This is like asking ‘could hurricane Hazel strike again’ ?

From Tufts University , and the department of industrial strength grant funded worry, comes this “could” question coached in caveats:

Could Sandy happen again? Maybe, says Tufts geologist

Due to rising sea levels, smaller storms could produce significant flooding

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Almost a year after Hurricane Sandy, parts of New York and New Jersey are still recovering from billions of dollars in flood damage. Tufts University geologist Andrew Kemp sees the possibility of damage from storms smaller than Sandy in the future.

“Rising sea levels exacerbate flooding,” says Kemp. “As sea level rises, smaller and weaker storms will cause flood damage.” An assistant professor in Tufts’ Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Kemp co-authored a study on sea-level change close to New York that was published recently in the Journal of Quaternary Science.

Sandy hit New York as a team led by Kemp was researching sea-level change and flooding that had occurred in seven historically damaging hurricanes in New York since 1788. Last October, Sandy’s storm surge hit the coast at high tide, but storm and tidal conditions were not the only cause of the devastation, Kemp says. Seawaters off New York’s coast have risen 16 inches since 1778, the year of New York City’s first major recorded storm, his research shows.

To make this determination Kemp and his team studied salt-marsh sediments from Barnegat Bay in northern New Jersey, south of the tide gauge at Battery Park in New York. Using sediment cores, long cylinders drilled into the marsh floor that offer scientists a look back through time, they were able to reconstruct sea-level changes since 1788.

Kemp cites two factors for rising seas. One is the natural sinking of land called glacio-isostatic adjustment. A second factor, and one supported by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), points to the melting of the ice-covered terrain of Greenland and Antarctic as well as the thermal expansion of ocean waters.

Looking forward, Kemp sees the possibility of storms less powerful than Sandy inflicting serious damage. He uses a basketball analogy. “It’s like playing basketball and raising the level of the court so that shorter and shorter people can dunk. It makes low lying property and infrastructure more vulnerable at a time when developers are pumping money into coastal cities and towns.”

###

Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across the university’s schools is widely encouraged.

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Dr. Kemp, the basketball analogy fails miserably when the floor is sinking, Note the reference you made: “One is the natural sinking of land called glacio-isostatic adjustment.”

It was about 49 years ago that Hurricane Hazel made an even bigger mess than Sandy, before anybody even worried about climate change, sea level rise, or any number of other similar over-worries associated with “climate change”.

From Wikipedia:

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Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina, as a Category 4 hurricane. After causing 95 fatalities in the US, Hazel struck Canada as an extratropical storm, raising the death toll by 81 people, mostly in Toronto. As a result of the high death toll and the damage Hazel caused, its name was retired from use for North Atlantic hurricanes.

Hazel affected Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York; it brought gusts near 160 km/h (100 mph) and caused $308 million (1954 USD) in damage. When it was over Pennsylvannia, Hazel consolidated with a cold front, and turned northwest towards Canada. When it hit Ontario as an extratropical storm, rivers and streams in and around Toronto, Ontario overflowed their banks, which caused severe flooding. As a result, many residential areas located in the local floodplains, such as the Raymore Drive area, were subsequently converted to parkland. In Canada alone, over C$135 million (2009: $1.1 billion) of damage was incurred.

The effects of Hazel were particularly unprecedented in Toronto, as a result of a combination of a lack of experience in dealing with tropical storms and the storm’s unexpected retention of power. Hazel had traveled 1,100 km (680 mi) over land, but while approaching Canada, it had merged with an existing powerful cold front. The storm stalled over the Greater Toronto Area, and although it was now extratropical, it remained as powerful as a category 1 hurricane. To help with the cleanup, 800 members of the military were summoned, and a Hurricane Relief Fund was established that distributed $5.1 million (2009: $41.7 million) in aid.

A track starts slightly east of the Lesser Antilles; it goes west until it turns north-northeast when it is south of Jamaica; it passes over Haiti, and reaches the Carolinas; it travels overland and gets to Toronto while passing through the Washington, D.C., area

Hazel Storm path

In early October 1954, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa and was spotted on October 5, roughly 80 km (50 mi) east of the island of Grenada. Sufficiently organized to be deemed a hurricane, the original hurricane hunter wind measurement of 110 km/h (70 mph) soon increased to 160 km/h (100 mph) at the centre, with a forward speed of 16 km/h (10 mph).[1] Hazel moved westward and intensified from October 6 to October 9 in the Caribbean Sea without directly striking any land;[2] at one point, it was moving “practically parallel” to the Venezuelan coast.[3] After continuing on a westward track, it turned sharply to the north-northeast, heading for Haiti instead of Jamaica, contrary to meteorologists’ predictions.[4] On the whole, the storm proved to be very unpredictable, defying forecasts on multiple occasions.[2]

On October 11, Hazel crossed Haiti as a Category 2 hurricane. It had lost some strength because of its passing over peaks as high as 2,400 m (8,000 ft). After passing through the Windward Passage between the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola, Hazel turned northwest toward the southeastern part of the Bahamas and East Coast of the United States, at a forward speed of about 27 km/h (17 mph).[5] Hurricanes are generally expected to lose power after going north of Florida, since the temperature of the water is lower;[6] however, by late October 14, just before it reached the Carolinas, hurricane hunter planes found the hurricane’s winds to have accelerated to 220 km/h (140 mph), making it a Category 4 storm, and its forward speed had increased to 48 km/h (30 mph).

================================================================

Then there’s this one, the Ash Wednesday Storm:

“In New Jersey alone, an estimated 45,000 homes were destroyed or greatly damaged. In New York, on Long Island, communities such as Fire Island were decimated; 100 homes there were destroyed. Wave heights reached 12 m (40 ft) by the shore of New York City.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Wednesday_Storm_of_1962

Could Hazel happen again? Sure. Could the Ash Wednesday Storm happen again? No doubt. Could Sandy happen again? You betcha. Does climate change have anything to do with the odds of any of these recurring? Nope.

In fact the odds are better for a Sandy or Hazel like storm to strike when the tide is not at a peak. Had Sandy struck when the tide was low or even somewhere in the middle of the tide cycle, the caterwauling about sea level rise wouldn’t be nearly as loud. While I don’t disagree with Kemp’s statement of “Rising sea levels exacerbate flooding,”, we can also say “hurricanes at high tide exacerbate flooding”. The question comes down to which one had more effect, in the case of Sandy, it was the timing of landfall, high tide, and years of neglecting sea defenses; sea level rise was a minor player.

battery_surge_1950-12_wide_v3

This graphic shows factors that contributed to the top 10 high-water events measured at New York’s Battery Park from 1900 to present. The water height for each event is shown here against the benchmark of MLLW (mean lower low water) averaged between 1983 and 2001. Sea level rise (about a foot since 1900) is depicted here as a component of storm surge. Although Sandy’s surge peaked close to high tide, other events had even higher tide levels. Click for larger PDF. (Image by Carlye Calvin and Bob Henson, UCAR; data courtesy Chris Zervas, NOAA National Ocean Service.)

At 8.99 feet on top of the high tide, Sandy’s surge was almost twice that of its nearest rivals, which all fell between 4 and 5 feet.

battery_water_level[1]

This graph shows tidal levels (blue) and actual water heights (red) during the approach and landfall of Sandy. The green line is the difference between the two. (Image courtesy NOAA.)

It was Sandy’s unusual westward track bringing it into Long Island, coupled with the storm’s vast size, that focused and pushed such a large surge into the New York area and much of the New Jersey coast, where similar records were set in many places. But, also note that the portion of SLR compared to Sandy’s storm surge isn’t all that much. The subway system would still have flooded if there were no sea level rise.

Should we freak out about sea level in New York City? You be the judge:  Freaking out about NYC sea level rise is easy to do when you don’t pay attention to history

See also: From the Scientific Urban Legend Department: ‘AGW Sea Level Rise Made Sandy More Destructive’

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74 thoughts on “This is like asking ‘could hurricane Hazel strike again’ ?

  1. He cites 1778 as the first major recorded storm. There were storms in the 1600’s which flooded Staten Island. It should never have been populated. If they are only worried about sea level rise, they have their heads in the sand.

  2. Gerald, that jumped out at me too… 1778 was New York’s first major recorded storm? From that point anything else was simply entertainment with no valid scientific information.

  3. I forget exactly how the quote goes but someone once said, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
    In the context of CAGW, forgive me for amending it to, “Those who are ignorant of weather history are doomed to be alarmed by it repeating.”
    (I’m sure someone can clean that sentence up. Feel free.)

  4. Gunga Din said:
    October 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm
    I forget exactly how the quote goes but someone once said, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
    In the context of CAGW, forgive me for amending it to, “Those who are ignorant of weather history are doomed to be alarmed by it repeating.”
    (I’m sure someone can clean that sentence up. Feel free.)
    ——————————————-
    Here ya go:

    WE’RE DOOMED!!!!!

  5. Considering that the 9 downturns in the rate of sea level change in the 20th century (including sea level slightly falling, at below 0 mm/yr rise, during part of the 1960s-1970s global cooling scare) correspond to the 9 low points in solar cycles meanwhile, as illustrated in http://img176.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=81829_expanded_overview_122_424lo.jpg , while keeping in mind the apparent ending of the Modern Maximum and return soon towards Grand Minimum conditions not seen in centuries … within a decade, sea levels will most likely get seriously into a new trend of primarily outright falling (in reality at least, although activist-reported numbers may be a different matter).

    Times of global cooling do lead to more mid-latitude storminess, though, like the last Little Ice Age was stormier than the Medieval Warm Period, as the equator never changes much in temperature but higher latitudes cool much (differing further from warm near-equator temperatures), increasing a temperature gradient driving convective heat transfer, driving convection.

  6. If I have the math right, 16 inches in 235 years is approximately 1.7mm/year or 0.67in/decade, part of which he admits is due to subsidence. How in the world can we ever find a way to adapt to such rapid changes?!

  7. Sandy behaved in the way that it did because of global cooling.

    Due to the quiet sun and more equatorward climate zones and jets the northward moving storm hit the polar air masses earlier than it would otherwise have done and was pushed westward instead of moving north eastward to join the mid latitude westerlies in the normal manner.

    It was further invigorated by a flow of cold air coming from the north west out of Canada which increased the temperature differentials along the storm front.

    It’s behaviour was a product of cooling not warming.

    I was in New York the day before it hit as a passenger on the QM2. We left shortly before the port was closed after a hurried turnaround and went out into force 12 winds for 18 hours or so.

    Ran away from it at 20 knots whilst everything else hove to. A great ocean going liner.

    If it had turned north eastwards we would have had to put up with it as it followed us right across the Atlantic.

  8. Fran took a similar path as Hazel, and was just as strong. Sandy was a near carbon copy of the 1991 “Perfect Storm” just closer to land.

    People got paid for that?

  9. Frankly getting bored of climate change stories as it ain’t happening. AW I think you are going to experience a huge drop in interest in AGW as its beginning to wear thin in all aspects. Maybe the arrest of Mann or a major legal action against the fraudsters might engender some interest again. It simply is too much me thinks but anyway good luck in your endeavours, The same thing will happen to all climate sites pro or anti in the coming months.

    [Wrong. WUWT is doing better than ever. ~ mod.]

  10. Also, pretty sure the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 tore that place up pretty good. If a replica of that hits in 2035…just wow.

  11. “Tufts University,… is (was) recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. … (of course,) when the (excellence) floor is sinking (almost anyone can be “premier”) … .

    (This is) called (grant)-io-isostatic adjustment.”

    Mediocre. The new “excellence.”

  12. I bring this article up because it is very interesting both in relation to the the supposed sea level rise and this alarmist drivel shown in Tuffs article.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24458799

    “The whole car is being assembled with this kind of precision with the aid of a “surface table” – a super-flat, 7m-long slab of cast iron that weighs 10 tonnes.

    The accuracy of the build is regularly checked using a Hexagon laser, which will measure the position of any part of the car, in three dimensions, to one millionth of a metre.

    This has given us a bit of a problem, though, as the surface table (all 10 tonnes of it) keeps moving.

    After a lot of checking, it would appear that the surface table, and the whole of our Technical Centre, is actually floating.

    The ends of the table move up and down by a couple of millimetres or so with the tide. We’re only a few hundred metres from the River Avon and the tide in the river makes the floor (and the surface table, and therefore our chassis) go up and down very slightly. ”

    Sorry the cut paste is bit long, but needed all of it make my point.

    This what you get when real science is done, and the alarmist crowd is trying tell us that a supposed measure of 1.5 to 3mm in sea level is actual there and a problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    For heavens sake the tide on a river is moving a building and a 10t surface table which are few hundred metres away FROM it couple of millimetres or so

  13. If one divides 16 inches by 235 years, one gets about 1.7 mm/year, or the exact same rate measured during historical time. What’s the problem?

  14. “Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635″ (MattN at 3:06pm) — good point.

    You do know, do you not, that if it weren’t for all the terrible things the Pilgrims did to the Indians it never would have happened. The Indians wanted to ban all cooking with fire and the cutting down any trees and to put up a toll booth at the end of everyone’s driveway to get some funds to “invest” in some pretty glass beads that would make the sea level go down if you just toss enough of them into it. But, noooOOOOoooo, the Pilgrims — refused — to — go — along. They said taxes were e-v-il. How can you say taxes are e-v-il when it is TO SAVE THE PLANET?!!! The Indians begged them on their knees. The Pilgrims just said, “Stuff a moccasin in it. We’ll think about building a sea wall and putting in a drainage system next summer. Now, sit down and have some more turkey and cranberry sauce.” Then, the Indians started drinking rum and that was the Pilgrims’ fault, too, and…………

    #(:))

  15. In other news, buildings built in Earthquake zone fall down in earthquakes if they were not built to modern building standards designed to minimize damage from Earthquakes.

    The analogy is exact. Flooding, like earthquakes, is predictable. Building to prevent damage from flooding can be expensive but (like building to withstand earthquakes) is preferable to paying after the flood.

  16. The only solution is to force people to move away from the coast…
    to Ohio…no wait, they have snow and ice storms
    to Calif….no wait, they have landslides, earth quakes, and fires
    to Montana…fires, winter storms, and winds
    to Colorado!…..fires, winds, and winter storms
    to Tennessee…..tornadoes

    …..is there any place that’s safe any more??

    /snark

  17. Hey, dear Moderator…. just curious, why are there “no public comments available for display” (right side bar)? Are all these comments visible only to me?? I’ve wondered about that before. Mine seem to be invisible about 75% of the time… . ;)

    [Reply: I am getting the public comments. — mod.]

  18. There is a tendency to remember the last thing you saw very well things in the past not so well, so they can sell Sandy as the worst ever. It always helps to have Sandy in a major media market in a highly populated area. How many people remember Floyd (1999)? It caused major flooding over a huge part of Eastern NC. Seems to me that if you live near the east coast or Gulf of Mexico, you may be subject to a hurricane every now and then, even if hurricane activity has been relatively quiet since 2005.

  19. You gotta love the way these people, who apparently are not aware of what actually has happened before, create hysteria over storms that are well within the realm of the expected. So much so that when I talk to insurance companies, and anyone that has seen me in the last 5 years know my “Philadelphia Story” which Sandy got close to ( the landfall has to be south of the mount of the Delaware bay, pushing the storm surge up the bay, while the water from heavy rains comes down the Delaware river). So the strategy of these agw academics is to prey on the ignorance of people to the fact that Sandy’s, Hazels ,etc should happen as a matter of natural course.

    My father, who is a degreed meteorologist, for years when I was a kid, would pull out maps of Hazel and say, Joe, do you realize if this track occurred, but 200 miles further east, the mid Atlantic coast would be devastated? He would also talk about 1933, the short cut storm into Va beach ( he refers to the northwest track to the coast as the short cut, rather than the recurve arc of normal east coast storm). In both cases, 100-200 miles in the realm of the global pattern is nothing and knowledge of this should show any rational person what the atmosphere can, and should do, from time to time

    NATURALLY

  20. The Storm of 1962 which was not even a hurricane did tremendous damage to the New Jersey shore. I was there. What do you think happens when you have such a density of homes 100 yards from the strand line. Long Beach Island was cut in half and houses were floating in the ocean. However, Sandy was unprecedented. What gullible people we are.

  21. Joe Bastardi, it’s the same as Calgary’s “record flood” this year. Even though it was exceeded by the 1928 levels and about equaled the 1932 level, somehow it’s worse than ever. Of course, the fact that they built most of a city on the floodplain in the meantime is completely ignored.

    My favorite conversation about this was in the local paper, when I pointed out that the flood level we reached actually matches the 22-year estimate by an engineering firm in the 70s. One shocked commenter stated, “That’s not true, there wasn’t a flood in 1991″. Sigh.

  22. Gunga Din says: October 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm “I forget exactly how the quote goes but someone once said, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Correct, George Santayana in The Life of Reason 1905, “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    But do not fall prey to some sort of historicism, the idea that history is some sort of logical syllogism, that events A and B somehow cause event C. Marx’s dialectic is rank historicism. The future is in no way predestined. Karl Popper wrote The Poverty of Historicism. N. N. Taleb and Benoit Mandelbrot say that reality is fractally complex and caution against bald induction – that leads to impoverished historicism.

  23. Kemp’s paper only credits GIA with 15 cm of subsidence from 1788, this is less than 1 mm/yr. The NY State Task Force on Sea Level Rise uses their best estimate of 1-2 mm/yr. which would be between 22.4 to 44.8 cm or a mean figure around 33 cm (twice Kemp’s figure) . Kemp finds 56 cm total rise from 1788 — less the Task Force’s mean figure of 33 mm leaves only 23 cm attributable to actual sea level rise in the area — a rate of 1.03 mm/year. This is far less than the consensus figure for long-term, pre-AGW sea level rise alone, which is about 1.7 to 1.8 mm/yr. Even using the Kemp’s GIA figure (I will have to check why this is so divergent from the NYS Task Force’s figure), we get a SLR of 1.8 mm/yr, almost exactly the pre-AWG long-term worldwide trend.

    None of this attribution discussion makes sea level rise any less of a problem for a major mega-city with only a ten foot (3 meter) margin of safety.

  24. Stephen Wilde says:
    October 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I was in New York the day before it hit as a passenger on the QM2. We left shortly before the port was closed after a hurried turnaround and went out into force 12 winds for 18 hours or so.

    Ran away from it at 20 knots whilst everything else hove to. A great ocean going liner.

    My uncle (Ordnance Artificer) was a victim of the original QM aboard HMS Curacoa.

    http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12420

    28 knots zigzagging.

  25. Of course, remembering Sandy leads to the obvious question: Where are all the (real) storms THIS year?? Humberto? Karen? Can we revisit the dire hurricane forecast for 2013…???

  26. The SLR meme took a hit recently with the observation of cooling of Greenland’s coasts for the last 70 years. “Objection! Facts not in evidence, your honor!”

  27. Ain’t it great when your early learning stands you well.
    From my early geography instruction I gleaned that buying a house on “Riverside Crescent” might just have consequences. But there you go, you make you choice, you live your life.

  28. Blaming sea level rise for the increased damage from coastal storms is like blaming gravity for causing death of people who jump out of windows. We know sea level is rising, very slowly. The damage is due to stupidity and greed mainly. The sea level rise is all down to nature. Blaming CO2 is blaming the wrong thing, and is also due to stupidity and greed.

  29. The biggest crime regards the break down of the peer review process, is not so much the suppression of skeptical ideas. It is the spamming of the literature with speculative horror stories that are passed on as science. IN the good old days a “scientific finding” had to be tested and verified by a broader community. Advocacy was shunned because it destroyed objectivity. Now that politics dominate climate science, any catastrophic story gets published and advocated via press release and op-eds. These are dark days for science.

  30. 1954 was a bad year. I was born that year, in Hobart, Tasmania. My mother said I cried a lot. My howling perturbed the air masses and caused the Gold Coast Cyclone to retain its power after it left the tropics. When I was 14 years old my surging hormones stirred the atmosphere and a dying remnant of a tropical cyclone combined with a cold front over Wellington NZ, and the ferry Wahini sunk on a reef. I’m sorry I was born, but it wasn’t my choice.

  31. Steele: “It is the spamming of the literature with speculative horror stories that are passed on as science.”

    They first said the world would end in ice. Then fire. It’s just a modern translation of the Poetic Edda. Which you’ll find next to scientific research about Zeus and Poseidon Rising.

  32. Janice Moore says:
    October 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Hey, dear Moderator…. just curious, why are there “no public comments available for display”

    [Reply: I am getting the public comments. — mod.]
    =====
    We’re not C….
    ..we’re getting this

    ==========
    Recent Comments
    There are no public comments available to display.

  33. Eliza says:

    October 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    “Frankly getting bored of climate change stories as it ain’t happening.”……
    ================
    Yep, catastrophe ain’t what it used to be.
    Sorry to disappoint :(

  34. So if I read the graphs correctly, Donna (1960), if it hit today (and depending on the tide) would flood the subways. Right? Only with 50 years of warming? Wow.

    REPLY: Wishful thinking on your part obviously. You AGW trolls all root for disasters. – Anthony

  35. Janice Moore says:
    October 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    “Tufts University,… is (was) recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. … (of course,) when the (excellence) floor is sinking (almost anyone can be “premier”) … .”

    Well I guess their students these days came from schools where awards and trophies are handed out for showing up, or passing half your subjects in the second term, or participation in gym and Christmas hamper deliveries. Its like the new crackerjack^TM Nobel Prizes handed out for murder in the Middle East, genocide in Rwanda, for getting elected pres. in the US, winning an academy award for best photo-shopped arctic scenes of stranded polar bears, and to 8000 authors and an engineer of loco-motives for debunked IPCC fantasy climate. Pachauri is hoping to win the next Nobel prix for sleeze literature and hey, don’t rule it out!

  36. Poppen Kool says:
    October 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm
    So if I read the graphs correctly, Donna (1960), if it hit today (and depending on the tide) would flood the subways. Right? Only with 50 years of warming? Wow.
    =====================================
    In plain English, the coastal areas of New York, including NY City, much of coastal New England and areas to the south are sinking at a rate ranging from 1 to 2 mm/yr due to the effects of GIA.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/19/from-the-scientific-urban-legend-department-agw-sea-level-rise-made-sandy-more-destructive/

    A full 65% of tide gauges, show no sea level rise at all…..

    http://pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il/~msdfels/wpapers/Tide%20gauge%20location.pdf

    ..and satellites were tuned to tide gauges

    If 65% of tide gauges show no sea level rise….which tide gauges did they use to tune the satellites?

  37. Latitude says: “In plain English, the coastal areas of New York, including NY City, much of coastal New England and areas to the south are sinking at a rate ranging from 1 to 2 mm/yr due to the effects of GIA.”

    But the ocean levels are rising whether or not your noisey gauges are. So local rising plus global rising equals more rising. That means floods. Is that like really hard to understand?

  38. Poppen Kool says:

    October 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    “But the ocean levels are rising whether or not your noisey gauges are. So local rising plus global rising equals more rising. That means floods. Is that like really hard to understand?”
    ==============
    Is it floods or inundation,… “Is that like really hard to understand?”
    It seems so.

  39. Poppen Kollar: “Only with 50 years of warming?”

    It also happened with 50 years of a decrease in piracy. And penmanship. And literacy rates. Like climate science you’ve forgotten to establish the causal link.

  40. Poppen Kollar: ” That means floods. Is that like really hard to understand?”

    Which can only be prevented by Jonestown cult hysterics. Rather than silly things like building dykes, or paying day labor to sprinkle handfuls of dirt around the border of Long Island once a year.

  41. Latitude — thanks for the second attempt at that query; nice to know it wasn’t just I … and boy was it nice to know my posts are visible (thanks to Gary Pearse, too)!

    Good points, Gary Pearse — honors inflation….. (whoooosh) to…… (whoooOOOOSH) the…. (WHOOOOOOOOSH) point that they will soon POP! and be worthless forever.

    Speaking of “pop” … heeeeeeeeere’s Poppen!

    Poppen, what happened to Pippen? Will Plinkin’ be along shortly? How about … hm. Better stop there.

    Pippen, Poppen, and Nod, one night, set sail in a wooden shoe… .

    Pippen-Poppen, Pippen-Poppen (head shake), you are just too cute for words.
    So, here’s a picture!

    Dear ones, wake up! You’ve been dreaming, my poppets. That isn’t the sea rising around your trundle bed, that’s just the blanket nurse put round about in case you tumble out in the night. All is well. Sweet dreams. #(:))

    Those aren’t “noisy gauges” (your tinker toys standing in the corner, perhaps?), those are well-calibrated instruments that to date have detected no significantly measurable rise in global sea level.

    I think it is Ferd Berple (and others have, too) who has repeatedly pointed out that the sea navigation charts relied upon by those whose money (if not life) would be lost if they are incorrect HAVE NOT BEEN ADJUSTED FOR SEA LEVEL CHANGE IN OVER 200 YEARS.

  42. Thanks, Disney! — NOT.

    Can’t watch video unless you go to You Tube. So sorry, folks. Grrr. Here are the search terms to get to it (it came up as #2 choice for me) — “As if,” most of you will say… :

    “wynken blynken and nod disney”

  43. Janice Moore says:
    October 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm
    Hey, dear Moderator…. just curious, why are there “no public comments available for display” (right side bar)? Are all these comments visible only to me?? I’ve wondered about that before. Mine seem to be invisible about 75% of the time… . ;)

    [Reply: I am getting the public comments. — mod.]

    Well like Janice I am getting this message:

    “Recent Comments
    There are no public comments available to display.”

  44. Janice Moore, etc … The issue regarding:

    Recent Comments
    There are no public comments available to display.

    … seems to be related to WordPress. This same message appears on Steve Goddard’s RealScience website, also.

  45. A problem with studying the cores taken in marshes behind the dunes is that two storms, which are equal in all other ways, may bash through the dunes in different spots. The wash-over then spreads a fan of sand atop the marsh’s peat in two different areas. You can then have two cores taken in two areas only a mile apart which disagree about which of the two storms was worse.

    A second problem involves the location the eye as the storm goes ashore. A hurricane which is a “Perfect Storm” for one local may spare an area only ten miles away. As Joe Bastardi’s father explained to Joe, if you shift Hazel’s track to the east or west, it makes a huge difference in terms of who gets ruined and who gets spared.

    I lived in Myrtle Beach for a year, and while attempting to spade some compost into a small back garden (which was basically pure sand) I came across bricks. A local fellow explained that the bricks were from a hotel that BH, (Before Hazel,) had stood several hundred yards up the beach. However a different local person explained things could have been much worse. As he described it, the water “went uphill” as you looked off shore into the teeth of the wind, but just when it seemed that surge was coming ashore the wind swung right around and became off-shore, as the eye passed just off the coast and Hazel came ashore just to the north of Myrtle Beach. The very strong off-shore wind “blew the flood away.”

    It is always helpful to talk to the local people who live in the area, and who had elders who lived in the area before them, before you speak about “highest” and “strongest” and “worst.” Apparently one reason Sandy caused such damage in New Jersey was due to the refusal of a single neighborhood to allow quasi-natural dunes to be erected along the shore, because such dunes would block the ocean views from their picture windows. Their desire to see the sea created a weakness in the coastal defenses.

    Lastly, what made Sandy a “perfect storm” was perfect timing, more than anything else. This “perfect timing,” allowing it to hit at high tide during a full moon, was in turn due to its long duration. It could sit and wait for the tide to get high, as greater storms have roared in and out while the tide was low.

    If you are going to be fair, the way to compare Sandy with other storms is to imagine what other storms would have been like, if they hit at full moon during high tide. However we have already been there and done that, comparing Sandy with the Great Storm of 1821 in this post: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/02/a-reply-to-hurricane-sandy-alarmists/

    IMHO, we should still keep an eye out for late season hurricanes, because the Atlantic is so warm off the USA east coast, but if you are really in the mood to fret you should huff and puff with worry about the coming winter. The cold is building at the North Pole in a manner very much like the autumn of 1976, just before the hard winter of 1976-77. The DMI graph shows the same North Pole prior-winter with warm spikes, the same summer with below normal polar temperatures, the same early autumn with above-normal temperatures, followed by a similar plunge in temperatures to below normal. (I compare the two graphs at http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/arctic-sea-ice-recovery-halloween-hushing-and-howling/ )

    With the water off the east coast so warm, and the pattern suggesting we might be in for below-zero (Fahrenheit) arctic outbreaks, we could get some nor’easter snowstorms that will make Sandy look wimpy.

    So worry, worry, worry, if that’s what makes you happy. Otherwise, “Don’t Worry. Be Happy.”

  46. One can go back a bit further in history. The 1821 Norfolk and Long Island hurricane produced a high water of 13 feet at Battery Park, Manhattan. Sandy went 10 inches higher at the same location. However, the big difference is Sandy struck at high tide, while the 1821 event happened at low tide. Tidal range at Battery Park is about 5 feet, therefore under exceptionally unfortunate circumstances water level could raise more than 4 feet higher than in last year, or 5 feet, if sea level rise is also taken into account. Anyway, the storm surge itself was much higher in 1821, dwarfing all century scale mean sea level changes.

  47. Sandy, for the insular lefties who dominate America now, was unique, unprecedented, proof the world is changing. That this storm was none of those things to historically literate people does not matter. Sandy hit where (or near where) much of our corporate leadership lives, and they have control of the money, God help us. So old infrastructure does not matter to our modern leaders. History does not matter to our modern leaders. Their beach houses were wrecked, their Manhattan apartments flooded, Their lives were disrupted. And the always present AGW hypesters are right there, telling them it is all about CO2. Not building codes, lack of sea walls, lack of disaster preparation, not historically unprecedented. CO2 and nothing more.

  48. “Could Sandy happen again? Maybe, says Tufts geologist”

    OMG!!!

    There’s no “maybe” about it! ANYTHING AT ALL “could” happen! Anything.

    The world “could” freeze solid to the core tomorrow for no reason at all. “Could” happen, but with a probability so low it isn’t likely to happen anywhere anytime in a googolplex of universes. This is what really annoys me about the alarmists: “could”. New York “could” be flooded next year. Sure, it “could”. All sorts of ridiculous alarms are adverted as being “possible” – they “could” happen. And who can truthfully deny it? No one, because literally anything that isn’t a logical contradiction “could” happen. It is the most deeply dishonest, unfair way of talking because the opponent is placed in a hopeless position. And now, here is this utter crackpot of a “Tufts geologist” buffering his alarmism in, not one “could”, but also a “maybe”!!! I suggest calling “could” and “maybe” nonsense for the ratbag dishonesty it really is. Refuse to even consider these remarks anything except the gibberish nonsense of monkeys banging on keyboards. “Could” Forfend!

  49. Shouldn’t the narrative be about relative sea level rise to take in the reality of subsidence or uplift? I guess that when the NY infra structure was built no one was thinking about historic storm surges or were the engineers just making an economic decision to kick the can to future generations and analyzed the cost of construction for storm surge design vs repair and probability. Maybe they didn’t have the benefit of the science at the time these decisions were made. Finally I have heard it before but it is worth repeating. “if you can’t back up 4 inches per centaury you deserve to drown. Just thinking….

  50. Poppin Fresh bleats; But the ocean levels are rising
    Yes, just as they have been since the end of the last ice age. But there is no reason to believe they are rising at an increased rate now, other than hysteria propelled by ignorance, nor is there any reason (other than the one stated) to believe that man is responsible for it. sea level is a difficult thing to even measure, varying worldwide, and even more difficult to predict. With temperatures stabilizing the past 17 years and even beginning to drop, the logical expectation would be for sea levels to also stabilize, and drop eventually.

  51. Could Sandy happen again?

    No, the name “Sandy” will never be used again for a hurricane, because it has been retired.

    Stupid, stupid question.

    If the question is more: can we have another bad hurricane hit New England, the answer is of course “yes”. Just as it has previously.

  52. I read storm surge. Here is a storm surge from the early Little Ice Age [1] on the other side of the pond.

    The Guardian – 20 January 2011
    Weatherwatch: The Grote Mandrenke
    Few great weather events in British history were as devastating as the “Grote Mandrenke”, the great drowning of men, which took place in mid January 1362. A huge south-westerly gale originating in the Atlantic Ocean swept across Ireland, Britain, the Low Countries, and northern Germany, causing at least 25,000 deaths…………..

    ……..it combined with high tides to produce the phenomenon most feared by coastal communities, a storm surge.

    Ports all along the east coast of England, and across the North Sea in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, were destroyed, as the power of the wind and waters changed the shape of the coastline……………..

    ———————————-
    Letter – Nature
    Dr. Jeffrey P. Donnelly (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
    Intense hurricane activity over the past 5,000 years controlled by El Niño and the West African monsoon

    The processes that control the formation, intensity and track of hurricanes are poorly understood1. It has been proposed that an increase in sea surface temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change has led to an increase in the frequency of intense tropical cyclones2, 3, but this proposal has been challenged on the basis that the instrumental record is too short and unreliable to reveal trends in intense tropical cyclone activity4. Storm-induced deposits preserved in the sediments of coastal lagoons offer the opportunity to study the links between climatic conditions and hurricane activity on longer timescales, because they provide centennial- to millennial-scale records of past hurricane landfalls5, 6, 7, 8. Here we present a record of intense hurricane activity in the western North Atlantic Ocean over the past 5,000 years based on sediment cores from a Caribbean lagoon that contain coarse-grained deposits associated with intense hurricane landfalls. The record indicates that the frequency of intense hurricane landfalls has varied on centennial to millennial scales over this interval. Comparison of the sediment record with palaeo-climate records indicates that this variability was probably modulated by atmospheric dynamics associated with variations in the El Niño/Southern Oscillation and the strength of the West African monsoon, and suggests that sea surface temperatures as high as at present are not necessary to support intervals of frequent intense hurricanes. To accurately predict changes in intense hurricane activity, it is therefore important to understand how the El Niño/Southern Oscillation and the West African monsoon will respond to future climate change.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v447/n7143/abs/nature05834.html

  53. Anthony, New York is doomed.

    Abstract – Elyse Scileppi et. al.
    Sedimentary evidence of hurricane strikes in western Long Island, New York

    [1] Evidence of historical landfalling hurricanes and prehistoric storms has been recovered from backbarrier environments in the New York City area. Overwash deposits correlate with landfalls of the most intense documented hurricanes in the area, including the hurricanes of 1893, 1821, 1788, and 1693 A.D. There is little evidence of intense hurricane landfalls in the region for several hundred years prior to the late 17th century A.D. The apparent increase in intense hurricane landfalls around 300 years ago occurs during the latter half of the Little Ice Age, a time of lower tropical sea surface temperatures. Multiple washovers laid down between ∼2200 and 900 cal yr B.P. suggest an interval of frequent intense hurricane landfalls in the region. Our results provide preliminary evidence that fluctuations in intense hurricane landfall in the northeastern United States were roughly synchronous with hurricane landfall fluctuations observed for the Caribbean and Gulf Coast, suggesting North Atlantic–wide changes in hurricane activity.
    ————————————————–
    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
    Volume 8, Issue 6, June 2007

    http://tinyurl.com/njp4v9l

  54. Poppen Kool says:
    October 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm
    ………..
    But the ocean levels are rising whether or not your noisey gauges are. So local rising plus global rising equals more rising. That means floods. Is that like really hard to understand?

    Global sea level has been rising for a very long time and now flattening.

    Abstract
    American Meteorological Society – Volume 26, Issue 13 (July 2013)
    Twentieth-Century Global-Mean Sea Level Rise: Is the Whole Greater than the Sum of the Parts?

    ………..The reconstructions account for the observation that the rate of GMSLR was not much larger during the last 50 years than during the twentieth century as a whole, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semiempirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of the authors’ closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the twentieth century.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1

    WUWT – 3 July 2013
    New study using GRACE data shows global sea levels rising less than 7 inches per century

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/03/new-study-using-grace-data-shows-global-sea-levels-rising-less-than-7-inches-per-century/#comment-1353166

    Abstract – 2011
    Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide Gauges and Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses
    J. R. Houston
    Without sea-level acceleration, the 20th-century sea-level trend of 1.7 mm/y would produce a rise of only approximately 0.15 m from 2010 to 2100; therefore, sea-level acceleration is a critical component of projected sea-level rise. To determine this acceleration, we analyze monthly-averaged records for 57 U.S. tide gauges in the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data base that have lengths of 60–156 years. Least-squares quadratic analysis of each of the 57 records are performed to quantify accelerations, and 25 gauge records having data spanning from 1930 to 2010 are analyzed. In both cases we obtain small average sea-level decelerations. To compare these results with worldwide data, we extend the analysis of Douglas (1992) by an additional 25 years and analyze revised data of Church and White (2006) from 1930 to 2007 and also obtain small sea-level decelerations similar to those we obtain from U.S. gauge records.

    We are still doomed.

  55. It not only could happen again it will happen again. The problem is not that hurricanes happen and that they can come ashore at high tide the problem is simply that the state allowed property owneres t obuild their homes in an area that was likely to flood during a storm. Sadly they are allowing them to rebuid there and when it happens again all of these homeowners will once again look to the taxpayers to bail them out.

  56. Or asking if Katrina could happen again, doing similar things to New Orleans, which is vastly below sea level, once more.

    Basically…

    If you’re 3 years old and you touch your mother’s scalding hot flat iron and get burned… will you get burned again if you touch it once more if it’s scalding hot?

  57. “””””…..MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Almost a year after Hurricane Sandy, parts of New York and New Jersey are still recovering from billions of dollars in flood damage. Tufts University geologist Andrew Kemp sees the possibility of damage from storms smaller than Sandy in the future……”””””

    Well Hurricane Sandy actually did very little damage that anyone noticed; well it maybe bored some holes out in the ocean, and on average was hardly noticeable; but Tropical Storm Sandy, that hit parts of the US East coast, may have damaged some stuff built too near the ocean and at too low an altitude. Not quite built underwater, like New Orleans !!

  58. Nice observation, Hakan Scheibe (1:51am today). Thanks for sharing the sea level altimetry page. Yes, nearly all (all?) the red splotches were far out to sea.

    My takeaway from that page: “However, a number of critical questions
    remain to be answered,… .

    LOL, no doubt. (“2mm”…. “4mm”… accuracy. Right.)

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