Friday, March 17, 2023

Global Warming and Sea Level Rise

Note: There is a correction in red below.

Recent news stories about global warming have discussed sea level rise. Because they seemed wrong, I decided to do some investigation on my own. I live in Kansas, so I haven't spent a great deal of time on that aspect of climate change. 

My verdict? Sea level rise concern appears to be highly exaggerated. I think you'll find what I found interesting.

Below is a 1930 photo of what is now called Liberty Island. The date appears to be correct as the Chrysler Building (completed 1931) is under construction in the background. Note the water level at the base of the island.

The photo below is said to have been taken in the last three years. I chose it because it was the best I could find that shows the water level.
The photo was probably taken at low tide based on water stain on the tidewall. 

Here's the bottom line: there is little difference in water level in the 90 years between the two photos.

This is confirmed by the tide gage at The Battery, which is at the lower (south) tip of Manhattan. 
The amount of rise from 1931 to 2021 is 26 millimeters. That is 0.085 feet in 90 years. Or, 1.02 inches. While New York Harbor is not the open ocean, it is a tidal bay.

The amount of rise from 1931 to 2021 is .26 meters. That is 10.2 inches. 

Why is this important?

The original, and by far the most quoted, global warming scientist-proponent (before his retirement), was Dr. James Hansen of NASA's climate group. He predicted the West Side Highway of New York's Manhattan Island would be underwater in 40 years. 

I met Jim Hansen, the scientist who in 1988 predicted the greenhouse effect before Congress. I went over to the window with him and looked out on Broadway in New York City and said, “If what you’re saying about the greenhouse effect is true, is anything going to look different down there in 40 years?” He looked for a while and was quiet and didn’t say anything for a couple seconds. Then he said, “Well, there will be more traffic.” I, of course, didn’t think he heard the question right. Then he explained, “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change.”
                                          -- Rob Reiss, journalist, 1988*

Forty years is 2028, just five years from now.
Google Earth, Arrow points to West Side Highway

Manhattan's West Side Highway is high and dry. 

In 1988, it was predicted by climate science that sea level would rise far enough to cut off all of the Maldives Islands' drinking water by 1992. 

And, here is the headline from 2021:
There is a great deal of nonsense in the media regarding sea level and global warming. The article at the beginning of this post is a perfect example. It makes it difficult to explain that global warming is a problem. But, while it is not an immediate crisis, we need to immediately wise up in our dealings with it. It is time to stop spending trillions of dollars on complete nonsense like changing the way doctors treat patients, wind turbines and others and start -- as quickly as possible -- work to decarbonize energy via nuclear and hydro. 

* At one point, Reiss misquoted Hansen's prediction as 20 years, not 40. The correct quote is highlighted above. 

No comments:

Post a Comment