"Atlantic City Gambles on Rising Seas"


Resettling the First American ‘Groundwater Hydrology Refugees’

Guest post by David Middleton

Featured image borrowed from the HuffPuff.

Once upon a time National Geographic magazine was a respectable publication.


By Michael Edison Hayden


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY Claudia Waller’s anxious eyes flit across the living room of a home where her family has lived for more than 80 years as she ponders the moment when she’ll have to leave for good.

When even a moderate rain falls in Atlantic City, the streets flood, reminding her of when her family lost their house’s foundation to Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Flood-damaged, abandoned properties are scattered throughout her neighborhood, roughly a mile from the city’s famous boardwalk, attracting homeless drifters, drug dealers, and sex workers. And making matters worse, Atlantic City’s public services are unreliable as the city is embroiled in a fiscal crisis.

“Climate change is a social inequity.”

Ben Horton | Rutgers University

“I get frightened every time it rains,” Waller says, biting her bottom lip. “It feels like all of us, everyone in Atlantic City, we’re sinking into the ocean.”

Sea level rise, caused by a confluence of melting polar ice caps and warmer temperatures expanding the ocean, could devastate Atlantic City in what its residents describe as a kind of “slow death,” one that takes the form of sporadic super storms and routine nuisance flooding, crumbling infrastructure, and endemic poverty.


Benjamin Strauss, a sea level expert at Climate Central, an organization of scientists, says that people in Atlantic City are uniquely vulnerable to rising seas because they inhabit a barrier island with extremely low and flat terrain.


His interactive map, “Surging Seas,” shows floodwaters surging into Boston, for example, would affect a much smaller percentage of the population than the same amount of water hitting Atlantic City. Strauss said that a four-foot surge, for instance, would inundate only 7 percent of Boston but 50 percent of Atlantic City.



“There’s no climate change denial with these folks here because they see what’s happening to their lives.”

Shawn Dickenson | A Future with Hope

“It floods on any rainy day lately, so these folks are obviously petrified of what could happen if another Hurricane Sandy strikes,” Dickenson says.


Horton’s research indicates that sea levels are rising faster than they have been in at least 2,700 years. He describes this change as manifesting in oblique ways, like warmer, wetter winters and a growing frequency of violent super-storms.


Horton is critical of the limited measures taken so far to preserve coastal cities and reduce rising levels of greenhouse gases.


“Climate change is a social inequity,” Horton says. “If nothing is seriously done to save these cities, or the people who live there, it represents a kind of retreat to me.”




Maybe I missed it… But I don’t think the word, “subsidence” appeared in the article.

Top: Tide Gauge (NOAA)  Bottom: Satellite Measured Sea Surface Height (U. of Colorado)


It appears that the sea level as measured by tide gauge is rising about twice as fast as the sea surface is rising. Let’s take a closer look…

Why is the tide gauge indicating a much faster rate of sea level rise than the sea surface height?


Why didn’t National Geographic ask “Benjamin Strauss, a sea level expert at Climate Central, an organization of scientists,” why the tide gauge differed so much from the actual change in sea level?  For that matter, why didn’t National Geographic consult actual scientists?

Two-thirds of the sea level rise at Atlantic City is due to subsidence. How could “Benjamin Strauss, a sea level expert at Climate Central, an organization of scientists,” not mention this?

The vast majority of the sea level rise at Atlantic City is due to subsidence, primarily from groundwater withdrawal…

Source: USGS


How could any respectable publication fail to mention that two-thirds of the apparent sea level rise is actually due to subsidence?  Did “Benjamin Strauss, a sea level expert at Climate Central, an organization of scientists,” inform National Geographic of this very pertinent fact?

Who is “Benjamin Strauss, a sea level expert at Climate Central, an organization of scientists”?

A sea level expert?  An organization of scientists?

What is Climate Central? Who are these “scientists“?



There might be three or so activists with relevant scientific degrees; however most of Climate Centrals key people are political hacks and environmental activists.


Fun With Topographic Maps

I located USGS 7.5 minute quadrangles for Atlantic City from 1994 and 2014…


A quick planimetering exercise indicates that Atlantic City may have shrunk by 40 acres or so over the past 20 years. However, the difference is less than the margin of error in calibrating the maps and digitizing the outlines.

I also located an 1894 15 minute quadrangle from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas


I made an animation of the three maps…


Atlantic City is clearly doomed H/T http://gifmaker.me/

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May 12, 2016 12:11 pm

“It floods on any rainy day lately, so these folks are obviously petrified of what could happen if another Hurricane Sandy strikes,” Dickenson says…..??
So what does flooding from RAIN have to do with sea level rise ??

Pat Frank
May 12, 2016 12:16 pm

So, the central question regarding Climate Central is, when does ignorance traverse the line into lie?

Reply to  Pat Frank
May 12, 2016 12:22 pm

My preferred way to phrase that question to alarmist scientists is “Are you stupid or are you crooked?”, for there really is no other choice.

Reply to  jeff
May 12, 2016 1:10 pm

Well he did receive a salary package in 2014 from Climate Central of $244,053, so I think we can rule out stupid.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  jeff
May 12, 2016 2:22 pm

yes both

Reply to  Pat Frank
May 12, 2016 12:26 pm

There is in common law the notion of wilful ignorance. “Knew, or should have known”. Applies in this case. Makes Climate Central a liar. Makes NatGeo a liar. But that is not new information comcerning either organization.

george e. smith
Reply to  ristvan
May 12, 2016 1:08 pm

“””””….. ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY Claudia Waller’s anxious eyes flit across the living room of a home where her family has lived for more than 80 years as she ponders the moment when she’ll have to leave for good. …..”””””
Hey Claudia; I got gud news, and I got bad news !
The Gud news, is you can stop worrying about Atlantic City sea level rise; trust me on this I know !
The bad news Claudia, is that us old farts are checking out of here anyway; so who gives a rip what happens to AC in the next 80 years ??

Reply to  ristvan
May 12, 2016 1:33 pm

Certainly when acted upon by a government employee , willful ignorance becomes criminal malfeasance .

Bob Boder
Reply to  ristvan
May 13, 2016 11:25 am

I live around Philadelphia and spend a lot of time down the jersey shore. I can tell you AC hasn’t change for the good, but it has nothing to do with rising seas! I personally haven’t witnessed any of the giant casinos that line the shore slip into the ocean, heck I haven’t seen any of the gambling addicts slip into the ocean either, the prostitutes aren’t running for higher ground and the druggies and boozers don’t seem too frightened. Plus the city just spent a tone of money fixing up the boardwalk, cant image they thought twice about sea level rise eating up their investment before they did that!

george e. smith
Reply to  Pat Frank
May 12, 2016 12:57 pm

I’ve been to Atlantic City, precisely once. On a trip to Wash DC (precisely once on business).
So somehow, I flew to AC; maybe a puddle jumper, and my one recollection is that we did indeed just jump a puddle. It seemed just flat wet marshland all the way from what I presume was Dulles Airport.
So AC seems to me like NO; it begs the question: “Say Buddy; dija ever think about moving inland so your feet aren’t getting wet ?? Huh ! Dija ??
Yeah I’m going to worry about AC and sea level rise.
In your dreams mate !

Richard G.
Reply to  george e. smith
May 12, 2016 7:31 pm

It reminds me of George Carlin on “Saving the Planet”
“How about those people in Kilauea Hawaii who build their homes right next to an active volcano, and then they wonder why they have lava in their living room!”-

Tom Halla
May 12, 2016 12:23 pm

A doctor in evolutionary biology should know more geology than that, given the interest in dating fossils. A possible answer to the old question, “is this incompetence or intentional deception?”.

May 12, 2016 12:28 pm

The map animation is a good one.
But I have to ask the question, “How much of the newest map is directly based upon a previous map rather than original material?” Photogrammetry is expensive. So effort would be put into new areas. How well are changes to old areas captured?

David A
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2016 9:25 pm

Good post and blink chart. However, and maybe I am slow, but the charts blink to fast.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Stephen Rasey
May 13, 2016 7:25 am

It looks to me as if the real threat is not at the coast line but the marsh areas behind the city which seem to be expanding.

May 12, 2016 12:30 pm

“When it rains …. the streets flood …. “.
Maybe the drains aren’t big enough?

Reply to  Oldseadog
May 12, 2016 12:50 pm

It did that in Yuma, Az, in the 90s. Perhaps it still does. It was reportedly due to lack of storm drains.
At sea level or close to it, storm drains may end up flooded, too, even if they have them. Maybe building on a the shoreline is not a really smart idea?

george e. smith
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 12, 2016 1:02 pm

Just remember in ball bearing parlance, sea level means anything less than 127.33 meters peak to peak roughness.
So big drains no gud either unless below sea level.

May 12, 2016 12:36 pm

Subsidence along the Atlantic Coast of North America:
Insights from GPS and late Holocene relative sea level data
Makan A. Karegar1, Timothy H. Dixon1, and Simon E. Engelhart2
1School of Geosciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA, 2Department of Geosciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA
The Atlantic Coast of North America is increasingly affected by flooding associated with tropical and extratropical storms, exacerbated by the combined effects of accelerated sea-level rise and land subsidence. The region includes the collapsing forebulge of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. High-quality records of late Holocene relative sea-level (RSL) rise are now available, allowing separation of long-term glacial isostatic adjustment-induced displacement from modern vertical displacement measured by GPS. We compare geological records of late Holocene RSL to present-day vertical rates from GPS. For many coastal areas there is no significant difference between these independent data. Exceptions occur in areas of recent excessive groundwater extraction, between Virginia (38°N) and South Carolina (32.5°N). The present-day subsidence rates in these areas are approximately double the long-term geologic rates, which has important implications for flood mitigation. Tide gauge records, therefore, should be used with caution for studying sea-level rise in this region.

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  riparianinc
May 12, 2016 1:17 pm

I like the obligatory “…effects of accelerated sea level rise…” statement. Of course, there has been NO acceleration in the rate of sea level rise. But the poor authors know that in order to keep funding flowing, they would have to put that statement in.

Timothy Price
May 12, 2016 12:47 pm

When was National Geographic a respected magazine and for what was it respected? Quality photography at best. I remember someone gave me a gift subscription to National Geographic when I finished my degree in geography. I think I was too embarrassed about their ignorance of geography to be insulted. Unfortunately, too many people believe that National Geographic Magazine is what geography is all about.
Your 1894, 1994, 2014 gif is a good example of what people see on a micro level and blame on things they really know little or nothing about has nothing to do with long term reality. I live in the Rio Grande Valley in Corrales, NM along the river. We were a NOAA weather station from around 2000 up until 2009 or 2010, and I used to get 100 year temperature and precipitation reports monthly. Those reports never correlated with the reporting on temperature data by the popular press, until NASA started “adjusting” temperature data to make historic data fit better with the politics of climate change. I suppose we could say that “once up on a time” NOAA and NASA were respected agencies like National Geographic magazine.

Reply to  Timothy Price
May 12, 2016 2:55 pm

National geographic has always (until recently) been one of my favorite magazines, ever since an old widow lady down the block would let this pre-teen go through her late husbands collection. He had the complete series from 1909 forward into the 40’s along with some single issues dating back to the 1890’s if I recall correctly. I’m under no illusion that there is any “hard science” in Natl geo, but during the last 60+years, it’s pages have taken me on trips to many places, archaeological digs, geographic wonders, etc, I physically never had the wherewithal to visit
Now, I’ll let my subscription run out and not renew again–the magazine has become too politically correct, and since Rupert Murdoch has bought the franchise, his globalist point of view has become obvious in the articles. Too bad–the photography is still for the most part outstanding. And, in all fairness, most (if not all) of the”hard science” magazines I subscribe to have also become suspect in their PC reporting. I suppose it has something to do with just a few globalist mega corporations now owning most of the media we are allowed to be exposed to.

Timothy Price
Reply to  jvcstone
May 12, 2016 3:17 pm

My mom had years and years of NG and it was never a favorite of mine. The photos were great in the past, but I know so many really great photographers these days that I can’t say NG can offer that unique access to great photos like they did in the past. I’ve pretty much given up all subscriptions to science mags because of their political correctness.

Reply to  jvcstone
May 12, 2016 7:54 pm

Has anyone calculated the subsidence of the Eastern seaboard due to the accumulated weight of National Geographics?

May 12, 2016 12:52 pm

sounds like a bad deal for Atlantic City and I am saddened by this news but there is no empirical evidence to relate their misfortune to fossil fuel emissions.

David A
Reply to  chaamjamal
May 12, 2016 9:29 pm

Why are you saddened for Atlantic city by alarmist reports that do not appear to be manifesting any time soon?

May 12, 2016 12:58 pm

The shoreline of a barrier island is also significantly impacted by wind, currents, storms, jetties, and dune management. With the proper winds and currents I bet a barrier island would grow even though the ground is subsiding. Do we have any information about the rate of accumulation of sand around there?

Reply to  JohnnyCrash
May 12, 2016 11:50 pm

When I read articles about “sea level rise” and barrier islands, I always wonder that so few mention basic facts about barrier islands. One of the biggest: the islands are not static and their natural state is constant flux! The sand is moved by the wind and the ocean, whether or not there is a storm. It is normal for these islands to move and change shape, and it is normal for these changes to occur over (relatively) short time periods. Humans are the freaks who expect SAND to behave like solid rock.

Reply to  AllyKat
May 13, 2016 9:14 am

Even mainland beaches are subject to a similar flux. Hurricanes wash away beach sands, which, if your economy depends on it, are replaced by pumping the sand back on the beach. This happens at Virginia Beach routinely. VB is also considered a poster child for rising sea level due to AGW, but most of the rise can be attributed to subsidence, as well.

Reply to  AllyKat
May 13, 2016 10:15 am

Yes, you can see this on any barrier island. Elaborate jetties are constructed to keep inlets from closing up or migrating down the shoreline. In NC I know of a few different resorts embroiled in controversy over their efforts to stabilize the ends of barrier islands. With some of these, the inlets are barely a few yards away from the buildings.

May 12, 2016 12:59 pm

Claudia Waller – When even a moderate rain falls in Atlantic City:
“‘We have barred the gates… but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes.'”
“‘Drums… drums… in the deep.'”
“‘We cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark.'”
“‘We cannot get out…'”
“‘They are coming!'”

Reply to  Dan
May 12, 2016 4:27 pm

Yes. We need a wizard like Galdalf. That alone can save us from the Balrog of Global Warming. /sarccomment image?w=254

Reply to  Caleb
May 12, 2016 5:32 pm

“Claudia! Flee, you fool!”

May 12, 2016 1:00 pm

From the article: “and a growing frequency of violent super-storms.”
Not in the real world.

May 12, 2016 1:11 pm

What Atlantic City really needs is a special con job from pseudoscience to find an outside source of bailout money before it slides into the sea financially. It is a clear and present financial danger in need of a policy excuse. The same story applies to Puerto Rico.

May 12, 2016 1:15 pm

Subsidence, enhanced by fresh water extraction, and the associated salt water intrusion has been properly understood basically forever at the local and state level. Competing interests have led to epic political battles within and between the legislature, city councils, planning boards, zoning boards, development boards, conservation organizations. (It gets ugly when a proposal for a new well is sure to wreck some existing wells due to salt water intrusion.)
A lot of these Climate Central people are from or with Princeton U. I am sure departments from Biology and Geology to Political Science, Business and Urban Planning have all studied the Atlantic City problem.
Feigning ignorance is not an option here.

Mumbles McGuirck
May 12, 2016 1:19 pm

“Flood-damaged, abandoned properties are scattered throughout her neighborhood, roughly a mile from the city’s famous boardwalk, attracting homeless drifters, drug dealers, and sex workers. And making matters worse, Atlantic City’s public services are unreliable as the city is embroiled in a fiscal crisis.”
Notice how the fiscal woes of a Democratic city government and corruption from gambling institutes is neatly tied-in with rising sea levels. That’s painting the picture with a mighty broad brush.

May 12, 2016 1:21 pm

Excellent work, David!

Tom in Texas
May 12, 2016 1:21 pm

I reck’on maybe them thar critters on the east coast may want to look toward Galveston Texas for a resolution.

Tom in Texas
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2016 1:46 pm

David, your right, but only the politicians. We had a weekend house in San Leon that we ran our shrimping boat “African Queen” out of. House still there.
Much of the subsidence seems extremely slow to happen. The water canal that runs past my home is city water from the Brazos to Texas city. All the Beaches I went to as a child are still there. When the water comes a knock’in we just put on our boots.

Terry Gednalske
Reply to  Tom in Texas
May 12, 2016 10:19 pm

Good link Tom. In addition to building the sea wall, they brought in fill to raise the ground level of the city. After the 1900 hurricane though, the population center eventually migrated to Houston. That was the real solution to the problem. At the average rate of sea level rise of 3mm per year, there should be ample time for any population center to adapt or relocate with little or no stress.

Mike Maguire
May 12, 2016 1:26 pm

“a growing frequency of violent super-storms.”
Let’s see, we had Super Storm(cat. 1 Hurricane) Sandy in October 2012 and before that we had Hurricane Hazel in 1954(which happened in the same place/same time and for the exact same meteorological reason but actually hit as a cat. 3 hurricane vs Sandy which was a cat.1).
And we had 0 major hurricanes in the last decade.
If, during this extremely quiet period for super storms/hurricanes people think that they have been growing in frequency, imagine the reaction during the first year when major hurricanes, once again start hitting the East Coast?
Hazel, in 1954 was only 1 of several hurricanes to effect that area……during modest global cooling.
If(when) we have another Atlantic hurricane season similar to the 1954 season, it will be blamed on climate change.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
May 12, 2016 1:45 pm

Mike Maguire wrote: “If(when) we have another Atlantic hurricane season similar to the 1954 season, it will be blamed on climate change.”
Of course, they will. They blame everything on climate change.
It should also be noted that the number of violent tornadoes has also been lower for the last decade. This year looks like it is going to be another mild tornado season. It is starting out mild, anyway, and the severe tornado season will end soon in Tornado Alley USA, probably in early June, when the summer heat shows up.

Reply to  TA
May 13, 2016 6:16 am

“They blame everything on climate change.”

Tom in Texas
May 12, 2016 1:28 pm
Tom in Texas
May 12, 2016 1:31 pm

Maybe this has something to do with Atlantic City. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/24/texas-coast-vulnerable_n_6212256.html

Tom in Texas
Reply to  David Middleton
May 12, 2016 1:49 pm

Mother nature shows up, ye ha, then all the stuff we needed to get rid of is gone. Then we replace it with some of that thar purty stuff. I have been through ever storm here since before Carla.

May 12, 2016 1:32 pm

As far as Atlantic City’s financial woos are concerned? They pale in comparison what will happen on this planet. The financial debts of every country on the planet is unsustainable. Everywhere infrastructure is crumbling, not only in Atlantic City but even in the small fairly wealthy community we live in taxes are being raised to try a little bit every year but the planning for the fixes are into the decades so I doubt this will ever get done.

Tom in Texas
Reply to  asybot
May 12, 2016 1:35 pm

You are correct, But maybe if we used the trillion dollars that the U.N. wants we could get a lot done.

Ivor Ward
May 12, 2016 1:45 pm

Quite frankly, if Claudia Waller is so dumb that she does not check the actual facts of her situation rather than listening to the snake oil salesmen then perhaps sinking slowly beneath the waves is the best place for her.

May 12, 2016 1:46 pm

Let me rephrase the first quote from National Geographic:

“People in ships are uniquely vulnerable to accelerating sea level rise due to the possibility of open sea cocks.”

There. Fixed it for them.

May 12, 2016 1:48 pm

You can’t fix stupid. My famiily used to vacation at Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island in the 1950s and 1960s. Long Beach Island is one of the typical barrier islands off the coast. Nice place, but not a high place at the best of times. The first street at Barnegat Light was 3rd St. First and Second St. were out in the bay someplace as a result of storms past. To say that these idiots who publish this rot ignore history is an understatement. My Dad lived in Margate for a number of years prior to moving up to the NYC area. He had seen the battle of stupidity against the ocean many times. The ocean always won.

Richard Keen
Reply to  ShrNfr
May 12, 2016 2:02 pm

My family would vacation a bit farther south, in Wildwood and later, after we lost interest in the Skee Ball arcades, Cape May. In Cape May we’d stay on 2nd street, the last street before the jetty and a beautiful long stretch of beach that extends to the lighthouse. That beach used to be the town of South Cape May
The 1944 hurricane took out much of the town, but the street curbs, foundations, pipes, bricks, and even toilet bowls and bathtubs endured into the 1960s. I’d go crabbing with a handline among the ruins.

Richard Keen
May 12, 2016 1:51 pm

As far as Climate Central is concerned, the world (and its climate) were created in 1970, at the bottom of the cooling cycle. So of course they would not know what Atlantic City and environs (Ocean City, Long Beach Island) looked like in 1962
andcomment image
I’d also guess that the wonderful book “Great Storms of the Jersey Shore”
is on their banned books list. Get it and read about 1954, 1944, 1815, along with 1962.
I was in several of these storms as a kid in the 50s and 60s; in 1954 I swam in the streets of Wildwood NJ as Hurricane Carol passed offshore.

Reply to  Richard Keen
May 12, 2016 4:24 pm

Don’t forget my https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/06/50-years-ago-the-great-atlantic-storm-of-1962/ and Dad’s 1940s photo of Barnegat light.comment image

May 12, 2016 2:24 pm

So you mean that after you do an ADJUSTMENT for subsistence the sea level is rising less?
why do all the adjustments in climate science make matters appear worse?
Its obvious that the tidal gauges are superior.. only use raw data !!!

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2016 3:17 pm

Wow, your comments get more pathetic every day !!

Reply to  Marcus15
May 12, 2016 8:11 pm

Sorry to be slow but I’m not understanding the pro- and con- about Steven Mosher and correcting for subsidence. If y’all paw through Eugene Island or Grand Isle pages on NOAA’s “Tide and Currents” site you’ll discover that they’ve measured the sink rate of the gauge to be about triple the climb rate of the Gulf.
http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html says
“The mean sea level (MSL) trends measured by tide gauges that are presented on this web site are local relative MSL trends as opposed to the global sea level trend. Tide gauge measurements are made with respect to a local fixed reference level on land; therefore, if there is some long-term vertical land motion occurring at that location, the relative MSL trend measured there is a combination of the global sea level rate and the local vertical land motion. The global sea level trend has been recorded by satellite altimeters since 1992 and the latest calculation of the trend can be obtained from NOAA’s Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry, along with maps of the regional variation in the trend. The University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group compares global sea level rates calculated by different research organizations and provides detailed explanations about the issues involved.”
While http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/tropicaltrends.htm goes on to say – –
Mean Sea Level Trends for Tropical and Gulf of Mexico Stations
The graphs compare the 95% confidence intervals of the mean sea level trends. Trends with the narrowest confidence intervals are based on the longest data sets. Trends with the widest confidence intervals are based on only 30-40 years of data. The graphs give an indication of the differing rates of vertical land motion, given that the absolute global sea level rise is believed to be 1.7-1.8 millimeters/year. The calculated trends for all stations are available as a table in millimeters/year and in feet/century.
QED, with the Gulf “rising” at Eugene Island (station 8764311) at a “mean sea level trend is 9.65 mm/year with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 1.24 mm/year based on monthly mean sea level data from 1939 to 1974 which is equivalent to a change of 3.17 feet in 100 years” but the Gulf itself is only climbing at less than 2 mm/year, then the gauge must be in a descent of almost 8 mm/yr.
So, there’s something going here about Mosher that I’m not seeing. Correcting the true rate of water climb for the actual rate of gauge sink seems like an obviously appropriate thing to do. What am I missing?

David A
Reply to  Marcus15
May 12, 2016 9:37 pm

Nothing going on more then Mosher’s straw man snark.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2016 3:28 pm

I went over to the Colorado U sea level page, and noticed that they no longer mention the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) on the home page or on the chart. Digging deeper (because it’s buried), I see that they still apply it, and at 0.3 mm/yr, that’s nearly a 10 percent increase in the rise rate. That is supposed to account for the sea bottom getting deeper, but it’s beyond me how that could affect the actual sea level lapping at anyone’s beach front estate.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
May 12, 2016 4:26 pm

One thing that it does is that you can’t use the CU data to compare to actual sea levels because it no longer measures actual sea level….

hot air
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 12, 2016 4:16 pm

Pathetic really…
Using invalid adjustments in one instance in no way invalidates data adjustments universally for every branch of science for which data is taken.
IF the subsidence is measured (and I really don’t know if it’s a wag) then absolutely it should be used. If it’s adjusting past temperatures because…um, well, I can’t think of any data you could produce that would prove a systematic error consistent enough to make that call, given the error bars around those measurements…

Steve T
Reply to  David Middleton
May 13, 2016 5:42 am

The point is that 2/3 of the apparent sea level rise at Atlantic City isn’t sea level rise. It’s pretty simple.
Sea level AT Atlantic City is where the level of the sea is relative to the land, nothing else matters. All the APPARENT sea level rise is ACTUAL sea level rise. UNDERSTANDING WHY sea level is what it is there, is another matter altogether.
The fact that generally, sea levels have been rising globally for several hundred years and some parts of the land in the world are sinking and others rising explains the net effect. But at any one place sea level is sea level – that’s pretty simple.

Reply to  Steve T
May 13, 2016 5:52 am

“Simple” compared to what? If your actual problem is geology and not carbon, then even if every automobile, factory, and power plant on the planet were shutdown this very afternoon, places such as Isle de Jean St Charles would keep sinking out of sight no matter what the Gulf is doing, nor why.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 13, 2016 7:39 am

No data was harmed in this process.
The tidal data is listed separately, without adjustments.
Satellite data is used separately, without adjustments.
Topographic historical data is presented as found, without adjustments.
The subsistence data is listed separately without adjustments.
The total of the two data sets is listed separately.
Full unadjusted data
Full metadata
All adjustments explained as adjusting.
The result is far superior to global sea level is rising 3.Xmm per year; a datum that includes a rather hidden land movement adjustment.
This process did not make for a worse result!

May 12, 2016 6:44 pm

It’s called Atlantic City because it’s right on the Atlantic OCEAN. They planned it that way. They wanted it that way. So now people are surprised that the ocean affects it? Sigh…

May 12, 2016 8:22 pm

Back in the early sixties, we received an invitation from a friend of my Father to stay with him in Atlantic City and go fishing.
His family’s house was one of the brownstone row houses within a block or two of the boardwalk.
As we carried our fishing gear into the entrance hallway, I stood amazed that the upper walls were clean painted while the bottom half were crusty and flaking.
When I asked the owner, he told me that the walls had been like that since the 1944 Great Atlantic hurricane and that the change line marked the height of the hurricane’s surge.
My Father’s friend did mention that they expected a hurricane someday to score a direct hit and eliminate the whole block. That event never happened as it was one of the city blocks claimed by the city and sold to casino developers.

May 12, 2016 10:13 pm

They should be more concerned about Donald Trump rise and fall and the unemployment it has caused.

May 12, 2016 10:29 pm

“attracting homeless drifters, drug dealers, and sex workers…”
Translation – High School Students.

May 13, 2016 4:11 am

Are there comments on the Nat. Geo. site? Do any of them mention subsidence?

Conodo Mose
May 13, 2016 5:01 pm

Atlantic City shouldn’t gamble on high seas when high seas are fact. Atlantic City is a barrier island on a swamp in a bay amidst a river delta system. It could get washed away several times over this century by even moderate “NorEasters”, the usual fate to which barrier islands must submit. That a barrier island exists at all proves the tidal range is small and that the Atlantic Ocean tolerates the existence of any island here. If located where the tidal range is larger, say Bay of Fundy, there would be no island. That it is due to climate change, or rising sea level, that this is unusual is preposterous and geological evidence proves this true. Those proposing a climate change fate deserve a course in marine geology to straighten their brain matter. That they have little knowledge of this illuminates their idiocy. One recommended example here was the annual expose from the one or two semester course in Deltaic Geology by Jim Morgan a marine geologist at Coastal Studies Inst. at LSU, now retired when I attended there as a grad student. Morgan outlined the sinking fate for the five or so sub-deltas that make up the Mississippi River mega-delta system. The river has occupied several locations along the 150 mile stretch of the Louisiana Gulf Coast. I had the opportunity to travel to these subdeltas by boat and helicopter to see the unrecognizable one-time deltas of the past Mississippi River that were nothing like today’s Birdfoot subdelta. TO: MR. CLIMATE CHANGE PROMOTER: Were the Chandeleur or Bayou Lafourche or Atchafalaya sub-deltas (I cannot remember all of Morgan’s exact named subdeltas) now sunk almost out of site due to climate change 10,000, 100,000 or 500,000 or a million years ago just because they have now disappeared? Hogwash. Climate enviros just need an education in facts rather than Bill Nye-like junk science. Oh and they need to remove the “science” from Political Science.

Reply to  Conodo Mose
May 13, 2016 5:55 pm

The “grandaddy” of mapping the last 16 deltas of the Mississippi over the last 8,000 years or so once sea level became fairly stable in the wake of the Wisconsin melting off what became Chicago is: Frazier, D. E., 1967, Recent deltaic deposits of the Mississippi River: Their development and chronology: Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions, v. 27, p. 287–315.
A good recent look at both Frazier and the “Big Picture” is McLindon, C., 2014. Rethinking coastal restoration: The delta cycle and land area change in the Louisiana Coastal Plain, available at: http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/climate/docs/The_Delta_Cycle_and_Land_Area_Change_in_Coastal_Louisiana.pptx. McLindon has been giving this slide show, with updates, to numerous geological societies and several national conventions held in Louisiana and Texas since March of 2014.
Bryan Stephens, then of MMS, now BOEM, won AAPG paper of the year in 2010 for this one;
Stephens, B. P., 2009, Basement controls on subsurface geologic patterns and coastal geomorphology across the northern Gulf of Mexico: Implications for subsidence studies and coastal restoration: Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions, v. 59, p. 729-751, available at: http://www.nogs.org/Content/pdf/Stephens.pdf
ACTIVE GEOLOGICAL FAULTS AND LAND CHANGE IN SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA; A Study of the Contribution of Faulting to Relative Subsidence Rates, Land Loss, and Resulting Effects on Flood Control, Navigation, Hurricane Protection and Coastal Restoration Projects; Contract No. DACW 29-00-C-0034,July 2003; available at: http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/katrina/govdocs/faults.pdf A shorter version was
published as Gagliano, S. M., E. B. Kemp, III, K. M .Wicker, K. S. Wiltenmuth, and R. W. Sabaté, 2003, Neo-tectonic framework of southeast Louisiana and applications to coastal restoration: Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions, v. 56, p. 262-276.
The late Roy K. Dokka (LSU prof; d. 1 Aug 2011; his last paper). The role of deep processes in late 20th century subsidence of New Orleans and coastal areas of southern Louisiana and Mississippi. 116 Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth B06403 (1-17) (2011). Available at:
See also: Haggar, K. S., 2014, Coastal land loss and landscape level plant community succession:
An expected result of natural tectonic subsidence, fault movement, and sea level rise: Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions, v. 64, p. 139–159. Available at: http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/blog/Haggar-Goose-Point.pdf

James at 48
May 13, 2016 5:48 pm

Besides isostatic effects there is tectonic subsidence. As it’s created, the material in the North American Plate cools and subsides the further it gets from the Mid Atlantic Ridge and the upward limb of the convection. The entire Atlantic coast is a Passive Margin.

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