Malibu Climate Stampede: Rich and Famous Buying the High Ground

Malibu Sign + Twister, Photoshopped
Malibu Sign + Twister, Photoshopped. Malibu pic, By PIERRE ANDRE LECLERCQ (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Twister pic Justin1569 at English Wikipedia [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], from Wikimedia Commons
Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the rich and famous are so worried about imminent apocalyptic sea level rise, they’re moving to higher ground to stay safe.

Global Warming Fears Are Driving Malibu Home Buyers to Higher Ground

6:30 AM PDT 4/3/2017 by Alexandria Abramian

Beach buyers including Brad Pitt and Lady Gaga are moving on up (literally) and over to the once-unimaginable side of the PCH for not only more privacy but rising sea level fears: “The smaller the beach gets at Broad Beach, the bigger the numbers are going to get” on the bluffs.

Pacific Coast Highway was once the ultimate dividing line between prime and simply passable Malibu real estate. The beachside nabe, which recently joined the ranks of so-called sanctuary cities by a 3-2 vote of its City Council, remains a hot market (median home value is $2.9 million, up 5.7 percent during the past year). But these days, certain sections of inland real estate are luring buyers to migrate to the once-unimaginable side of the highway.

Beyond the stables, riding trails and gated homes, however, real estate insiders say a new variable is driving sales in the area to record levels: concerns over rising sea levels. “The whole ‘being on the beach’ thing has started to fade away in Malibu because of global warming and climate change,” says Sotheby’s International agent Anthony “TJ” Paradise. “Some people will buy on the land side because they’re fearful that ocean-side homes may disappear.” Arana sees a new market rising amid those concerns. “The smaller the beach gets at Broad Beach, the bigger the numbers are going to get here [in Malibu Park],” he says, adding, “Right now, prices are starting to move into the $15 million to $20 million range. Some of that has to do with the fact that in the last five years, people have started looking at beachfront differently.” Arana, along with Mauricio Umansky (also of The Agency), sold Lady Gaga her 10,000-square-foot villa for $23 million in 2014. Situated on 6 acres, the Mediterranean-style compound, previously owned by Warner Bros. exec Dan Romanelli, includes a bowling alley, home theater and 800-bottle wine cellar, along with an eight-stall stable and dressage ring.

Read more:

Sadly nobody seems to be offering endangered Malibu beachside real-estate for $5 per acre, but I live in hope.

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April 11, 2017 1:06 pm

Too funny. They move into the hills and will lose those multi-million dollar homes to the mud slides that frequent the area.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Chemman
April 11, 2017 2:03 pm

It’ll all be gone anyway if the big one (mag >8.5) hits the San Andreas. Besides that, there are wind factors to be dealt with in the high grounds during storms.

I’d be buying much cheaper land in Canada to get a jump on global warming and the “refugee” swarms. Profit margins have to be higher, if the world is truly warming like the media presents.

Bryan A
Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 11, 2017 2:31 pm

look at the area in Google Earth. Slide the Time Bar back to 1990. an amazing thing happens when you do this. you discover that some of the Google images are taken during high tide and some during low tide. High tide images indicate ocean rising under the houses along the Cove road back in 1990 and just as far in 2015.
It also shows Low Tide beaches haven’t diminished in size or area either

john harmsworth
Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 11, 2017 4:14 pm

Canadian house prices are in the stratosphere. I’ll be thinking about helping out these poor celebrities by taking one of their beach front impending and unpreventable disasters off their hands for a generous 5-10 cents on the dollar. It’s just the kind of guy I am!

Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 11, 2017 7:37 pm

Wow, what a great strategy for actually buying shore front property in Malibu. If I were not totally hooked on New England, my other retirement site would be there.

Go to a celebrity with shorefront property and offer to take it off their hands as you have cancer and do not expect to live long enough for the sea level rise to take the property. Perfect plan.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 11, 2017 11:17 pm

There will be a lot of big earthquakes before anyone gets flooded out by rising oceans.

Reply to  Chemman
April 11, 2017 2:24 pm

Mud slides and brush fires…compounded by roads that cannot easily accommodate emergency vehicles, like fire trucks.
One must wonder if the California Coastal Commission’s rulings on beach access is also a factor. The once exclusive beach privileges that precluded the great unwashed masses from visiting the public beaches is being reversed in many areas as real estate easements are being enforced.

Reply to  rocketscientist
April 12, 2017 12:50 am

One of the few times I ever got in trouble in the US was transgressing on somebodies private beach in the 70s. As a naive young Aussie I had no idea or concept of a “private” beach.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  rocketscientist
April 12, 2017 6:55 am

Mark, as a kid in the ’50s and ’60s I spent many summers on South Carolina beaches. We also had no idea or concept of “private” beaches. Maybe its just another one of those “Left Coast” things.

Jeff L
Reply to  Chemman
April 11, 2017 2:34 pm

And fires !!

Reply to  Chemman
April 11, 2017 2:58 pm

There is real estate going cheap in New York City soon as well. It is a recently renovated tower on the East River.
Keep your eyes on the the real estate listings!

The sea level is rising so very fast! Check this graph from the US EPA :-



Reply to  rogerthesurf
April 11, 2017 4:21 pm

Eight inches in 115 years, not eighty inches.

Reply to  rogerthesurf
April 11, 2017 4:46 pm

Thanks Ken, I guess my arithmetic was influenced by alarmism. 😉

April 11, 2017 1:08 pm

What’s the real real estate story, like maybe scarcity of building sites and prices?

Reply to  Resourceguy
April 11, 2017 2:38 pm

All you need to know about oceanfront property in CA: The California Coastal Commission
Severely restricts where you can build, what you can build, how you can build it as well as permitted public access abutting your property. Their power has been growing recently and the coastal real estate values are seeing the effects.

Reply to  rocketscientist
April 11, 2017 3:02 pm
Reply to  rocketscientist
April 11, 2017 6:16 pm

Yes, the coastal commission can’t make you tear down a property that has already been build before they came into power. So all existing homes by the water are grandfathered in. They can be updated and repaired, but the coastal commission gets pretty nutty about it, and it can take years to get the necessary permits.

Though in some cases this may be good. Where I grew up in Northern CA, there was less building right along the ocean, but in towns like Pacifica, they did have a lot of houses by the edge of the cliff. The cliff has been eroding, and I believe, one block of Pacifica is no more since I was a kid, since the houses either fell into the sea, or were removed, right before they fell. Probably shouldn’t build on the edge of a cliff, when the cliff is made out of soft sandstone.

Reply to  rocketscientist
April 12, 2017 12:08 am

Definitely agree that the actual problem (now and for the next several centuries) is cliff and beach erosion. Being right on the beach might give you a nice view, but if your house/yard is in danger of falling into the ocean, it is going to be a bit tough to enjoy that lovely prospect. Collapsed bluffs will definitely make your house disappear. Worry about the right (existing) problem.

Besides, anyone who ever took a geology class knows that the West Coast is rising, which is going to (help) offset any “water rise”.

Reply to  rocketscientist
April 12, 2017 1:23 am

So buy inland and wait for the beach to come to you…

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  rocketscientist
April 12, 2017 9:29 am

We were in a trailer in a RV park on a Malibu ocean cliff, 1999, as I recall, when in the middle of the night we got the shock of shaking from the bottom. The epicenter (?) was on a marine base far away in the desert. A tent camper from above walked by the next morning maybe looking like the one I saw in Yellowstone who had a grizzly bear run through his camp. No landslide, but cemented the preference for trailer shaking due to wind which is not very good either.

Kalifornia Kook
Reply to  rocketscientist
April 12, 2017 9:57 am

Don’t forget that we also set limitations on repairs to any existing breakers. In most places, only one repair is allowed from here on out. After that, the ocean is allowed to do its worst.
Don’t ask me why. It’s just plain crazy to me. But then, I’m a kook.

April 11, 2017 1:11 pm

An ocassion when ignorance costs you money and a good time. Ask Brad Pitt to state how much higher the sea level is than it was 50 years ago at Malibu. A good time to take advantage of other’s ignorance and buy Malibu real estate.

Reply to  arthur4563
April 11, 2017 2:58 pm

Not only do people that fear climate change not know the data (like looking at the tide gages in Florida) I generally find that they outright refuse to look, prefering to believe hearsay than to see concrete numbers from an instrument a few miles down the road.

john harmsworth
Reply to  arthur4563
April 11, 2017 4:16 pm

I think it’s falling! When I was a boy the water came up to my waist! Now it only comes up to my knees! Lol! Where’s my Oscar or Nobel?

Reply to  arthur4563
April 11, 2017 5:07 pm

Arthur4563 – Nah, they are probably just taking advantage of sky-high prices and cashing out, probably as advised by the ‘in crowd’s’ well paid financial advisers, and using the ‘rising sea levels’ meme as a cover story. Then they buy into a less expensive area and watch the prices rise there because of who (now) lives there. Example: Byron Bay in NSW, Australia. My holiday apartment is 20 km south, cost a fraction of BB prices, and the beaches are almost as good and almost empty, and I can park in the main street for free, rather than BB where I pay $4 an hour, if I can find a free spot.

Kalifornia Kook
Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
April 12, 2017 9:58 am

You got it. Taking profits.

Jimmy Haigh
April 11, 2017 1:13 pm

That’s a relief. However would we survive in the post-apocalyptic CAGW hell we are creating for ourselves without the Hollywood elite?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
April 11, 2017 2:19 pm

The funny part is that they think they’ll be the preferred survivors of the upcoming epic cinematic apocalypse. (Unprecedented in “History” and the most extreme unnatural phenomenon to have ever been spawned by climate & carbon.)

Bryan A
Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
April 12, 2017 2:17 pm

Surely we need them to make movies about how Bad Science triumphs over critical thinking

April 11, 2017 1:13 pm

What you need to do is write a peer-reviewed paper showing that sea level rise will be especially pronounced at latitude 30-40N. Perhaps you could even get the distinguish professor Mann to be one of the reviewers.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Joe
April 11, 2017 2:30 pm

Sea levels are mostly “pier reviewed” from my experience. None of them have been replaced yet that didn’t rot first, before being inundated by the sea.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 11, 2017 2:51 pm


Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 11, 2017 8:53 pm

…and the ‘pier’ reviewers are just a punch of old barnacled geezers.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 12, 2017 6:42 am

When the stopped floundering around, they got a seal of approval from the IPCC.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 12, 2017 4:05 pm

Are you guys poking fun at my typing skills?

john harmsworth
Reply to  Joe
April 11, 2017 4:18 pm

Some celebrities think the universe revolves around them so maybe they create their own sea level rise.

April 11, 2017 1:14 pm

When it gets down into the mere “hundreds” of thousands, I buy!

April 11, 2017 1:15 pm

ROTFLMAO!!!! This should be moved to Friday Funny’s! Sounds like there will be a beach front buying opportunity soon… and let think for a moment…. fire on a hill goes in what direction? Not that they have EVER had wild fires in the hills of Malibu of course.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  milwaukeebob
April 11, 2017 3:36 pm
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
April 11, 2017 11:26 pm

So what’s exactly funny in a dog ending up shot dead at the runway?

Tom Halla
April 11, 2017 1:16 pm

Almost all of the California coast has been eroding for a very long time, and officially, the state has control over the actual beach. Erosion controls are not generally allowed, so anything too close to the beach will eventually find itself in the ocean. Some of the properties developed in Santa Cruz before WWII, rather farther north, had to be abandoned due to erosion .

Don K
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 11, 2017 1:50 pm

Tom. As I understand it, the Beaches in SoCal consist of sediment deposited by the region’s few rivers (pathetic though they may be most of the time). The sediment then migrates Southward under the influence of prevailing winds and currents until it encounters one of several deep submarine canyons where it flows out onto the outer continental shelf — which is quite near the coast. Problem is that the rivers that source the sand have been channeled and flood controlled and no longer provide the volumes of sand they once did. Those beaches may be doomed anyway.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 11, 2017 1:53 pm

I don’t know why these stars don’t just wait until it happens and then fly away in their private jets (Oh wait! I forgot. By then it will be clean energy all the way, so no jet fuel will be available).

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Trebla
April 11, 2017 2:54 pm

Just solar planes… Good luck… It strikes me as foolish to jump off the “energy cliff” trusting that the governments will keep you from falling.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 12, 2017 9:57 am

The erosion even extends to the road above the beach last time I was there. I did see one dinky house that had sprayed cement onto the cliff to delay the inevitable.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 12, 2017 11:58 am

Yes erosion not rising sea levels. Even NOAAs prediction for the nearest location is only predicting 1 foot in 100 years, Hardly a reason to pack up and move today.

April 11, 2017 1:18 pm

For 1% of market value per year I will ensure any Malibu property in full against any loses attributable to sea level rise.

Don K
Reply to  Rob Dawg
April 11, 2017 1:53 pm

Maybe not a good idea Rob. What are the chances of a California court blaming anything other than climate change/sea level rise for any beach topography change?

John M. Ware
April 11, 2017 1:25 pm

First real estate story: “Buy land. They’re not making any more of the stuff.”

Second: What is the worth of a piece of real estate? “The value of real estate is what a willing buyer will offer and what a willing seller will accept.”

Third: What are the three most important aspects of real property? “Location, location, location.”

In rough sum, these three axioms rule what happens to a piece of real property. The sum is rough because of all the ancillary details, including subsidence, erosion, avulsion*, and other natural and artificial causes of change. In this case, of course, the sea level rise is mostly imaginary, so the changes in value are also mostly imaginary; but if buyer and seller agree, the price will be paid in real money.

Fourth: “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

*Avulsion is the sudden loss of land due to earthquake, tsunami, or the like. Under current US real estate law, as I recall, land lost by avulsion remains the property of the owner, even though the land itself is no longer there. In other words, if the sea level rises quite suddenly and your seaside estate is reduced overnight from 10 acres to 1, you still own where those 10 acres had been. Sales price may suffer, though.

Reply to  John M. Ware
April 11, 2017 1:30 pm

When land prices get high enough, they do make more of the stuff. By going up, as well as down.
There’s also the old classic. Land fill.

Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2017 1:42 pm

Mann-made islands.

John M. Ware
Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2017 4:58 pm

Yes, of course, there are little spits of “land” now being “made” in places like Dubai. The quote originated when people were opening up land by the section (640 acres, a square mile), or the township (36 square miles, 6 miles by 6), or even more. What can you do with your Dubai land–assuming you can afford it and are permitted to own it? You surely can’t farm it, mine it, landscape it on any but a Lilliputian scale; chances are, it’s already built on, and you can’t change it. I don’t count that as “land” in the original sense.

Anyhow, California still has millions of acres of real land, but until the address becomes more fashionable, it will probably not excite the new market.

Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2017 9:00 pm

China is good at creating land – in the ocean too.

Reply to  John M. Ware
April 11, 2017 1:34 pm

Avulsion applies mostly to acute river channel changes (its geologic meaning). So if a flood causes river avulsion, the property lines do not change, however, long term cutting/accretion of the river does change property boundaries.

April 11, 2017 1:28 pm

So in their mind is it against California law to sell those homes knowing that the sea is going to jump up and get’em at any moment?

Reply to  RWturner
April 11, 2017 1:30 pm

As long as they disclose it to the buyers, it should be legal.

Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2017 1:38 pm

Sounds like a great bargaining tool for the savvy investor.
…So you’re saying this house is only going to be here 5 more years…How about 10% of the asking price?
I’d love to be a fly on the wall as a real estate agent tries to sell a multi million dollar residence while also claiming that it will soon be destroyed.

Don K
April 11, 2017 1:37 pm

I grew up not too far from there. Moving a bit away from the beach, even if for the wrong reason, may not be a terrible idea. One year in the 1960s, a series of Winter storms removed the entire beach South of the pier. I remember visiting college friends for a few (well, really quite a lot of) beers. Their apartment built on pilings shook with every incoming wave. They assured me that the beach would return in the Spring as it always does. And they were right, it did. But too late to help them. Their apartment collapsed a few weeks after my visit.

Two things about the high ground the folks are retreating to.

First, it is infested with a multitude of rattlesnakes

Like all the hilly areas in Southern California, Malibu is subject to devastating wildfires.

Reply to  Don K
April 11, 2017 1:54 pm

Also subject to mudslides

Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2017 1:57 pm

Yup – the mudslides are what’ll put their homes in the ocean, not sea level rise.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Don K
April 11, 2017 4:22 pm

Rattlesnakes, nothing! Now there’s realtorsnakes!

Ron Williams
April 11, 2017 1:42 pm

I doubt rising sea levels has much to do with buying on the other side of the highway way up the hill. Maybe the threat of a tsunami would be more in mind regarding this dumb piece of journalism. It don’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows so I don’t think anyone takes too seriously sea level raise in our life time, other than using it to raise grant monies.

In Brad Pitt’s case now, he will be so broke after the divorce that he couldn’t afford waterfront, with Angie getting a boatful of spousal support and all the kids to pay for. I have have also never heard Brad spouting any nonsense on all this CAGW BS, as compared to some of the other brainwashed Hollywood types, so I think this story is just click bait.

John Bell
April 11, 2017 1:45 pm

I better tell Rockford to put his trailer up on stilts, at Paradise cove.

Reply to  John Bell
April 11, 2017 4:44 pm

Wish we could…

April 11, 2017 1:55 pm

Per NOAA data the average sea level rise in the LA area is 0.95mm per year, or 95 mm per century, or 3.74 inches per CENTURY!

At that rate, my God, those poor poor gazillionaires in Malibu will have to bankrupt themselves by adding another layer of concrete block to their home foundations, in just three centuries! It might even cost them as much as a flight hour, maybe even two hours, in their G4s to survive the flood! How will those poor dears survive the financial apocalypse!

Don K
Reply to  Duane
April 12, 2017 5:23 am

Duane. The numbers look about right, but you’ve (inadvertently, I’m sure) picked what may be one of the least suitable tidal gauges on the planet to look at. The problem is that pumping of oil from the Wilmington oil field caused much of the area to the SouthEast of the gauge to sink up to 9 meters. That caused a bit of a problem, so in the 1950s “they” started pumping water into the ground to stabilize the subsidence. They could conceivably be pushing the gauge up a bit. See

A better, and much closer, gauge would be Santa Monica.where SLR is probably a bit less than 1.5mm per year

Still less than 6 inches a century though. Given modern construction practices and the fact that termites like the weather in Southern California as much as humans do, it seems unlikely that many buildings currently in Malibu will still be standing a century from now.

François Riverin
April 11, 2017 1:55 pm

Not much to worry according to USGS

“West Coast sea level rise has been
suppressed for the last thirty years due to
prevailing wind patterns in the Eastern

April 11, 2017 1:56 pm

Aren’t they moving closer to wildfire territory? What about “The Big One”? Have they considered soil liquefaction? Oh the huge manatees!

Reply to  commieBob
April 11, 2017 2:41 pm

No manatees anywhere near Malibu. Wrong coast.

Windy Wilson
Reply to  rocketscientist
April 11, 2017 4:09 pm

He’s referring to the Hollywood elites. They’re pretty huge on the west coast.

Reply to  commieBob
April 11, 2017 3:37 pm

But – what about the methane from unicorn farts? Some unicorns will – gasp – be piebald!!!

Mods – unicorns – yes – /Sarc. For double diddly sure. Cubed.

April 11, 2017 1:57 pm

Lady Gaga may be scared into moving uphill in Malibu, but Scripps Institution of Oceanography is not surrendering its beachfront campus in La Jolla. There’s a lesson in that stance for the media!

Gary Pearse
April 11, 2017 2:04 pm

Well they could give the new community a trendy French name: Mal la boue, which means Terrible the mud.

April 11, 2017 2:07 pm

We’ve had our fun but the real reason for moving off the beach is privacy. California law you only own to the mean high tide line. No private beaches.

Michael Jankowski
April 11, 2017 2:09 pm

“Sanctuary city,” lol.

April 11, 2017 2:09 pm
Janice Moore
Reply to  rigelsys
April 11, 2017 2:35 pm
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 12, 2017 11:33 am

It is good to see the truth posted. But of course, being liberal, they will never admit that is the reason for the sanctuary status.

Bruce Cobb
April 11, 2017 2:15 pm

They should be burrowing into the hills and laying up supplies and ammo to fight off all the “climate refugees” fleeing from fire, floods, drought, and scorching heat. Climageddon is coming, after all.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 11, 2017 3:51 pm

That’ll be very useful if/when the next massive earthquake arrives. Sarc/ necessary?

Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 2:28 pm

The “climate change” angle is, like, TOTALLY bogus. Like, get REAL, man.

Earlier this summer {2013}, on what passed for a clear morning in Los Angeles, Tom Ford, director of marine programs at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, went to the Santa Monica Municipal Airport to catch a ride up the Pacific coast …

The purpose of this flight was to check out the beach erosion that’s affecting Malibu, …

“California beaches are more temperamental than on the East Coast, but mercifully, in most places, development is much further inland,” says Costas Synolakis, an environmental engineering professor at the University of Southern California. That’s not the case in Malibu, though, where many of the best houses are literally built on sand dunes. … the west-facing exposure in Malibu is far more vulnerable to wave action than the south-facing. …

Malibu’s Broad Beach some 40 years ago, when it was 65 feet, © 2002-2013 Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal Records Project


(Source: )

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 2:32 pm

Even allowing for the photos not being taken at the same tide (tide levels not given in article), the photos show significant beach erosion.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 3:23 pm

Now how do them rich folk keep the riprap out? [drrrrrrrrrrrr-rump-bump!]

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 3:30 pm

I don’t think so Janice. In the lower photo the beach looks smaller because it is covered with rocks and plants. There is still almost as much area in front of the homes as the homes cover themselves. In the top picture there is about 30% more beach which could be entirely the difference between low and high tide.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 8:02 pm

Yes, sand erosion. The sea level looks about the same because you have a steeper drop off from the rock wall.

Bryan A
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 9:58 pm

Wow. Is that the same stretch of beach? Not one single house looks to be unchanged. In fact, all of them appear to have been replaced by larger structures. Could some of the beach loss be from larger houses and backyard landscaping intruding onto historic beach space? I wonder if the distance from the road edge to the water line has changed?

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 11:15 pm

My first reaction is that the neighbourhood looks junky. Yes, I do realize how much those houses are worth, but I’ve seen more attractive trailer parks.

Reply to  commieBob
April 12, 2017 1:30 pm

By California standards, that IS a trailer park! 🙂

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 12, 2017 10:16 am

– Having been along that highway many times, I can tell you some of those areas do look trashy close up. Most of them cause you to park on the street because of the crowding. A lot of those structures are rental units and the amount of money they get for rent is ridiculous.

The big problem with these photos is that the modern one is a wider view and when you take that into account I see no sea incursion. It appears to me that , also that they have built the rip-rap wall to extend useable property and may have raised the soil level. The distance to the ocean edge looks about the same when you account for the different scales. I call bogus on this comparison. They should have cropped the bottom one to match.

The landscapes above these areas of the coastline are scruffy looking oak trees and brushy canyons that burn fiercely during fire season. If I had the money I would not live there.

Nigel S
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 3:05 pm

Looks to me as though they’ve got somebody to pay for expensive rock armo(u)r so they can extend their gardens. The 2013 picture is taken from higher up and more overhead. “It’s the pictures that got small.”

Reply to  Nigel S
April 11, 2017 3:15 pm

“Norma Desmond”. I take PayPal.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Nigel S
April 11, 2017 3:49 pm

Kah-CHING! (nice one, brian ((applause)) 🙂

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Nigel S
April 11, 2017 3:56 pm

Most of those lots have been significantly redeveloped. One house, though, in the middle, has very tall, expansive trees. Using that as a referent helps to understand the relative scale.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 3:46 pm

Dear Mr. Clagwell,

Your surmising is sound. The fact is, nevertheless, that Broad Beach is almost gone, now.

Since the sand budget turned negative in 1974, the Broad Beach loss
rate has accelerated to approximately 35,000 cubic yards per year during the last
5 years. However, evidence suggests that this annual loss rate could be
significantly higher owing to wave behavior and/or storm events and could reach
up to 60,000 cubic yards per year. Currently, Broad Beach is a very narrow
ribbon of sand visible primarily at low tide but inundated at high tide.

(Source: Broad Beach Restoration Project Coastal Development Permit Project Description, FINAL, p. 4, )

Also, the difference between low and high tide at Malibu, CA is only around 5 feet.

(Source: )

Thank you for the great insights — you are a good detective!


Reply to  Janice Moore
April 13, 2017 12:01 pm

Actually the rip-rap is detrimental it accelerates erosion because at high tide the current right below them take more sand away.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 4:30 pm

I wonder how sea level rise could be tied into highway erosion/replacement (left side of photo).

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 11, 2017 5:14 pm

So was all of that greening due to CO2, or is it from the rich preferring lush and green yards over nature or just even normal water use (let alone water conservation)?

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 12, 2017 7:42 am

Someone killed the dune grass. That will allow the sand to wash away. Preserve the dune and you preserve the beach.
(Of course it was probably “Climate Change”wthat done it)

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 12, 2017 11:28 am

This is indeed a high tide low tide pair of photographs. You can see the tide line in the top picture and when you use photoshop to match the scales of these pictures there really is little difference. Also, the angle from which the bottom picture was taken is different. This is in line with what the tidal gauges show for the Southern California coast. There is a well known rock formation at La Jolla, near San Diego, which was photographed in horse and buggy days. It shows the same amount of exposure above the surf today that it did back then.

Reply to  Ernest Bush
April 12, 2017 1:39 pm

This is indeed a high tide low tide pair of photographs.

Not necessarily so! There is also a pronounced seasonal cycle in west-facing beaches in SoCal, with the sand eroded by winter storms and deposited in bars offshore being returned to the beach by SH swell in the summer. The exposure above the surf-line in any photo tells us little about true sea level.

Reply to  Ernest Bush
April 12, 2017 3:45 pm

1sky1, you are right about the seasonal sand. There is the so-called ‘nude beach’ south of Point Dume that regularly disappears entirely in the winter and reappears in the summer.
Upon looking up the most recent Google Maps satellite image, it appears that newer larger houses have been built right out over the ocean on pylons. It doesn’t seem that everybody is worried about beach erosion.

Nigel S
April 11, 2017 2:51 pm

This is another moving option, Belle Toute (ex)lighthouse at Beachy Head moved 56 feet back from cliff edge.

Reply to  Nigel S
April 12, 2017 5:57 am

It’s part of the ‘Brexit’ strategy, we are moving further away from the EU (600mm/yr)

April 11, 2017 2:54 pm

Plenty of prime, oceanfront land here:

April 11, 2017 2:59 pm

Plenty of prime beachfront to the south:

Tom Anderson
April 11, 2017 3:02 pm

From Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles MacKay, London, 1852:
“A still more singular instance of the faith in predictions occurred in London in the year 1524. The city swarmed at that time with fortune-tellers and astrologers, who were consulted daily by people of every class in society on the secrets of futurity. As early as the month of June 1523, several of them concurred in predicting that on the 1st day of February 1524, the waters of the Thames would swell to such a height as to overflow the whole city of London, and wash away ten thousand houses. The prophecy met implicit belief. It was reiterated with the utmost confidence month after month, until so much alarm was excited that many a family packed up their goods, and removed to Kent and Essex. As the time drew nigh, the number of these emigrants increased. In January, droves of workmen might be seen followed by their wives and children, trudging on foot to the villages within fifteen or twenty miles, to await the catastrophe. People of a higher class were also to be seen, in waggons and other vehicles, bound on a similar errand. By the middle of January, at least twenty thousand persons had quitted the doomed city, leaving but the bare walls of their homes to be swept away by the impending floods. Many of the richer sort took up their abode on the heights of Highgate, Hampstead, and Blackheath; and some erected tents as far away as Waltham Abbey, on the north and Croydon, on the south of the Thames. Bolton, the prior of St. Bartholomew’s, was so alarmed that he erected at very great expense, a sort of fortress on Harrow-on-the-Hill, which he stocked with provisions for two months. On the 24th of January, a week before the awful day which was to see the destruction of London, he removed thither, with the brethren and officers of the prior and all his household. A number of boats were conveyed in waggons to his fortress, furnished abundantly with expert rowers, in case the flood, reaching so high as Harrow, should force them to go further for a resting-place. Many wealthy citizens prayed to share his retreat, but the Prior, with a prudent forethought, admitted only his personal friends, and those who brought stores of eatables for the blockade.
“At last the morn, big with the fate of London, appeared in the east. The wondering crowds were astir at an early hour to watch the rising of the waters. The inundation, it was predicted, would be grad¬ual, not sudden; so that they expected to have plenty of time to escape, as soon as they saw the bosom of old Thames heave beyond the usual mark. But the majority were too much alarmed to trust to this, and thought themselves safer ten or twenty miles off. The Thames, unmindful of the foolish crowds upon its banks, flowed on quietly as of yore. The tide ebbed at its usual hour, flowed to its usual height, and then ebbed again, just as if twenty astrologers had not pledged their words to the contrary. Blank were their faces as evening approached and as blank grew the faces of the citizens to think that they had made such fools of themselves. At last night set in, and the obstinate river would not lift its waters to sweep away even one house out of the ten thousand. Still, however, the people were afraid to go to sleep. Many hundreds remained up till dawn of the next day, lest the deluge should come upon them like a thief in the night.
“On the morrow, it was seriously discussed whether it would not be advisable to duck the false prophets in the river. Luckily for them, they thought of an expedient which allayed the popular fury. They asserted that, by an error (a very slight one) of a little figure, they had fixed the date of this awful inundation a whole century too early. The stars were right after all, and they, erring mortals, were wrong. The present generation of cockneys was safe, and London would be washed away, not in 1524, but in 1624. At this announcement, Bolton, the prior, dismantled his fortress, and the weary emigrants came back.”

Reply to  Tom Anderson
April 11, 2017 9:16 pm

“They asserted that, by an error (a very slight one) of a little figure, they had fixed the date of this awful inundation a whole century too early.”

This same cya technique is evidently timeless! -keep putting it off into the future-

Nigel S
Reply to  Tom Anderson
April 11, 2017 11:19 pm

Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;

Gunga Din
April 11, 2017 3:04 pm

I recant.
I was a skeptic.
Now I’m an alarmist.
I own property that’s about 850 ft above sea level.
I’d gladly sell it one of the enlightened. (Only to preserve the best of Mannkind. That’s the least I can do to atone.)
It will only cost a few measly Trillion dollars.
I’m sure they’d consider it a real bargain and pay up.
After all, it’s to save their children!!

Reply to  Gunga Din
April 11, 2017 3:48 pm

Gunga old soul,
We, here, salute your selflessness – a few measly trillion dollars is a meagre price for one of our Enlightened Demi-Gods to give you for a few thousand square feet, that far above sea level [or about 500 millimetres above sea level in October 2018], if I understand the Greatest Living Alarmist correctly.
Note the qualifying ‘IF’ . . . . . . . .

Could I have misunderstood? Possibly. It is conceivable.

Mods – think unicorn farts, as this, like, I guess, Gunga Din’s comment, is actually on the /SARC spectrum.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Auto
April 11, 2017 3:54 pm

Gunga Din
Reply to  Auto
April 11, 2017 4:04 pm

Assuming that means “Selfless Acts to Rescue Climatist”, then, yes, I’m willing to sell (for 12 or so figures).

James Fosser
April 11, 2017 3:07 pm

Just means they will fall from a greater height when the Big One comes!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  James Fosser
April 12, 2017 4:18 pm

Maybe “the bigger they are, the harder they fall?.

April 11, 2017 3:46 pm

A little farther north, Pacifica is already falling into the ocean. The bluff it was built on, mainly sand and loose rock, has been falling into the Pacific for a number of years. I believe it’s already lost 2-3 streets to the sea. Efforts to stop the erosion using boulders along the bottom of the bluff haven’t been really successful. But, the home prices are a lot lower!

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Philo
April 11, 2017 3:58 pm

In a manner of speaking, the real estate market is eroding….

April 11, 2017 3:59 pm

Every place has some sort of danger associated with it. For ocean front properties I would think that storm surges and tsunamis would be of greater concern than sea level rise The sea level has always been changing but slowly. The sea levels were significantly higher than today just 115K years ago during the Eemian. Just 20K years ago sea levels were much lower and there were a few more islands off the Southern California cost that are not there today but may reapear during the next ice age. The coastal mountain areas are subject to wild fires, land slides, and problems caused by excessive rain and earth quakes. The whole Malibu area both beach front and inland is historically not a very safe place to live.

April 11, 2017 4:04 pm

Live on your Yacht so you don’t have to worry about sea level.

Neil Jordan
April 11, 2017 4:16 pm

The Hollywood glitterari must be listening to the California Commission:
for sea level rises anywhere from several inches to 5.5 ft by 2100.

Both those numbers, and numbers in between and above and below are also accepted values of sea level rise according to the authorities at Skeptical Science:
“Sea level rise is not level
“Of the many things about global warming misunderstood by the public at large, the irregular or lumpy distribution of sea level rise must surely be near the top of the list.”

Lumpy sea level explains everything, why some movie stars are moving and some are not. Each has his own personal sea level rise that might be several feet different from the star just a few feet away.
\sarc for the Navier-Stokes impaired

Reply to  Neil Jordan
April 11, 2017 9:22 pm

Just do a little scaling on a graph of sea level rise – decrease the with of the x-axis as you increase the height of the y-axis and the steep slope will scare any Hollywood actor because they don’t know the difference between a centimeter, millimeter, nanometer, …

April 11, 2017 4:29 pm

Perhaps they should buy in Antarctica. After all, with the predicted global warming, it should still be nice and “cool” for a long time to come.

April 11, 2017 4:45 pm

Wonder what fire insurance is like in the hills:

Footage of 2007 fires, which got out of control, ran down the hills, crossed the highway and consumed beach front property.

Larry Hamlin
April 11, 2017 5:58 pm

NOAA tide guage data at Santa Monica shows coastal sea level rise at a steady rate of 6 inches per century measured over the last 100 years.
Many of those owning beach front property are idiot Hollywood types who push irrational climate alarmism claims and who are to ignorant to actually look at real data instead of believing the L A Times bs on alarmist climate change.
Assuming these beach front homes are just 10 feet above mean sea level climate change is irrelevant to the situation facing these homes versus tides and storms which can do far more damage than climate change.
Talk about being clueless.

Bill Illis
April 11, 2017 6:49 pm

I see the Million Dollar Listing real estate agents talking to clients about sea level rise and beach erosion and how this home in the hills will be worth so much more when the beach homes are dragged out to sea.

The real estate agents know how to make a buck or two or a Million you know and the gullible millionaires buying homes in this area like to fall for this type of spin.

April 11, 2017 7:43 pm

“The smaller the beach gets at Broad Beach,”

The most important factor is season. During rough winters California beaches are eroded and become steeper as sand is moved to offshore bars by high amplitude waves. During the summer the sand is gradually returned, albeit somewhat further south.

April 11, 2017 7:45 pm

The credibility of real estate agents is almost as great as that of climate scientists.

April 11, 2017 10:45 pm

Seaside homes in Malibu were crazy in the early 80 when
I hung out there. Really stupid . Landslide to the right high tide to the left. There was once a famous video of a young Harvey levin out in a crazy storm.. my advisor lived on the dry side of the road and that night the floods were crazy. I’ll look for video

Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 12, 2017 2:25 pm

My screenwriter brother lived on Pt. Dume in 1989, surrounded by movie industry types, including abundant famous actors, actresses and singers. The drill was not to notice them at the local grocery store.

Of the many stories I could recount, one worth sharing is that the neighbors gathered to cheer when Sting, after buying Barbra Streisand’s beach house, burned it down.

Snarling Dolphin
April 12, 2017 1:55 am

A favorite old Johnny Carson riff: something along the lines of, “Good news today! The mudslides are putting out the fires!”

Brook HURD
April 12, 2017 8:35 am

What the Hollywood rich and ignorant seem to be unaware of is that Pacific Plate is subducting under the North American plate. This will continue to cause the California coast to rise. Some geologists have stated that rate of tectonic rise exceeds any potential SLR.

The more pressing problem of the Malibu beach front properties is storm surge erosion. These properties are built on sand. This is not only a problem in Malibu, but it is also a problem along much of the Pacific Coast.

Reply to  Brook HURD
April 12, 2017 10:01 am

In the area of Malibu the Pacific plate is moving to the northwest. It is the Juan de Fuca plate, which contacts N. America from N. California to just north of the US/Canada border that is being subducted.

This causes the area just inland of the subduction zone to rise, but only until the next earthquake when it drops rapidly.

April 12, 2017 12:10 pm

‘Climate change’ has definitely become an excellent marketing tool for realtors.

John Law
April 12, 2017 12:51 pm

In an asteroid strike the people on the higher ground will perish microseconds before the rest of us: it’s just not worth the risk!

James at 48
April 12, 2017 1:56 pm

That tectonic block is actually in uplift mode, IIRC.

April 13, 2017 10:58 am

I guess that explains why they bought up and bid up Aspen also.

R.S. Brown
April 14, 2017 10:34 am

Meanwhile, on the EAST Coast, Paul Simon is moving his Long Island
cottage back from the edge of a bluff to escape undercutting the
foundation by erosion:

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