Claim: Climate Threatens the Statue of Liberty


Image from the WUWT story: National Geographic’s Junk Science: How long will it take for sea level rise to reach midway up the Statue of Liberty?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate alarmists have broadened their desperate search for a way of engaging people’s attention, by compiling a list of iconic tourist attractions and national icons which they claim are “threatened” by climate change.

For example;

Statue of Liberty, U.S.A.

This statue has stood in New York Harbor welcoming millions of immigrants and tourists to America from around the world since 1876. That was when the statue, designed by sculptor Frederic Bartholdi and engineer Gustave Eiffel, was given to the U.S.A. by France in celebration of the 100th anniversary of American independence. The statue is vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme weather. It was closed for nine months following damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2011.

Dozens of iconic tourist destinations including Venice, Stonehenge and Old Town Lunenburg, N.S., are threatened by risks linked to climate change, from rising sea levels to extreme weather, says the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Climate change-related threats to 31 World Heritage sites in 29 countries are highlighted in a new report released by UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program and the Union of Concerned Scientists today.

Read more:

The article also claims lots of other important icons are threatened, such as Komodo National Park (Komodo Dragons), the Easter Island Statues, Stonehenge, Yellowstone – a real grab bag of high profile heritage sites.

Coral reefs, which have featured a lot in recent press, barely get a mention.

158 thoughts on “Claim: Climate Threatens the Statue of Liberty

  1. It would get more traction if the island and water around it did not look unchanged from my visit there about 43 years ago… call me in another 50 years and we’ll see if it is starting to show… or not.

      • Neil Jordan wrote on May 27, 2016 at 11:06 am
        “Not moles. It’s “the blood-lusting Mole People storming from their subterranean caverns!””
        More like these? The Underminers? Where’s Mr. & Mrs. Incredible when you need them?

      • Ooops.. Clicked on the wrong “Reply”.. Should be placed a few comments below.. You’ll figure it out..

    • What is worse is, a mere 22,000 years ago, Lady Liberty’s island was under a MILE of ice.

      • emsnews,
        “Lady Liberty’s island was under a MILE of ice.”
        Just anti-Siants propaganda, pay it no heed, the High Holy Modelers have thoroughly debunked all such urban legends about unpleasant climate variations in pre-dirty energy times . . Weather perhaps, a dusting of sacred snow . . a spilled ice chest maybe . .
        I short there’s simply not, a more congenial spot, for happy ever aftering than in Mann’s Climalot

      • “a mere 22,000 years ago, Lady Liberty’s island was under a MILE of ice.”
        I had a guy tell me that was pure BS the other day because the ocean couldn’t support a mile of ice so it must all be a righty-tighty lie. No ice ages. We don’t got no ice ages. We don’t need no stinking ice ages! thanks very much…
        Maybe he thought it would sink?

    • Is there anything in this world that doesn’t change?
      Even global warmest have change their name a few times to accommodate blown theories..

    • Shouldn’t proving climate stasis is possible be a precursor to saying climate change is dangerous? I don’t believe there is any indication of static climate ever.

      • “Shouldn’t proving climate stasis is possible be a precursor to saying climate change is dangerous?”
        Yes. Wake up when the alarmists cabal announce how they intend to engineer a static climate on earth.

    • No its all powerful , indeed it can travel through time and space too , but only of course ‘ and this is very important , the type caused by man . The type that ripped apart countries under ice , created deserts and filled oceans is a weak as a kitten in the modern era , for a reason they simply never explained .

    • Well every place has one. I only have to drive ten miles to get back to the local 1852 global climate.

  2. I seen that, there is literally no science involved.
    Grauniad also ran with it and provided no link to the actual report too, sneaky devils

  3. Stonehenge is 104m or 330feet above sea level…the water has to be another 15 feet above Liberty’s torch before it stones get wet.

    • The UN say Moles will dig out the foundations because of “global warming” 😀

    • This is a comfort to me – I’m only a few miles from Stonehenge and I’m 110m above sea level. When the water is lapping around the bottom of the stones, I’ll have enough time to take to my boat.
      PS When I was a lot younger, we used to hold free festivals in the fields next to the stones. In those days we could go and walk around and touch the stones whenever we wanted. The English Heritage decided that a few stoned hippies would wear them all away so they put up fences and built a visitors centre. Oh yes, and free festivals were “discouraged”, mainly by large men with batons. Hey ho.

      • @emsnews – Yes, and not only that one. Years ago the DJ John Peel (of fond memory) got some people together to have a go at levitating St. Pancras railway station. And the bad news for the Statue of Liberty is that neither attempt, er, got off the ground.

      • My goodness! Free festivals at Stonehenge! There’s a few memories of (slightly misspent) undergraduate years. Scrumpy in Amesbury and Hawkwind playing….. I recall barbed wire around the stones and a heavy police presence too……..and a few Druids inside the cordon.

    • ClimateChange™ will cause varying water levels, even locations that are relatively close together. For example, the Statue of Liberty’s torch could be submerged but New Jersey might be 97 feet below (former) Sea Level simultaneously. Yes, ClimateChange™ is just that powerful and mysterious and man-made and evil and fixable and…

  4. How much Green depression are the UN creating, now that is a paper worth writing

    • Makes me laugh, those are sps corals, they are not dead, they have expelled their algae, now the recovery as El Nino collapsed, and the regrowth will be even more dense and more diverse when it all recovers.
      Plus of course, all that coral skeleton is Aragonite, basically a calcium source, which buffers acids and maintains dKH (calcium hardness)

  5. They are desperate to get the populace on board. They need us all… and they are losing us at a greater rate with every day that passes. This is going to upset their plans. Quite simply, they wouldn’t try so hard to convince the masses otherwise.

  6. The article comes from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Enough said – they are totally on board with global warming/climate change.

  7. Eric Worrall,

    Coral reefs, which have featured a lot in recent press, barely get a mention.

    Not to be alarmist or anything, but All the Things in a single article might run to a few hundred pages of print.

  8. Well, if the end of the most recent interglacial, the Eemian, or the Holsteinian (4 cycles back in the record), are anything to go by, then we have between 1 and 2 more thermal excursions to go, assuming the recent grand solar maximum is the first such. The 2nd thermal excursion at the end-Eemian netted somewhere between +6 to +52 meters above present sea level. The 3rd thermal excursion at the end-Holsteinian is reported to have reached +21.3 meters above present.
    So we have a long way to go, anthropogenically, assuming we are all that crash-hot at the end extreme interglacial climate change game.

    • “The 3rd thermal excursion at the end-Holsteinian is reported to have reached +21.3 meters above present”
      Yes – it is reported to have reached that altitude, but there is damn-all evidence for it.

      • The ‘money” quotes from both:
        From the abstract of the first link, we have this:
        “A small, protected karstic feature exposed in a limestone quarry in Bermuda preserved abundant sedimentary and biogenic materials documenting a transgressive phase, still-stand, and regressive phase of sea-level in excess of 21.3 m above present during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 (400 ka) as determined by U/Th dating and amino acid racemization. Cobbles and marine sediments deposited during the
        high-energy transgressive phase exhibit rim cements indicating a subsequent phreatic environment. This was succeeded stratigraphically by a still-stand deposition of fine calcareous lagoonal sediments containing bioclasts of red algae and benthic and planktonic foraminifera that was intensely burrowed by
        marine invertebrates, probably upogebiid shrimp, that could not be produced under any condition other
        than sustained marine submergence. Overlying this were pure carbonate beach sands of a low-energy regressive phase containing abundant remains of terrestrial and marine vertebrates and invertebrates. The considerable diversity of this fauna along with taphonomic evidence from seabird remains indicates deposition by high run-up waves over a minimum duration of months, if not years. The maximum duration as yet to be determined but probably did not exceed one or two thousand years. The most abundant snails in this fauna are two species indicative of brackish water and high-tide line showing that a Ghyben-Herzberg lens must have existed at >þ20 m. The nature of these sediments and fossil accumulation is incompatible with tsunami deposition and, given the absence of evidence for tectonic uplift of the Bermuda pedestal or platform, provide proof that sea-level during MIS 11 exceeded þ20 m, a fact that has widespread ramifications for geologists, biogeographers, and human demographics along the world’s coastlines.”
        and the abstract from the second link:
        “The Marine Isotope Stage 11 interglacial, centred at ~400 ka, appears to be the best candidate for understanding climatic changes in the context of low insolation forcing such as that of our present interglacial. Direct correlation between terrestrial (pollen) and marine climatic indicators and ice volume proxy from deep-sea core MD01-2447 (off northwestern Iberia) shows for the first time the phase relationship between southwestern European vegetation, sea surface temperatures in the northeastern Atlantic mid-latitudes and ice volume during MIS 11. A warmest 32,000 years-long period and three following warm/cold cycles occurred synchronously on land and ocean. The end of the warmest period sees the glacial inception which coincides with the replacement of warm deciduous forest by conifer (pine-fir) expansion in northwestern Iberia and, consequently, with the southward migration of the tree line in high latitudes in response to declining summer insolation. As weak insolation changes alone cannot account for ice growth, the associated vegetation changes must now be considered as a potential major feedback mechanism for glaciation initiation during MIS 11.”
        There are many more sources if you wish.

    • Tim Daw
      That is an excellent paper. I live in a village on the Kennet, just east of Hungerford and I know the whole area, right to Silbury Hill (which I have climbed), well. Thank you so much.

    • Well, it was started ~4500bp, but the Stonehenge we all love is two or three thousand years younger than that. Still an awesome thing, but to say it was “built 4500bp” isn’t exactly correct.

  9. It’s all over the MSM here in Australia like a nasty itchy rash. And people are angry that the Australian Govn’t asked the UN to excluded any mention of Australia. Hilarious!

  10. If a reasonable size space object 250m across or bigger impacted Antarctica in the right spot ….. Sea level might reach the Nat geo mark in a few weeks……life is fragile when you start thinking about big impact events.

      • Eric are you saying that because of CAGW a meteorite is going to hit Antartica ? Oh my god it’s worse than we thought much worse .

      • “Their” issue is one of control. Like the health freaks who need to believe we control our date of death via kale and treadmills, the alarmists HAVE to believe the human race holds the thermostat for climate. The idea that we’re all at the mercy of nature and always have been and will be just fries their egotistic minds.

  11. The only thing threatening to the Statue of Liberty bye this AGW rubbish is it’s lose of meaning ie as a symbol of liberty, freedom and progress. How dare they.

  12. Wasn’t Canal St. In NYC supposed to be under 20 ft. of water by 2010? Maybe it’s under 10 ft. of water. What? No! Then surely 5 ft.? Not even 1 ft. ? It’s high and dry? How can that be? The models are right and the observations are wrong. We just can’t see it. Any day now the ice sheets of Antarctica will slide off into the ocean. It could happen. More likely Yellowstone blowing up or a large asteroid hitting the earth. Or worse a large asteroid hitting Antarctica. Or Yellowstone and a large asteroid at the same time. Will the disasters never end?

    • Another Ice Age which is due sooner rather than later, is the real scary creature in the closet of science.

      • In every single case there was a run-up in temperature before an ice age began. Then the bottom dropped out. Propaganda serves many purposes. Selling ice cream when it’s 50 F and telling people how warm they are. They don’t have any plans for global cooling. I’ve often thought that the hype from global warming is a smoke screen and an effort to kill off, by accident of course, ( we didn’t anticipate this level of cold) as many people as possible before the cold sets in. Al Gore bought a house he knew would be under 4 ft. of water by now according to CAGW. He bought it for an entirely different reason, it’s warm there.

  13. Donald Trump says wind power is ‘killing all the eagles’

    • Obama gave wind turbines immunity from prosecution for killing endangered species and protected birds, in violation of international treaty and law.

  14. My favorite unesco world heritage site: the Itsukushima Shrine is a gate built over a bay, designed to present the illusion that it floats above the water during high tide.
    Originally constructed in the 6th century.
    My favorite because how did Japanese carpenters know so well what the sea level would be today back during the dark ages (between the 5th and 15th century)?

  15. Classic PR hit-piece designed to grab headlines but has zero substance. Yet more outright lies from alarmists.

    • Yeah, but you’d be surprised at the numbers of otherwise-intelligent people who believe it. Got in a debate about it the other night and got stared at like I had three heads. Wouldn’t you think folks would be HAPPY to learn there’s no impending apocalypse?

      • Otherwise intelligent people believe in a lot of loony stuff, they have since humans existed. Nothing changes.

  16. The UNESCO report doesn’t claim that the Statue of Liberty will be inundated. (I’m having trouble highlighting text in the pdf so I can’t quote small sections of text.)
    What they say is that the 0.5 meter increase in sea level since 1850 greatly increased the damage (from superstorm Sandy) to the facilities near the base of the statue (not to the statue itself). They say this will get worse as the sea level continues to rise.
    They also say that the warming Atlantic water will increase the frequency and severity of hurricanes.
    As is usual, when you drill down into their claims, what you find is not nearly as alarming as what the media puts out. As well, the claims are somewhat dubious.
    1 – Sea level will continue to increase even without AGW.
    2 – Warmer ocean waters probably won’t increase the frequency and severity of hurricanes.

    • “the 0.5 meter increase in sea level since 1850 greatly increased the damage (from superstorm Sandy) to the facilities near the base of the statue”
      Well, for one thing, the sea level rise from 1850 is meaningless, since the Statue wasn’t even built until 1885, with construction of the foundation in 1883. The island previously had an Army base on it constructed around 1807, so they would have had a pretty good idea of the sea level rise of the previous 76 years, and what to expect for the future.
      NOAA’s tide gauge at the NY Battery shows a Mean Sea Level Trend of 2.84 +/- 0.9 mm/yr., going back to around 1860 and no acceleration since mankind has been blamed.
      The damage from Sandy wasn’t to the Statue, but to the docks used by the ferries, i.e., the “facilities near the base of the statue”. Those docks have been rebuilt and upgraded many times. The thought that even relatively modern docks might be damaged by storm surge and high tides should not surprise anyone.

      • BobM: And just up the coast, construction in Boston Harbor area uncovers a shipwreck from 1800’s, in area under hi tide water before it was filled in long ago before the AGW sea level rise somehow failed to wash over the filled area. Would love to see AGW science explain how man-caused sea level rise avoids NY and Boston, but…turns out, no science allowed.

  17. And still they leave out the most horrific danger .. the sky .. the sky, it’s falling !!

    • That was always a fun image for me. Just imagine, that assemblage of dissimilar metals survived long enough in a saltwater environment for the land to literally rise around it. Those French engineers were good!

      • I’m selling sites on Mt Everest. It’s first come first serve.
        Get there before the water does.

    • I thought that Mount Everest was rising about 10 mm per year due to tectonics so with luck it’ll keep ahead of the lapping waves.
      Sir Edmund Hillary had it so easy when he went up.
      Although that earthquake in Napal apparently moved it sideways.
      We need to get funding for some stout rope and figure out how to tie it down.

  18. “This statue has stood in New York Harbor welcoming millions of immigrants and tourists to America from around the world since 1876. That was when the statue, designed by sculptor Frederic Bartholdi and engineer Gustave Eiffel, was given to the U.S.A. by France in celebration of the 100th anniversary of American independence.”
    In 1877 Bartholdi was still working on the statue’s head in France. The whole statue arrived in New York in 1885. The pedestal was completed in 1886. UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program and the Union of Concerned Scientists can’t even get history right. Much less predicting future catastrophes.

  19. Last time I looked, Yellowstone was geothermally heated, and it’s lowest point (near Gardiner, MT) is about 1 mile above current MSL. Certainly they aren’t trying to imply that climate change will trigger a caldera eruption, as has been happening about every 600,000 years for a few million years.

  20. Venice? VENICE? They’re seriously blaming VENICE on climate change? The subsidence of Venice has been well understood for a long time and climate change has nothing to do with it. Considering what the Venetians did to Byzantium, I won’t be entirely sorry if the buildings slip under the waves.

  21. I thought sea level rise was going to destroy my home, I went down to my mud room and there was water every where. Then I realized it was just my washer had over flowed the slop sink again. Darn I was hoping for a government bailout.

  22. Long time reader, this is my first post to WUWT.
    They had a cover picture for an issue a few years ago, with the water that high on the statue.
    That was the last straw for me. Cancelled my subscription after more than 25 years. NatGeo is shameful in the way push junk science.

  23. Parasitic journalism and politics grows on top of wealth creation centers like algae. It blooms out into the surrounding countryside from time to time, usually with disdain by the locals.

  24. Erh… before all that ice is melt this statue of liberty will be already gone, forgotten, and fossilized..

    • “This publication was made possible with financial support of the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France”

      • When I post things like this on the Grauniad comments, the mods delete them. One of the mods is the main protagonist in the comments and he deletes all your replies that debunk his nonsense, called Rockyrex or something.

      • The percentage splits in that colour coding are strange; they vary from 4% at the bottom end to 24% at the red end and unevenly spread in between. Well designed to make it look more alarming

      • Interesting chart, particularly if you are interested in specific threats to these sites. However, I think there are a few problems:
        a) Israel does not exist, unless it has become part of the “Arab World” (pandering to the Palestinians now in the UN?), Europe, or Africa. Also, what happened to non-Pacific Asia? Australia?
        b) The claim that illegal activities is/has affected only 22% of sites in the Arab World: even if it is only counting through 2013 (a lot of Daesh looting has occurred since), I have a hard time believing that looting has not been a bigger problem. I cannot wait to see the deliberate destruction and illegal activities numbers for 2014-2016. I am sure it will be way more than 20% of sites.
        c) Identity, etc only has a negative effect on 2% of European and North American sites? With the demographic changes over the last few decades, I doubt this is true. If anything, historic preservation in the US is becoming more difficult as money is spread more thinly and sites connected with “dead white men” are vilified.
        d) Are they seriously trying to claim that 0% of sites in the Caribbean/Latin America and Asia-Pacific were affected by war between 1979 and 2013? Even if there were no “official” wars (doubt it), there have been plenty of conflicts.
        UNESCO needs to get themselves together. Even their non-climate related numbers appear fuzzy. I suppose we should be grateful that “Table 1” is not just a box containing the words “Climate Change is destroying 100% of sites”. Notice that the highest percentage of sites negatively affected by a cause that could (sort of) be considered AGW related is only 16%. Of all the actual threats, why are they (and the media) focusing on something that is so minor? Imagine how many sites could actually be better preserved and protected if UNESCO and the like worked on the big problems. More casualties of the AGW movement, though if you hate humanity, losing cultural sites is something to celebrate.

    • The report erroneously mentions Hurricane Sandy striking New York and causing damage. Sandy was not a Hurricane when it made landfall in NJ, it was downgrades to a Tropical storm. Why would anyone trust a document with such inaccuracies and gross errors errors.

      • It was, if fact, a tropical storm when it first made landfall in the US, somewhere around the Carolinas.

  25. We should be looking down on the high rises in Miami by now.
    “For FIFTY YEARS scientists have known about global warming. This exerpt is from the well known educational documentary “Unchained Goddess” produced by Frank Capra for Bell Labs for their television program “The Bell Telephone Hour.” It was so well made, that it went on to live a continued life in middle school science classrooms across the nation for decades.”

  26. From the looks of that sea-wall and the high water mark, there’s about 5 feet to spare.
    At 12 inches of sea-level rise per 100 years, we’ve got about 500 years to do something.
    What, me worry?

  27. For any Americans that are unsure of Stonehenge’s location – which the authors of the report must be assuming is most – it’s 30 miles from the coast and over 300 feet above sea level.
    Need one say more ?

    • How does the distance from the sea affect the moles, rabbits and badgers than the UN thinks will cause its demise?

  28. Venice, Italy
    Venice is a city known for its beautiful Byzantine, gothic, renaissance and baroque buildings built amid a network of canals and 338 bridges. It’s one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, with 10 million overnight visits in 2013 and at least twice as many day visitors, the report says. However, it’s one of the World Heritage sites most at threat from sea-level rise.
    What’s endangering Venice :

  29. I once calculated w current sea level rise rate, it would take 90,000 years to cover the statue and 75,000 years to get up to her neck, aka, National Geographic pic level. I got scared, very scared. Ok, not really. My reaction was really disappointment I won’t live 75,000 years to see this.

    • More than likely humanity will be either a remnant of today numbers wise or totally extinct by 75000 years so no worries 😀

  30. They will move the Statue of Liberty when the sea rises! It’s only a Statue not a geological feature.

    • They completely tore it down in order to clean it about 30 years ago. It can be done again if need be.

    • If the Park Service can move lighthouses, they can move or raise the Statue. I have faith in our engineers, less in sea level rising enough to be a problem while the Statue exists.

  31. While it’s not terribly scientific, and there are many confounding factors, my minimal survey of modern and 1930s low-tide photos of Liberty Island indicate *remarkably* little change, I almost wonder if something about the bay or the island itself have mitigated normal sea level rise.
    It really looks like there’s been zero. Again, unscientific, tides vary, etc.

    • I remember being told in grade school, late 50s early 60s, that Iceland and Greenland were misnamed by confused Vikings who thought Iceland was Greenland and vice versa.
      [Rather, blame Viking real estate agents who wanted to sell land in Greenland, to clients who would not be able to get back to Iceland and Norway and complain once they had landed in Greenland …. .mod]

  32. Surely the tilt of the tower of Pisa is correlated to NASA’s preferred Neo-Obamian dataset? Why wasn’t it included?

Comments are closed.