the Thwaites Ice Shelf edge as seen from a NASA aircraft in Oct. 2012.

Image: nasa

When floating ice shelves shrink or even disappear, water can penetrate further inland, especially in areas like the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is shaped like a bowl and situated below sea level, Kopp said.

The other mechanism concerns the collapse of massive ice cliffs that exist around Antarctica, where huge glaciers end abruptly in the sea. These cliffs can only grow to certain heights before they're inherently unstable, DeConto said. This mechanism is known as marine ice-cliff instability.

“Ice is only so strong, we know something about the strength of ice, if a cliff is tall enough, just it’s own weight will create stresses that overcome the strength of the ice and it will fail at the edge, it will break,” DeConto said. 

“We realized there are lots of places around the Antarctic… where if you lose ice shelves you’re going to have ice cliffs tall enough that they would start to break up mechanically, mechanical failure of these ice cliffs," he said.

While there is considerable debate about the new Antarctic findings, researchers have found that it more closely matches historical data of past melt events, DeConto said, which lends it some street cred. The deep uncertainty regarding sea level rise projections post-2050 means that the specific figures in this study should not be taken as precise forecasts.

The new study combines DeConto and Pollard's findings with sea level rise projections other researchers published in 2014, which allows for detailed sea level rise mapping scenarios of what the projections would look like if they become reality.
153 million people

The study calculates that, absent protections like sea walls and other flood mitigation measures, water could permanently inundate land that is currently home to 153 million people. In other words, the number of people that lives on land that could be underwater by the year 2100 equals nearly half the U.S. population, according to Climate Central. 

It's likely, however, that we may not know how much sea level rise we are in for until around midcentury, according to the new research. And by that point, greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will already have locked us into such amounts, making emissions reductions in the face of uncertainty even more vital today.

Because of this, Climate Central created a series of graphics that illustrate the new projections under low and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. A high emissions future looks, well, rather wet and potentially even unsurvivable for many coastal cities.

"The takeaway is that our current understanding does not constrain sea level rise rates after 2050 or so," said coauthor Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton University, in an email.

"A significant chunk of the 3 to 4 meters of sea level equivalent in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could be in play during that period and beyond (and some in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet) and we simply don’t know how much and how fast, but very high rates are plausible, potentially doubling or even tripling global and local rates formerly estimated by IPCC, and radically shortening flood return intervals."

"The good news is that at this point, we have a pretty good fix on what will happen through 2050," Oppenheimer said. "That means the time to implement the first phase of adaptation is NOW - we have a credible sea level range for that period. But we need to implement resilience flexibly while we start planning for the period beyond 2050 because projections are unlikely to narrow for the later period for a long time."

In other words, as with so many climate change impacts, when it comes to sea level rise, it's up to us to determine how severe we want this problem to get before we do something about it.

Editor's note: This story was updated to correct an error in the headline regarding the current population that would be affected by 8 feet of sea level rise. The original figure of 153 million was too low.
WATCH: NASA timelapse shows just how quickly our Arctic sea ice is disappearing
Topics: Antarctica, climate-environment, Climate, ice-cliff, ice shelf, Science, sea level rise, west antarctic ice sheet
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34823
    • View Profile
An Immediate Threat: Norfolk Naval Base Drowning
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2018, 03:00:35 AM »
Video and pics at the link.

RE

http://features.weather.com/us-climate-change/virginia/

An Immediate Threat
Written by Nicholas Kusnetz | Video Produced by Kevin Hayes
Naval Station Norfolk — home to America’s Atlantic Fleet — is under threat by rising seas and sinking land, but little is being done to hold back the tides.


Jointly reported by The Weather Channel and InsideClimate News
An Immediate Threat

The one-story brick firehouse at Naval Station Norfolk sits pinched between a tidal inlet and Willoughby Bay. The station houses the first responders to any emergency at the neighboring airfield. Yet when a big storm hits or the tides surge, the land surrounding it floods. Even on a sunny day this spring, with the tide out, the field beside the firehouse was filled with water.

“It’s not supposed to be a pond,” said Joe Bouchard, a retired captain and former base commander. “It is now.”

Naval Station Norfolk, home to the Atlantic Fleet, floods not just in heavy rains or during hurricanes. It floods when the sun is shining, too, if the tide is high or the winds are right. It floods all the time.
Former base commander Captain Joe Bouchard in Norfolk, Virginia. (Alex Chancey)

Former base commander Captain Joe Bouchard in Norfolk, Virginia. (Alex Chancey)

“It is an impediment to the base accomplishing its mission,” Bouchard said.

Once or twice a month, seawater subsumes steam lines that run along the bottom of the piers where the fleet’s ships are moored. It bubbles up through storm drains and closes roads. “It can actually shut down operations, or make it very difficult for people to get around,” Bouchard said.

Climate change poses an immediate threat to Norfolk. The seas are rising at twice the global average here, due to ocean currents and geology. Yet while the region is home to the densest collection of military facilities in the nation, the Pentagon has barely begun the hard work of adaptation. A detailed study in 2014 by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center identified about 1.5 feet of sea level rise as a “tipping point” for the base that would dramatically increase the risk of serious damage to infrastructure. But there is no plan to address this level of rise, which scientists expect within a few decades.

The city of Norfolk, which surrounds the base, is also under siege. Sections of the main road that leads to the base become impassable several times a year. Some residents check tide charts before leaving for work or parking their cars for the night.

“These guys are in a whole heap ton of trouble,” said retired Rear Adm. David Titley. Before he joined Penn State’s Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Titley served as the Navy’s oceanographer and navigator and led its Climate Change Task Force. “I think Norfolk is, in the long term, fighting for its existence, its very existence,” Titley said. “And this is the part of climate change that I don’t think most Americans have really come to grips with—that virtually every coastal city is in a fight for its existence. They just don’t know it yet.”

While Norfolk is particularly vulnerable, rising seas are threatening hundreds of other U.S. military bases around the world. Now, under a president who has said he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement and has begun reversing much of the federal government’s effort to address the problem, it seems doubtful the military will begin new adaptation work. The Pentagon, which wove consideration of climate change into nearly every aspect of its operations under President Barack Obama, declined to discuss the topic for this article.
‘Band-Aid Fixes’

Naval Station Norfolk, which sprawls over the northwestern corner of its namesake city, was established 100 years ago on the former site of the Jamestown Exposition, at a time when the water was a foot and a half lower. It’s the largest of 18 major military sites in the region, known as Hampton Roads, which is home to 1.7 million people.

The area is pancake flat, and much of the base sits on landfill that’s compressing, creating dips in the road here and there. Parts of the facility lie close to sea level, and many of the stormwater outfalls are covered by the tides.

Driving around the base in a white Lexus sedan on a bright day, Bouchard turned off the road to examine a flood gate on a tidal creek that bisects the facility. The gate is better than nothing, he said, but it creates a dilemma for engineers during storms: The choices are to shut it and let the creek swell because rainwater has nowhere to go, or leave it open and allow the sea to surge in. “We just did Band-Aid fixes,” he said, referring to the gate and other stopgap measures.

Since retiring from the Navy in 2003, Bouchard has become an evangelist for adapting the area to sea level rise. He worked on an intergovernmental pilot project initiated by the Obama administration, and served briefly in the Virginia state legislature.

As he toured the base, Bouchard could hardly finish a sentence without being distracted by another site prone to flooding—the road that leads to an electronics facility full of navigation equipment for the runway, ammunition depots tucked away in dense woods, parking lots along the piers. “This area floods,” he said, pointing across a roughly kept field abutting officers’ housing. “It floods right up to the houses.”

Sea levels are rising everywhere, but Norfolk has it worse. The land, pushed up by glaciers to the north thousands of years ago, is now sinking as much as an inch-and-a-half per decade. Scientists also believe that a slowing Gulf Stream is causing seas to rise faster along the Mid-Atlantic coast. High tides at the Sewell Point gauge, off the base, have been inching ever closer to the so-called “nuisance flood” level, where many roads and yards become inundated. The chart below shows the two may not be far off from meeting on a daily basis.
An Immediate Threat

A 2014 Defense Department study determined that “several critical systems” at the base were “likely to be incapacitated” if the sea rose 3 feet.  Even half that would represent a “tipping point” after which “the probabilities of damage to infrastructure and losses in mission performance increased dramatically.” A 2013 state-commissioned report projected 1.5 feet of rise within 20 to 50 years.

The Union of Concerned Scientists did its own analysis and determined that with sea level rise of just 1.4 feet, the base’s low-lying areas would flood about 280 times each year, spending 10 percent of the time underwater.

To avoid catastrophe, Bouchard said, the base needs a complete overhaul. “The list is endless,” he said. “The electrical systems, telecommunications, everything is vulnerable.”

In 2014, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrote in the department’s climate change adaptation roadmap that “we are beginning work to address a projected sea-level rise of 1.5 feet over the next 20 to 50 years” in Hampton Roads. But if you ask the Navy today, it seems there’s little work actually underway.
Caption: Captain Dean Vanderley on Naval Station Norfolk (Alex Chancey)

Caption: Captain Dean Vanderley on Naval Station Norfolk (Alex Chancey)

“There are no funded projects specifically addressing sea level rise,” said Capt. Dean VanderLey, head of engineering for much of the Navy’s East Coast facilities. VanderLey’s carefully crafted phrase reflects the fact that while the Navy has incorporated climate adaptation into planning and operations, it rarely initiates construction primarily for that purpose. Behind VanderLey as he spoke, for example, stretched one of four double-decker piers the Navy has built over the past 15 years. While the new design raised utility lines out of the flood zone, they were erected not to adapt to rising seas but because the old piers needed replacement. VanderLey’s team accounts for rising seas when it designs new buildings or refurbishes old ones, lifting generators out of basements, for example, or building new facilities above the floodplain. In January, the Navy published a climate change adaptation handbook to aid these efforts with detailed guidelines. The Navy is also in the midst of a Joint Land Use Study with surrounding communities examining how sea level rise may affect the area.

The question is whether this as-you-fix-it method is enough. Replacement of the piers halted after automatic spending cuts went into effect in 2013. While Donald Trump has proposed tens of billions of dollars in new military spending for next year, VanderLey said he doesn’t expect money for new piers, which cost $150 million to $200 million each, for at least a few years.
Caption: Ships docked at a double decker pier at Naval Station Norfolk (Alex Chancey)

Caption: Ships docked at a double decker pier at Naval Station Norfolk (Alex Chancey)

“They’re going to have to build seawalls all around the base,” Bouchard said. “They’re going to have to rebuild the drainage system. They’ll need to finish the piers.” He guessed that work would take a decade and cost at least $1 billion—finishing the piers alone could flirt with that figure. But VanderLey, Bouchard, and several other retired Navy officers told InsideClimate News there is no specific plan to begin this work. “They haven’t had any money to spend, so in terms of action, no, not much in the way of action,” Bouchard said.

Rear Adm. Ann Phillips, who retired in 2014 and has continued to work on the issue, said Navy officials are trying to keep a low profile. “I think they’re afraid they’ll be prohibited from doing something if they directly tie it to sea level rise or climate change,” she said. “They’re terrified it will be defunded.”
Flooded cars in Norfolk, Virginia, after heavy rains and high tides from the remnants of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Flooded cars in Norfolk, Virginia, after heavy rains and high tides from the remnants of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

J. Pat Rios, who held VanderLey’s position until retiring last year, said the Navy is beginning to address the threat. “We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got. We are assuming some risks, but we all take risks every day,” he said. While he thinks the risk is acceptable for now, it would only take one hurricane to change the calculus. “That storm could come some day in the future and could cause magnified damage, and then we would be filled with a lot of regrets with the risks that we took.”
About Face on Climate
Caption: President Donald Trump speaks during the commissioning ceremony of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford at Naval Station Norfolk on July, 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump speaks during the commissioning ceremony of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford at Naval Station Norfolk on July, 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In 2008, Congress asked the Defense Department to assess its climate risks, prompting the Pentagon to include the issue in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. In the ensuing years, President Obama issued several executive orders and memoranda that further entrenched consideration of climate change into nearly every aspect of the department’s operations, from planning and deployment to facilities maintenance and construction.

As early as 2008, the military identified 30 facilities that were experiencing “increased risk” from sea level rise. More recently, it’s been assessing the threat to each of its more than 7,000 bases and other sites worldwide. Last year, the department’s environmental research program published a technical assessment that presented sea level rise scenarios for 1,774 military sites.

“We can no longer just assume that the basic infrastructure that supports our military and has for centuries is going to be there in the future,” said retired Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn, who was assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment under Obama.

Many of the department’s findings are classified, but the Union of Concerned Scientists last year assessed the impacts of sea level rise on 18 military facilities on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It considered two scenarios—one that assumed a rise of 3.7 feet by 2100 and another with 6.3 feet—and determined that in both cases all but two of the facilities would suffer more than 100 floods per year in low-lying areas by 2050. By 2100, in the 6.3-foot scenario, eight of the sites would see more than half their land flooded on a daily basis. Naval Air Station Key West, the worst hit, would be almost entirely submerged by high tides.

In March, Trump rescinded a series of Obama-era actions on climate, including at least two that applied to the Defense Department. While the action does not prohibit the department from continuing climate-related work, it removes many requirements. Congress may continue to press the military on sea level rise, however. A draft of the defense authorization bill includes language supporting the department’s work on the issue and requiring the secretary of defense to brief the House Armed Services Committee by March on the impacts of rising seas on military installations.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he thinks military leaders will continue working on climate change despite Trump’s resistance. But he said Congress hasn’t provided enough funding, and the current political climate won’t help. “It’s not going to be easy,” he said.
Protecting the City
Rose Fennessey and Sarah Berry walk along a flooded road in Norfolk, Virginia, July 10, 2014, after a heavy rainstorm passed through the area. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan)

Rose Fennessey and Sarah Berry walk along a flooded road in Norfolk, Virginia, July 10, 2014, after a heavy rainstorm passed through the area. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan)

Even if the Norfolk base got all the money it needed, and hoisted everything out of the floodplain, it would be worthless if the surrounding cities weren’t protected too. Just to the  south, on the far side of the Lafayette River, a tiny corner of Norfolk’s Larchmont-Edgewater neighborhood shows how difficult that will be. The area is home to many military families and is bisected by Hampton Boulevard, the main route between downtown and the naval station.

Beginning in 2010, the city gave in to the relentless creep of the water by converting a tiny park at the end of a finger-shaped inlet into a wetland. The project also raised a stretch of road that runs along the park. All told, the work cost $1.25 million. It worked, and on a drizzly May morning with a full-moon high tide, the new road was clear.

But the elevated section is only five houses long. Where the road curves along the sides of the inlet, the river had spilled over its banks, reaching past the street and up to the front lawn of a small brick house. Dark green wetland plants sprouted in the lawn. Just to the right, a nearly identical home sat jacked up on cinderblocks, the main floor at eye level, raised three feet above the base flood elevation, a requirement for any new construction.

Along its 144 miles of shoreline, Norfolk has to raise homes and roads, revamp drainage systems, build seawalls and replace concrete bulkheads with living shorelines and earthen berms. And these are not projects for later in the century.

“It’s a now problem,” said Skip Stiles, who runs a nonprofit called Wetlands Watch and is a leading advocate of adaptation in the region.

Norfolk is trying to embrace its extreme vulnerability as an opportunity, to become “the Silicon Valley of sea level rise,” said George Homewood, its planning director, whose business card is stamped with the city’s mermaid mascot. Norfolk received $120 million in federal funding last year to reshape another vulnerable neighborhood by elevating roads and erecting berms and floodwalls.

The city’s plans are laid out in “Vision 2100,” a document that describes how Norfolk can adapt over the next century. It divides the city into four zones, with a “red zone” of high risk and high value—including all of downtown and the naval base—where expensive fixes like seawalls are needed. (Part of downtown is already protected by a barrier erected after a storm flooded the area in 1962.) Much of the city’s shoreline, including Larchmont-Edgewater, falls in a “yellow zone,” where Norfolk cannot afford such expensive projects and will instead hope for a mix of innovation, private funding and, ultimately, planned abandonment.

The city says a rise of 2.6 feet would flood about 5 percent of its land on a daily basis and place nearly half of Norfolk in a high-risk flood zone. Most projections say such a rise will come some time in the second half of this century. And it won’t stop there. “The numbers we’re playing with are 3 meters in 100 years,” Homewood said.

No one has ventured realistic estimates for costs, but everyone seems to agree there won’t be enough money to protect everything. “How much money as a country are we going to put into Norfolk, Virginia? Is it $1 billion? Is it $10 billion? Is it $50 billion?” asked Titley, the retired admiral. “Over the next century or so, we’re talking at least in the tens of billions and probably in the hundreds of billions to protect parts of Hampton Roads.”

The 2013 state-sponsored study, which projected 1.5 feet of sea level rise within 20 to 50 years, said it takes two to three decades to plan and implement adaptation strategies. “We’re rapidly approaching the go/no-go point,” Stiles said. He pointed to a bridge in Virginia Beach that was first proposed in 2005 and is slated for completion next year. “That’s 13 years for a four-lane bridge. So if we don’t start pretty soon thinking about adding additional margins of safety, the ribbon cutting on the decisions we’re making today will be done in 15 or 20 years and the water will be X feet higher.”

At high tide, Stiles drove to the Hague, a crescent-shaped inlet where the Elizabeth River enters one of Norfolk’s historic neighborhoods. The Army Corps of Engineers is considering installing a tide gate on the inlet, at a cost of $70 to $90 million. Stiles stopped in the parking lot of an apartment building at the edge of the water and got out to look towards the Chrysler Museum, a grand limestone construction at one end of the inlet.

The Hague was spilling over its banks, covering the entire road ahead. “They’ll build this up,” he said, musing about what the area might look like in a few decades. “They’ll build a wall, they’ll put pumps in, they’ll protect it. But 80 years? That’s the head-scratcher. Because if in 80 years we get three feet of water …” Three feet would have put Stiles thigh-deep. “It’s hard to imagine a lot of this stuff still being here.”
The view from the Norfolk waterfront. (Alex Chancey)

The view from the Norfolk waterfront. (Alex Chancey)
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14532
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2018, 04:37:19 AM »
Excellent article. As you might imagine, the issues are quite familiar, as are many of the players. Joe Bouchard is a serious hitter, and for a time worked for the same company I work for. He was a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates who got bounced in 2009.

Subsidence plus sea level rise, coupled with an administration famously opposed to even acknowledging that climate change is a thing, is what Norfolk lives with every day.

Quote
The city’s plans are laid out in “Vision 2100,” a document that describes how Norfolk can adapt over the next century. It divides the city into four zones, with a “red zone” of high risk and high value—including all of downtown and the naval base—where expensive fixes like seawalls are needed. (Part of downtown is already protected by a barrier erected after a storm flooded the area in 1962.) Much of the city’s shoreline, including Larchmont-Edgewater, falls in a “yellow zone,” where Norfolk cannot afford such expensive projects and will instead hope for a mix of innovation, private funding and, ultimately, planned abandonment.

As you many remember, we live in Larchmont and are thus well and truly fucked long term.

What the pols are going to have to deal with is what the Navy already knows: if you don't want to pay for mitigation, want until you foot the bill for replacement.



This photo was taken in front of my house. Note that the caption describes the image as taken during a heavy rainstorm. In the interim, the city has reworked the storm drains, and this intersection which famously floods as soon as clouds gather drains somewhat better now. Which is not to say we don't flood; we flood all the time, and with increasing frequency.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 06:38:16 AM by Surly1 »
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
3 Replies
899 Views
Last post April 27, 2015, 06:15:54 PM
by RE
1 Replies
959 Views
Last post June 17, 2015, 07:58:21 AM
by RE
0 Replies
398 Views
Last post March 22, 2016, 12:26:29 PM
by Eddie