Florida’s Climate Crisis and Sea Level Rise Non Sequitur

The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming! (1966)

Guest crisis-bashing by David Middleton

Florida faces a climate crisis as Democratic candidates take the debate stage

By Drew Kann, CNN

Wed June 26, 2019

(CNN)Presidential candidate Jay Inslee was not happy when the Democratic National Committee shot down his request to hold a climate crisis-focused debate.

[Blah, blah, blah]

…the global climate emergency

[Blah, blah, blah]

The debates are being held in Miami, one of the major cities most vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis.

[Blah, blah, blah]

Unlike in past primaries, many Democratic contenders are treating the climate crisis as a major campaign issue.

Inslee’s entire campaign is built around taking on the climate crisis

[Blah, blah, blah]

Many leading Democrats have said they support the Green New Deal, an ambitious and sweeping set of policy proposals to address climate change…

[Blah, blah, blah]

But for Floridians who will be tuned into the debates, the effects of this climate emergency

[Blah, blah, blah]


And now for the non sequitur

All of Miami Beach is low-lying, but parts are just a foot or two above sea level, making it prone to flooding during storms and extreme high tides, according to Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales. Add the estimated 9 inches that sea levels have risen in the region in the past 100 years, and you have a recipe for costly flooding.

Then there is the problem of the very ground on which Miami Beach and much of South Florida sits.

Made from the remnants of ancient coral reefs, the porous limestone beneath the region is not unlike Swiss cheese, with natural underground “pipes” that allow water to bubble up to the surface, according to Jayantha Obeysekera, director of Florida International University’s Sea Level Rise Solutions Center.

This geology, combined with sea level rise, has left parts of Miami Beach, Miami and other parts of South Florida dealing with flooding — even on days when there is no rain in the forecast.


The nature of Florida’s geology does not follow from the climate crisis myth… Nor does the climate crisis myth follow from the nature of Florida’s geology.

The bedrock in parts of Florida is “made from the remnants of ancient coral reefs” because, not so long ago, it was underwater, when sea level was 1-2m higher than it is today. There are also “remnants of ancient coral reefs” outboard and in much deeper water than modern coral reefs, because, also not so long ago, sea level was about 100m lower than it is today. This called glacioeustasy. It’s what sea level does during ice ages. We are fortunate to be living in an interglacial stage of an ice age.

Sea level isn’t doing anything now that it hasn’t been doing for the past 200 years…

Figure 1. Sea level reconstruction from tide gauge data (Jevrejeva et al., 2014). Note rock pick added for scale.

Or 7,000 years…

Figure 2. Global last 7,000 years, error bars omitted. (Brock et al., 2008)

Or 12,000 years…

Figure 3. Global since Younger Dryas. Note the error bar is ±12 meters. (Siddall et al., 2003)

Or 800,000 years…

Figure 4. Late Pleistocene sea level, older is toward the right.. (Spratt & Lisiecki, 2016)

To the extent sea level rise (SLR) may have “accelerated” since 1993, it’s just back to doing what it was doing in the mid-20th century.

Figure 5. Jevrejeva et al., 2014 exhibits alternating periods of fast (~3 mm/yr) and slow (~1 mm/yr) of sea level rise.

Florida’s flooding “crisis” is the nature of its geology. This has been the effect of rising sea level…

Figure 7. Miami Beach topographic maps for 1950 and 1994. Note that the 5′ elevation contour has not shifted (USGS).
Figure 8. Miami Beach, Florida topographic maps for 1994 and 2012. The 2012 map has no 5′ contour because it has a 10′ contour interval. However, it is abundantly obvious that Florida is not being inundated.

Dean Wormer, how much inundation of the Florida coastline has occurred?

Here’s a topographic profile to demonstrate the effects of 14cm of sea level rise on the Miami Beach area…

Figure 9. Topographic profile A-A’. The NOAA sea level trend has been plotted at.the same vertical scale.

And on to bad science fiction…

Miami Beach is spending $500 million to address the most vulnerable parts of the city by raising roads and installing pump stations to shore up flood-prone areas.

Miami voters passed a $400 million bond measure, of which nearly $200 million will go toward solutions for sea level rise and flood prevention.

But those millions will fund only a fraction of the work that needs to be done, with sea levels projected to rise as much as 6 feet by 2100.

[Blah, blah, blah]


It is physically impossible for global sea level to even rise by as much as 3 feet over the next 80 years…

Figure 6. Projected sea level rise through 2100 AD.

And please don’t babble about Meltwater Pulse 1a or Marine Ice Cliff Instability.

Mr. Kann spends the rest of the article babbling about “red tides, septic tanks and hurricanes.” His scientific qualifications consist of a BA in magazines, an MS in journalism, about 10 years of experience as a video producer and his apparent woke-ness.


Brock, J.C.,  M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy, C.W. Wright, & A. Nayegandhi. (2008). “Patch-reef morphology as a proxy for Holocene sea-level variability, Northern Florida Keys, USA”. Coral Reefs. 27. 555-568. 10.1007/s00338-008-0370-y. 

Jevrejeva, S. , J.C. Moore, A. Grinsted, A.P. Matthews, G. Spada. 2014.  “Trends and acceleration in global and regional sea levels since 1807”.  Global and Planetary Change. %vol 113, 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2013.12.004 https://ift.tt/2Xf756b

Siddall M, Rohling EJ, Almogi-Labin A, Hemleben C, Meischner D, Scmelzer I, Smeed DA (2003). “Sea-level fluctuations during the last glacial cycle”. Nature 423:853–858 LINK

Spratt, R. M. and Lisiecki, L. E.: “A Late Pleistocene sea level stack”. Clim. Past, 12, 1079-1092, https://ift.tt/2JfudaU, 2016.

via Watts Up With That?


June 28, 2019 at 12:43PM

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