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Posted on: November 13, 2020

The Last house of Sinking Chesapeake Bay Island | Coastal Care


SCITECHDAILY: LINK:  The Arctic: A Delicate Icy Ecosystem. EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY (ESA) OCTOBER 7, 2020, The Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing regions in the world. Diminishing sea ice, thawing permafrost and melting glaciers are all direct effects of rising global temperatures – driven by human-made emissions. Learn more about how satellites flying 800 km above our heads can help us monitor and understand the changes occurring in this remote region. RESPONSE (1) That the Arctic is rapidly changing means only that you have found a region that is rapidly changing and not that it is a feature of rising global mean temperature that can and must be managed and controlled with human interference. (2) The Arctic sea ice goes through a violent seasonal cycle in which more than 90% of the winter sea ice is gone by September and it is true that September minimum sea ice is declining from year to year at a rate of about 1% per year. The assumption that this decline is caused by global warming is not supported by the data as shown in related posts:  LINK:  .  RESPONSE (2): Thawing permafrost and melting glaciers. Permafrost thaw is projected and not observed. Some localized thaw events in Siberia are localized events and if these have climate implications they must be understood as internal climate variability because of their geographical and temporal limitations. Global warming may play a partial role in glacial melt there in terms of meltwater ponds that form on top of the ice sheet during June, July, and August but this role of the atmosphere in the total melt rate of 200 to 350 gigatons per year is insignificant as the melt is mostly a result of geothermal heat flux from geological activity under the ice sheet as described in a related post: LINK:  Global warming: Summer Arctic sea ice will be gone by 2050

BBC: LINK:  13 NOV 2020

CLAIM:  Climate change: Hurricanes get stronger on land as world warms. North Atlantic hurricanes are retaining far more of their strength when they hit land because of global warming, say scientists. Previously, experts believed these storms died down quickly once they made landfall. But over the past 50 years, the time it takes for hurricanes to dissipate on the coast has almost doubled. Researchers says that climate change gives the storms more energy, which continues to power them over land. The scientists involved say that this will likely make hurricanes more damaging further inland in years to come. This year, the North Atlantic has already broken the record for the number of named storms, with Hurricane Theta becoming the 29th storm of the season – beating the 28 that formed in 2005. Experts have noted that in recent years, tropical storms that make landfall are persisting far longer and doing more damage than in the past. In 2017, Houston, Texas, was inundated when Hurricane Harvey settled over the city for several days, dumping 127 billion tonnes of water on the US’ fourth largest city. RESPONSE:  According to climate science, the impact of global warming on tropical cyclones can be assessed only in long term trends of longer than 40 years of decadal mean tropical cyclone activity in all six basins. Extreme variability from year to year and from basin to basin make it impossible to make this assessment in terms of a single cyclone basin, much less in terms of a single season in a single basin as the BBC has done in their tropical cyclone analysis. LINK: 


CLAIMRivers of warm air transported across the atmosphere have been found to play a major role in the creation of vast openings in Antarctic sea ice. Storms are known to help trigger the openings, known as polynyas, which in the past have expanded to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. But despite the world’s most powerful storms being a regular fixture in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, they don’t on their own explain why the polynyas form at some times and not at others. Now, Diana Francis at Khalifa University and her colleagues think they have the answer. Combing satellite records and climate data, they looked at major polynya events in the Weddell Sea on the Antarctic coast in 1973 and 2017. They found that flows of heat and water vapour in the sky, known as atmospheric rivers, travelled huge distances, in one case moving from the south-eastern coast of South America down to the Weddell Sea in 2017. During September that year, one river increased air temperatures in the Weddell Sea by 10°C. Earth’s most important rivers are in the sky – and they’re drying up. It isn’t just that the rivers of heat start melting the ice pack, making it fragile and easily broken up by cyclones. The atmospheric rivers also make the storms more intense because they provide more water vapour. They are linked, not independent, says Francis. The polynyas can bring benefits, such as providing nutrients to marine life. However, like melting Arctic sea ice, they matter globally because they can speed up climate change when dark open water reflects less of the sun’s energy back to space than white ice. In turn, climate change will influence future polynyas. Global warming is expected to increase the frequency of atmospheric river events by around 50 per cent if carbon emissions stay high. RESPONSE:  A polynya is an area of sea free of sea ice that is surrounded by sea ice. Antarctic polynyas  tend to form at random but they are location specific and form repeatedly at the same location. That these formations are random except that they tend to recur at the same location implies localized cause. For example, they tend to form repeatedly in the Weddell Sea (image below). There is no long term trend in polynya formation that can be attributed to global warming or fossil fuels. The region of the Antarctic where they form are known to be geologically active. Abyssal geothermal heat flux events are far more likely to create polynyas than global warming. See for example; Hofmann, M., and M. A. Morales Maqueda. “Geothermal heat flux and its influence on the oceanic abyssal circulation and radiocarbon distribution.” Geophysical Research Letters 36.3 (2009).


CLAIM: It was a sight you don’t normally see: a jellyfish lying dead in the middle of a parking lot partly submerged in water. But this was no ordinary parking lot. This particular section of asphalt in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, is among a growing number of areas prone to frequent flooding in the seaside town. The jellyfish had slipped in from the Chesapeake Bay through an opening in the seawall. “You can literally kayak from the bay right into this parking lot,” said NOAA oceanographer William Sweet on the September day that we visited. The tide was relatively low that day. On days with the highest tides of the year, whole parking lots and streets in Annapolis are underwater, causing delays and traffic congestion. Compromise Street, a major road into town, is often forced to shut down, slowing response times for firefighters and other first responders. Local businesses have lost as much as $172,000 a year, or 1.4% of their annual revenue, due to high-tide floods, according to a study published in 2019 in the journal Science Advances. High-tide floods, also known as nuisance floods, sunny-day floods, and recurrent tidal floods, occur “when tides reach anywhere from 1.75 to 2 feet above the daily average high tide and start spilling onto streets or bubbling up from storm drains,” according to an annual report on the subject by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.) These floods are usually not related to storms; they typically occur during high tides, and they impact people’s lives. Because of rising seas driven by climate change, the frequency of this kind of flood has dramatically increased in recent years. Get NASA’s Climate Change News: Subscribe to the Newsletter » Sea level rise is often spoken of in future terms, including projections for impacts we’re likely to see by the end of the century. But in many communities in the U.S., sea level rise is already a factor in people’s lives in the form of high-tide flooding. Credit: NASA Between 2000 and 2015, high-tide flooding in the U.S. doubled from an average of three days per year to six along the Northeast Atlantic, according to a 2018 NOAA report. It is especially common along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, where the frequency is up by roughly 200% over the last two decades. In some areas like Annapolis, the numbers are even more extreme. Annapolis had a record 18 days of high-tide flooding from May 2019 to April 2020, according to flooding thresholds for the city established by NOAA. That’s up from the previous record of 12 days in 2018. Before 2015, the record number of high-tide flood days in one year was seven, and the yearly average of high-tide floods from 1995 to 2005 was two. Plot of high-tide flooding in Annapolis This plot shows the trend of high-tide flooding days in Annapolis, Md. Already, it’s disrupting people’s lives, said Ben Hamlington, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It impacts your ability to go to work, to drop the kids off at daycare, to go to the grocery store.” Hamlington leads the NASA Sea Level Change team, which studies the roles that ocean, ice, and land play in high-tide flooding. In March 2019, the NASA team met in Annapolis with 35 local and state government officials to discuss the challenges coastal cities are facing and provide science and research to help them make decisions. Future projections are gloomier. Without additional flood management efforts, the frequency of this kind of flooding is projected to double or triple by 2030, and could be as much as 15-fold higher by 2050. This means high-tide flooding could occur 180 days a year in some locations, “effectively becoming the new high tide,” the report reads. Plus, floodwater can travel up pipes, compromising both stormwater and wastewater systems. In Norfolk and Chesapeake, Virginia, lawn fertilizers get flushed by tidal floods from people’s yards and into the Elizabeth River, feeding harmful algal blooms, said Derek Loftis, an assistant professor at the Center for Coastal Resources Management with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, who studies the issue. Sea level rise can feel abstract, like something looming far off in the future. But if you want to see it happening in real-time, look no further than these floods. “It’s not an esoteric discussion any longer,” Sweet said. “It’s real.” What Drives It Think of high-tide flooding as a layering of different processes on different time scales, said JPL’s Hamlington. On the shortest time scale, you have the tides themselves, which are driven by the gravitational pull of the Moon. The highest high tides typically occur during full moons and new moons, when the Moon, the Sun and Earth are nearly aligned. During these times, the pull is stronger as the gravity of the Sun reinforces the gravity of the Moon. Winds can also influence how high the tides come in. The Chesapeake Bay, for example, is prone to winds from the North and the South. “Winds from the South shove water up the bay, and Northeasterly winds can pile up water regionally along much of the East coast, including the bay.” Sweet said. “And we’re not talking about extreme winds, we’re talking about the kind of winds that we like when we go sailing: 15, 20-knot winds.” Then there are the climate patterns like El Niño, which lead to higher-than-normal sea levels along both the U.S. East and West coasts. Subsidence, the settling or sinking of land, also has a powerful role to play. Subsidence partly stems from natural causes, like the compaction of sediments in the Mississippi Delta and the movement of land due to natural geologic processes, but also from the extraction of groundwater and natural gas along the Gulf coast. And, of course, the most powerful driver is sea level rise itself. The ocean is rising at about 3.3 millimeters, or 0.13 inches a year, mostly due to the melting of land-based ice and the thermal expansion of ocean water, according to NASA. This rate is accelerating over time, by about an additional 1 millimeter per year roughly every decade. Measuring High-Tide Flooding. The best flood projections must take all of these processes into account, and that requires a view from space, Hamlington said. “Understanding the future of high-tide flooding is a little bit like a puzzle,” Hamlington said. “We’re trying to put together the pieces. And the satellites we have available really help us do that.” Hamlington’s team relies on a suite of radar altimeter satellites to measure the height of the ocean surface. From an altitude of 830 miles (1,336 kilometers), these altimeters bounce signals off the ocean surface and measure the time it takes them to return to the spacecraft. “To study large-scale climate signals like El Niño, we need to have a broad view of the ocean,” Hamlington said. “The altimeters give us really accurate measurements of sea surface height on these very large scales.” They include the Jason-3 satellite, an international partnership between NOAA, NASA, the French government’s National Centre for Space Studies and EUMETSAT, along with its predecessors, Jason-1, Jason-2 and TOPEX/Poseidon, which collectively form a consecutive record dating back to 1992. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will mark the latest satellite in the partners’ efforts. An artist’s rendering of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite. An artist’s rendering of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite. Credit: NASA These observations combine with other satellite data and with continuous measurements from about 2,000 tide gauges worldwide to fill in the pieces of that puzzle. The satellites fill in the gaps where the tide gauges are sparse. Mapping Rising Tides Satellite data also help scientists model and map high-tide flooding events. In coastal Virginia, for example, Loftis has helped create a model to predict the area’s highest high-tide floods of the year, and has paired it with a large citizen science effort to validate the location of those floodwaters. Over the years, he’s recruited hundreds of volunteers-turned-citizen scientists to fan out along the coastline and validate his projections by marking the height of the floodwaters with GPS tags. The effort began in Norfolk, but has expanded to volunteers across coastal Virginia and Maryland’s Eastern shore. The team relies on the Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 satellites from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Terra satellite’s ASTER (a contribution from Japan) and MODIS instruments, and NOAA’s GOES-16 geostationary satellite, to evaluate the model after the flood. He also believes that a new 98-feet (30-meter) mapping model that uses data from the NOAA-NASA Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 polar-orbiting satellites might be helpful  future. Loftis hopes these maps will help cities prepare for future floods as well as urban flood protection. “There previously wasn’t much of a frame of reference,” Loftis said. “Now we’ve got a map with volunteer data that confirms yes, this is what we saw with tens of thousands of data points.” High-tide flooding is not just a beachfront problem. It’s a problem that will increasingly impact urban areas like New York City, Philadelphia, Charleston and Miami, but also smaller communities along the coast, especially in back bays and estuaries, said David Kriebel, a professor of ocean engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy. It’s likely to become a story of haves and have nots, he said. Some areas will have the means to afford the massive funding required to protect against it; others won’t. “I think we’re going to end up with certain locations that are going to take big actions— New York City and Miami Beach are examples—and we’re going to have other smaller communities that are going to have a hard time dealing with it,” he said. Building Defenses. Half a mile up the road from Downtown Annapolis, the U.S. Naval Academy is also beating back water. McNair Road runs along the perimeter of campus, separating the academy’s indoor stadium from College Creek, a waterway that feeds into the Severn River, and eventually, the Chesapeake Bay. When the seawater gets high enough, it shoots up through the storm drains, flooding McNair Road, and at the same time, spills over onto Ramsay Road on the opposite side of the creek. Both roads have already flooded 20 times this year, and more than 40 times each in 2018 and 2019. U.S. Naval Academy flooding. Ramsay Road, which runs along the cemetery on the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy, flooded more than 40 times in 2018 and 2019. Credit: David Kriebel On a recent fall morning, Kriebel points out the many defenses the campus has built against rising water: A seawall built alongside the river, flood walls protecting campus buildings, and classroom floors and walls made of concrete or painted cinder block—materials more resistant to flooding than carpet, wood and drywall. Across the river, at Ramsay Road, high water levels frequently flood parts of the road that run alongside the cemetery where Naval Academy alumni, including former Sen. John McCain, are buried. The cemetery itself is on a hill, so it’s not in danger of flooding, but floodwater has been known to close the road on days that solemn services are planned. And in addition to the water that floods over roads, there’s the water lurking just below the road surface. “When the water is just below the roadbed on the one side,” Kriebel said, “it seeps through the gravel under the road and pops out the other side.” On top of the 40-some flood events occurring each year, he added, “there are literally hundreds of high tides that are just a few inches below the road surface today.” At the Naval Academy, they’re considering various flood protection options. One option at Ramsay Road is to abandon the road and relocate it. Another is to build another flood wall. But Kriebel suspects they’ll choose a third option, to elevate the road by about a foot, and eventually raise the athletic field that runs alongside it too. Still, he said, the water is rising fast, and much of this flood protection will only last for a few decades. At that point, additional measures will have to be taken. “You can build walls, you can add inflow preventers and you can protect areas that are worth protecting, but eventually, water’s going to find its way through the holes,” Sweet said. “You’re not really meant to hold back the tides.”

RESPONSE:  High tide flooding in this region is not unusual and not in itself evidence that it is caused by global warming because the region is well known for its land subsidence problem. Just because there are coastal high tide floods does not mean they can be moderated by taking climate action. That high tide floods are not unusual in this region is seen in its history where we find that high tide flooding events are recorded in 1933, 1954, 1955, 1960, 1967, 1972, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2020. The data do show a trend toward more frequent high tide flood events while at the same time the land elevation there has declined as land subsidence has continued. The observed sea level rise of more than 2 mm a year since 1950 may have played a role as well but no direct evidence for that causation is provided by NASA and there is no evidence in the data that it can be moderated by taking climate action:  LINK: 

The image below is of land subsidence in coastal Maryland.

1 Response to "CLIMATE ALARMS OF 11/13/2020"

Excellent post information-wise. Might be a bit “heavy” for general public, but hope they learn from it.
Trying to “Reblog” without success.

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