“Scientists” Predict Amazon’s HQ2 Site in Long Island City, NY to Be Flooded by Sea Level Rise by 2020 or 2030 or 2050 or 2100!!!

Guest basic geology by David Middleton

2020, 2030, 2050, 2100… Whatever… It will flood… Climate Central assures us it will flood.

Amazon’s HQ2 site in Long Island City, Queens could be flooded in the next 30 years. Here’s what scientists predict for the headquarters.

Aria Bendix Nov. 14, 2018

Scientists have long warned that New York City is at risk of chronic flooding. Due to its dense population and coastal location, the city has more residents living in high-risk flood zones than any other city in the US.

That’s bad news for Amazon, which recently opted to locate half of its second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. The company intends to build a 4 million to 8 million square-foot development directly along the flood zone in Long Island City. If sea levels continue to rise as predicted, that development may not last for more than a couple decades.

New research from Climate Central and the real estate site Zillow suggests that Queens County (where Long Island City is located) could see coastal flooding as early as 2020. The risk becomes more acute with time.

Under the most extreme projections of sea level rise, the researchers find a 100% likelihood that Queens will witness coastal flooding by 2050, meaning many of its low-lying buildings will be submerged in water. Even under moderate projections, parts of the county — including major waterfront developments — could be flooded by 2080, much sooner than scientists originally anticipated.

On the afternoon of the company’s HQ2 announcement, Citibank said it was removing 1,100 of its employees from One Court Square, a 50-story office tower, to make way for Amazon. The company is reportedly using One Court Square as a temporary space while it constructs a new development in the Anable Basin, an artificial inlet that separates Brooklyn from Queens.

Based on Climate Central data, that new development could be partially underwater by 2050…


Business Insider

“Based on Climate Central data, that new development could be partially underwater by 2050…”

Draft Scope of Work for an Environmental Impact Statement for the Anable Basin Rezoning CEQR No.: 18DCP057Q


The Rezoning Area is located within the coastal zone boundary. It is mapped within Zone AE of the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) 100-Year Floodplain, representing a 1 percent annual chance of flood hazard, and the waterfront sites have a base flood elevation of 12 feet. Many of the adjacent street elevations are between 5 and 8 feet.



“The waterfront sites have a base flood elevation of 12 feet. Many of the adjacent street elevations are between 5 and 8 feet.”


The nearest NOAA tide gauge station is at The Battery.


Figure 1. Location map of The Battery and Anable Basin

The rate of sea level rise at The Battery has been just under 3 mm/yr since the mid-1800’s.  This equates to an additional 4 inches of sea level rise in the area by 2050.


Figure 2.  Sea Level Trend at The Battery, New York, projected to 2050 (Source: NOAA Tides and Currents)

Here is the same sea level trend plotted at the same scale as today’s tidal range forecast.  The average daily tidal range is about 1 meter.


Figure 2.  Sea Level Trend at The Battery, New York, projected to 2050 overlaid on today’s tidal range predictions. (Source: NOAA Tides and Currents)

Here is the same plot, projected to 2100.  This projects 10 inches of sea level rise from 2018 to 2100.


Figure 3.  Sea Level Trend at The Battery, New York, projected to 2100 overlaid on today’s tidal range predictions. (Source: NOAA Tides and Currents)

Is Anable Basin currently being flooded every day at high tide? No.   Here is a blowup of the area on a 1984 USGS topographic map.  The waterfront sites in Anable Basin have a flood elevation of 12 feet (3.7 meters).  The streets have elevations of 1.5 to 2.5 meters.


Figure 4. Long Island West, 30 x 60 Minute Quadrangle, Topographic Map, 1:100,000 Scale, 10 m Contour Interval.  (USGS 1984)

0.1 to 0.25 meters of sea level rise isn’t going to flood anything that isn’t already being flooded at high tide, like the American Merchant Mariner’s Memorial.

The American Merchant Mariner’s Memorial

Twice a day one of these tragic bronze mariners drowns with the tide to remember all those the sea has taken.

Hidden away in the water off Battery Park is one of the most moving memorials you are ever likely to see. The American Merchant Mariner’s memorial, sculpted by Marisol Escobar in 1991, takes the form of three merchant seamen stranded on a sinking ship, terrified, calling for help and trying to reach the desperate hand of one of their shipmates floundering in the water below.

The United States Merchant Mariner suffered more casualties than any other American service during World War II, 1 of every 26 mariners would not return home.



I think the author meant to say that the United States Merchant Mariner suffered a higher casualty than any other American service during World War II.

Low tide…

The American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial — Battery Park. Daytonian in Manhattan

High tide…

U.S. Merchant Seaman Awarded Highest Civilian Medal gcaptain.com

Surging Seas, Sea Level Rise Analysis by Climate Central

The Business Insider article cites two sources for the claim that Anable Basin will be flooded before mid-century: Zillow, a real estate website and Climate Central.  Zillow?

This morning, when I was using the treadmill at the gym, CNBC was on the TV…

They featured a clip of Benjamin Strauss Ph.D., CEO and chief scientist at Climate Central. Out of curiosity, I Googled Dr. Strauss and I wasn’t surprised by his “credentials”…

Dr. Benjamin Strauss was elected President and CEO of Climate Central in April 2018 and also serves as Chief Scientist. He is author of numerous scientific papers and reports on sea-level rise and is architect of the Surging Seas suite of maps, tools and visualizations. Strauss has testified before the U.S. Senate and presented to state and local elected officials, and his past work has been cited by the White House and the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Surging Seas has earned more than 100 million page views, and with Strauss’s research has generated more than 10,000 appearances in U.S. and international publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, China Daily and The Hindu. He has appeared as an expert on national network news, nationally syndicated radio and documentary television.

In earlier roles at Climate Central, Dr. Strauss served as Chief Scientist, Vice President for Sea Level and Climate Impacts, interim Executive Director and COO. He was a founding board member of Grist.org and the Environmental Leadership Program. Strauss co-organized the 1994 Campus Earth Summit, and consulted to the Nathan Cummings Foundation on higher education and the environment. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in Biology from Yale University.

Climate Central

No one on their Surging Seas team has a background or education in geology, physical geography, oceanography, marine science or any other subject related to sea level changes.  Nor are any of them civil engineers.  Most of them have biology/ecology degrees.  Their “Sea-Level Rise Scientist” doesn’t appear to have ever had a real job…

Dr. Maya Buchanan serves as Climate Central’s Sea-Level Rise Scientist, where she focuses on assessing physical, social, and economic impacts of sea level rise. She also serves as the Chapter Scientist and a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s upcoming special report on the ocean, and is an expert for the New York City Panel on Climate Change task forces on sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Previously, Dr. Buchanan worked as a liaison for the White House Subcommittee on Global Change Research and as a climate change expert, translating climate science into metrics for risk management and resilience for local and national governments. She earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University, M.S. from the Johns Hopkins University, and B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.

According to her LinkedIn page:

  • Princeton University, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy 2013 – 2017
  • The Johns Hopkins University Master of Science, Environmental Engineering, 2007 – 2008
  • Washington University in St. Louis Bachelor’s degree, Environmental Science & Policy, Economics, Arabic, 2002 – 2006

At least she’s not a biologist/ecologist.

Anyone with at least one semester of basic physical geology or physical geography under their belt could do what I did in this post.  It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in ecology to look at a topographic map, look up the elevations of places, look up the local rate of relative sea level rise and tidal ranges and put all of that together.


102 thoughts on ““Scientists” Predict Amazon’s HQ2 Site in Long Island City, NY to Be Flooded by Sea Level Rise by 2020 or 2030 or 2050 or 2100!!!

  1. David,
    Shouldn’t the tide chart be moved upward in figures 2 and 3 by 4″ and 10″ respectively for the potential flooding effect in the future? Actually, the tides will change some as the shape of the basin changes, but I doubt that information is readily available.

  2. Dr Buchanan seems to have similar academic qualifications as the former EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. At least Dr Buchanan had a masters in Environmental Engineering, not Environmental Health Engineering like McCarthy.
    The courses seem to be somewhat more rigorous than Feminist Glaciology.

    • Apologies, all.
      I have done a brief search, and am unable to find a course – at any level above the waist (;-)) – in Masculinist Glaciology.

      Is this my problem, or is Academe a little sexist?

      Auto (he, for the record)

    • I don’t understand the big romance with Amazon…
      You read all over the news of how little they pay….how bad they treat their employees
      Why would a city want that?….and can these employees even afford to live in NY?

      • Well, a week or two or three ago, Bezos set a minimum hourly wage at Amazon at $15 / hour.

        But he’s put his foot in it by apparently always intending to select NY City and VA as his off-site sites, and using thhe low bids by other places as a negortiating ploy to get even higher subsidies from NY & VA.

      • The romance is over for me, Latitude. A college roommate wrote a book and asked me to review it on Amazon. When I tried to post it, I kept getting an uninformative error message. I eventually found out that now you have to use a credit card to buy $50 of items in the past 6 months to be allowed to do a review. You can’t use an Amazon Gift Card.

        I contacted Amazon customer service and pointed out that I had published two book reviews there before, and had been a customer since 1997. Also that this was a disincentive to purchase gift cards. That didn’t make any difference to them either.

        I asked my daughter to not give me a gift card from Amazon for Christmas this year.

        • While there a few things I don’t like about Amazon (politics for one), they are exceptional for general customer usage. The site is easy to use and offers multiple comparisons of items/ratings/prices/quantities not only for the usual but also for a myriad amount of the unusual. Browsers usually bring up multiple selections for items found available there.
          Personal examples are humidifier ultrasound transducers (in bulk no less), individual Wii components, an LG front loading washer tub support “spyder”, a Lexus door lock motor substitute, and bulk sub-C cells for electric drills allowing me to repair my expensive units at reasonable prices. Since I change my own oil and have three Toyota’s, all taking the same oil filter, was able to buy a bulk quantity at half the individual price.
          Also able to order what would be prohibitively expensive to ship electronic components (such as resistors, transistors, hall effect sensors, relays and other odd ball components) at very reasonable prices, providing one is willing to sometimes wait until they arrive from China (will probably change once the lop sided postal fees are changed). It is the best and sometimes the only source of supplies for a hobbyist.
          I can buy a 64 oz bottle of white chocolate sauce to make my very own Star Buck equivalent Frap’s (their secret ingredient in many of their mixes); and I can vary it a bit to suit my taste (I consider theirs too sweet). Magic Blender repair parts, pool supplies (including bulk testing chemicals), bulk LR44 batteries (grand kids toys), bulk ink tanks & refills, etc, etc.
          If they weren’t just so darn convenient and many times, just plain required, I might be able to break away but I will admit that I’m addicted for obvious reasons.

  3. The GPS gauge at The Battery shows that in recent years, about half of the relative sea level rise at that location is due to land subsidence not water level increase. However as you point out, even considering the relative rise at The Battery, there is little or no concern. I know of no similar GPS gauge at Anabel Basin. It may be sinking faster, slower or not at all. But Amazon ought to find out before spending billions there.

      • MarkW

        Catseye’s are those lights in the middle of the road silly.

        Ooooops……You mean like Guam!? (or wherever it was that dolt politician used as an example)

      • I suspect that Congressman Hank Johnson may have that concern. “Course, Long Island is considerably larger than Guam, so it should be able to support a heavier personnel load, especially without the load of military hardware that Rep. Johnson suspected would destabilize and sink Guam .

      • The residents of Long Island would not be missed by anybody but their immediate relatives and those selfless “public service employees” who sit at their desks collecting fat paychecks whilst living off the efforts of the hoi polloi.

  4. As the links show, the article is based on ridiculous sea level rise predictions “roughly 10 to 12 feet of sea level rise by 2100.”

    So you are arguing the wrong point, the area would flood if the predictions were true, you need to explain why they are not.

      • While I do think that 20mm per year of sea level rise at the end of this century is unlikely in the extreme, I don’t believe that because of the argument presented in this infographic. There were periods of time at the end of the last ice age where sea level was rising very rapidly. During the 1200 year long Meltwater Pulse 1A period sea levels rose at an average rate of 40-60 mm per year. A short period of 20mm/yr sea level rise is not physically impossible. Such an assertion is disproven by the very geological time period mentioned in the infographic.

        • MWP1a has no relevance in an interglacial stage…

          In the first significant jump (meltwater pulse 1Ao, or MWP 1Ao), 19,600-18,800 years ago, ocean levels climbed at least 10 m within 800 years. However, not all sea level proxies register this event. A faster rise began 14,600 years ago during the comparatively mild Bølling-Allerød interstadial, accelerated about 300 years later and peaked about 13,800 years ago (meltwater pulse 1A, or MWP 1A) (Stanford et al., 2011). Sea level rose ~16 m during this event at rates of 26-53 mm/yr. Computer models that “fingerprint” spatial patterns of sea level rise attribute much of the meltwater to Antarctica. Different sources of ice melt leave geographically distinctive sea level fingerprints, because their ice unloading histories and gravitational pull between shrinking ice masses and ocean vary. On the other hand, geological data indicate significant deglaciation in Antarctica starting only toward the end of MWP 1A, which suggests that most of the meltwater originated from the breakup of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets.


          MWP1a occurred while this was happening…

          At the end of the last Pleistocene glacial stage, there was enough ice available for melting to raise sea level by more than 10 mm/yr for nearly 10,000 years.

          There simply isn’t any physically realistic mechanism to replicate the Holocene Transgression or MWP1a during a warm interglacial stage.

          It would require the destabilization of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which hasn’t happened since at least the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum…

          Neogene T High Latitude SST (°C) From Benthic Foram δ18O (Zachos, et al., 2001) and HadSST3 ( Hadley Centre / UEA CRU via http://www.woodfortrees.org) plotted at same scale, tied at 1950 AD.

          Possibly not since the Late Eocene…

          • I greatly appreciate your work David and the geologic history that you show. However this truck driver is just tired. I’m tired of decades of being told that the Greenland ice sheet is melting away and going to drown out everyone along a low lying coast line. I’m tired of claims of SLR that do not match up with the observed reality. All the Maldives are still here. The west side Hwy is still pretty much as much above SL as it was when Hanson gave his dooms day scenario. You mention Amazon at Long Island City here but another good example is the big dig in Boston where the largest public construction project was undertaken to put tunnel entrances a few feet above SL despite the claims of catastrophic SLR to come. Miami beach is still there and the people still covet a place as close to the coast as possible despite the fact that 1/2 of the place is made up of fill dredged up in the 20’s and still subsiding.

            So I don’t believe them anymore. Their CAGW claims are nothing but meaningless numbers to me because there are no observable catastrophic effects in the real world where the water meets the land where such effects could be easily observed. When one asks for real world observable effects they respond with more BS numbers. Nor can I observe any indications that their claims are even beginning to manifest.

            It used to be amusing. Now it’s all just boring. The same claims by the same groups over and over and over again with disaster just 10, 20, 50, or 100 years over the horizon.

  5. I really like the concept of Aquanology (not a real word maybe) as it relates to building floating infrastructure, housing and maybe even whole cities someday. Then we can quit worrying about building in flood plains, or rising sea levels. The Dutch have figured this out…it isn’t rocket science. There is just so much opportunity to incorporate areas that are prone to flood, or rising sea levels, or even currently water prone locations and create a whole new worry free simple and affordable building boom. Perhaps we have to quit fighting the flooding in some locations, and go with the flow so to speak.

      • Why not just build the house on stilts and use the underground area as a car park ? (Make some extra cash by charging others to park)

        • Sure, whatever floats your boat…no pun intended. Building on stilts seem to work everywhere it is implemented. I am sure some young design engineer could even come up with a plan that could see that 1st floor prone to flooding even be used as the Rec Room, with key items like the pool table and entertainment centre on suspended cables that retract everything to the ceiling in case of a flood. Or put the swimming pool under the house. If it floods….well I am sure you get the drift. There are so many simple solutions, and all we have to do is think outside the box. What scares me is that there is a bureaucrat, climate scientist and environmentalist hiding behind every rock telling us why it won’t work.

          • Earthling2
            “What scares me is that there is a bureaucrat, climate scientist and environmentalist hiding behind every rock telling us why it won’t work.”
            “What scares me is that there is a bureaucrat, climate scientist and environmentalist hiding behind every rock telling us why we won’t be allowed to do it – ever.
            “Something to do with scaring off the unicorns, so we do without their farts, I gather.”
            Expanded and fixed, I suggest.

            Struggling with the Brexit capitulation.
            It seems we have no visionary in the entire House of Commons.
            Just a crowd of ambitious [and possibly competent] placepersons.

          • Yes, I know that of course HotScot…you must be from Whales. You are an uneducated former Copper, who lives in a thick walled house and has a daughter who recently graduated from ecology or biology..I forget those details off the top. And I might say, you have some pretty good comments here that make sense. Especially for someone who can’t read or write. The video you linked to seemed to suggest that it was the British building their very first floating house, so kudos to the Brits. Which is why I say there is hope for the English yet. I suspect I am digging myself a hole here…/sarc/grin

          • Earthling2

            When I say I’m not English, actually, I’m probably around one eighth English, with an English surname (and traditionally Welsh, historically Jewish Christian name) from landed gentry in Bolton, Lancashire, but Chinese by birth. Sadly, I seem to have missed out on the landed gentry bit, by a large margin.

            I am nominally Christian by upbringing but non denominational by practise. My parents travelled to live in Glasgow when I was a child and I was bullied at my first day in a non denominational school because I was wearing a brown overcoat, nothing to do with my skin colour or appearance. My mother was ignorant of the nature of secular differences there which was, and probably still is, only second to Northern Ireland in it’s religious bigotry, and dressed me in the wrong uniform.

            I am therefore an ill educated (I prefer that to uneducated) Scottish, English, Chinese, Welsh, Jewish, non religious hybrid who enjoyed public service. I lucked into a marital relationship with a highly qualified academic, I enjoy the company of feisty intelligent children and I live in a thick walled house probably because it suits my thick headed approach to most things.

            I also have the pleasure of engaging with thoughtful people like you online.

            Nor is there a /sarc tag required in a single line of this post. As you might imagine one would have to dig very deep indeed to get under my skin. 🙂

  6. The science is settled then.

    The Houses of Parliament are pending refurbishment at a cost of around £7Bn………Yes folks, that’s Seven Billion GBP!

    They reside on the banks of the river Thames (Hope the shot posts) which can’t be isolated from substantial sea level rise despite the Thames Barrier:


    Which means no one in the entire British government, their advisor’s, contractors, green lobbyists, the MSM, Universities, climate alarmists………etc. etc. thought to question if sea level rise would be a problem.

    I mean, that and climatic change are only the most important events humanity has ever known, isn’t it?

    So there goes another Seven Billion quid of my taxes down the drain, literally!

    OK Mrs. May, here’s fair warning, if you’re spunking hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayers hard earned money on climate change mitigation over the coming years thanks to the Climate Change Act, and you really believe the hype around AGW, you are about to wast a lot of money. In which case, move to high ground, like atop Ben Nevis:


    And for that advice I’ll accept a consultancy fee of only £10M. No, No, not a penny more thanks, it’s my duty.

    Unless there’s something you’re not telling us……….Hmmm

    (Other than your days are numbered in your job).

  7. The Sonel website shows that land at the Battery (a couple of kilometres down river) is subsiding at up to 2mm a year. So, the sea level rise is about 1mm a year as it’s unlikely that the Battery is an unlikely blip.

  8. Suppose that the impossible storm surge from hell occurs. What then?

    How many floors of the building would be flooded? What’s on those floors?

    Fukushima is a good example of what you should do (and not do) if a disaster is remotely possible. If you do your infrastructure correctly there won’t be much of a problem. If you mess up, your backup electricity fails for instance. Similar to messing up the main street in Paradise, folks at Fukushima didn’t take emergency preparedness seriously enough.

    On a lighter note, Amazon could do what ODAD University did. link

    • “The waterfront sites have a base flood elevation of 12 feet.”

      Frankenstorm Sandy had a 13′ storm surge.

    • The worst credible tsunami is a major volcano flank collapse or (less likely) a major asteroid ocean impact. Either of these would destroy any coastal city not protected by an island or a very broad, shallow shelf throughout an ocean basin (e. g. the North Atlantic).

      The only possible precaution is not to have any harbours or coastal cities and not to settle on coastal plains.

  9. So they build the ground level floor for parking, deliveries and other non personnel use. It will contain water pass through openings for any “flooding” to move through and dissipate. This is done in Florida all the time. Since that moves the base floor 10-12 feet higher, no problem with flooding and no floor insurance required.

  10. No biggie, by 2020 or 2030 and certainly 2050 or 2100 the Amazon HQ’s and Fulfillment Centers will be in low Earth orbit.

  11. It might take till 2030 for NY to pay for all the incentives. They will need a another political PR Superstorm Sandy payoff to cover all their costs with other people’s money.

  12. Like many other places, NYC’s Battery Park tide gauge measured a very, very slight sea-level rise acceleration in the mid to late 19th century, but none since the 1920s, and no sign of any effect from rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Here’s a graph of sea-level there since 1925 (through March of this year):


    In case image embedding ever gets working again, here’s a link to a saved copy of that graph:

    Linear regression: slope = 3.184 ±0.180 mm/yr
    Quadratic regression: acceleration = -0.00671 ±0.01492 mm/yr² (no sign of acceleration since the 1920s)

    My arithmetic matches David Middleton’s:
    3.184 mm/yr × 32 years / 25.4 mm/inch = 4.0 inches of sea-level rise by 2050.

    From eyeballing the map, Amazon’s site appears to be about 1/3 of the way from Battery Park to King’s Point, where there’s another tide gauge:


    The trend there is similar, but with a bit less subsidence:

    Linear regression: slope = M = 2.504 ±0.207 mm/yr
    Quadratic regression: acceleration = 0.000715 ±0.018797 mm/yr² (no sign of acceleration)

    2.504 mm/yr × 32 years / 25.4 mm/inch = 3.2 inches of sea-level rise by 2050.

    If I had to predict the sea-level trend for Amazon’s site, from those two gauges, I’d use a weighted average:
    ⅔ × 4″ + ⅓ × 3.2″ = 3.7″ by 2050, or 9.6″ by 2100.

    Terrifying, eh?

  13. And of course all these projections of catastrophic sea rise all assume the Earth will never cool again.

  14. The Battery location has been providing information since the 1850’s. The data shows that the sea level was rising as fast before the Civil War as it is today.

    Human activity is not responsible for SLR.

    • The most likely cause of most sea level rise is land erosion and deposition to the oceans. Funny how none of these warmers ever talks about that extremely well known and macro-quantifiable source of volumetric ocean displacement.

  15. “At least she’s not a biologist/ecologist.”
    I suppose I should take offense that biologists ain’t that smart or well educated enough to handle sea level materials, but you may well be right about any given individual these days. I was just discussing with some engineers (all of our degrees pre-1965) about the lack of educational diversity that was forced on the system despite all the cries for all types of diversity.

    Used to be that parasitologists (mainly from biology) and paleontologists (mainly from geology) seemed to be the most broadly trained. Fossil parasites and living fossils are hard to find.

    Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science & Policy, and many others are all new degrees, so their course work should be evaluated. I suspect that there is where the trouble lies. Just wait until it’s all communication degrees.

    Some of the sea level nonsense comes from engineers wanting to built structures. And biologists may not have to dodge the tides anymore. Should do field geology in the Bay of Fundy. Actually overheard from a student in such a course in Big Bend National Park–“… thought I just had to sit behind a computer.”

    • I didn’t mean to imply that biologists weren’t smart enough to figure this sort of thing out… It’s just that all of their “climate scientists” are biologists, except for their “sea level scientist”… She’s a science policy scientist.

    • No offense to biologist/ecologist majors out there but my experience is that however smart they are they almost universally have a math phobia. Consequently, their quantitative estimates are not as high quality as other aspects of their work. The other part of this is that 40 years ago when I started working in the environmental field everyone had a hard science degree. Now they get environmental science, environmental policy or even environmental engineering degrees that don’t give them as much of an understanding of the basics. Consequently the scientific backing for environmental initiatives is getting weaker and weaker.

      • Environmental engineering programs should be subsets of civil or chemical engineering. Can’t imagine one of those not being rigorous with math. They certainly would not be ABET-accredited, which would deprive graduates of practicing engineering. Relevant to her degree, John’s Hopkins requires ABET-equivalence to be completed for that.

        • They should be… But civil engineering and engineering geology & geotechnics already cover the engineering aspects of protecting the environment. I know quite a few geologists and civil engineers who do “environmental engineering.”

  16. Regarding the merchant mariners, they did indeed suffer many losses in World War Two, particularly in the opening months during the German “Operation Paukenschlag” (“Drumbeat”) when Adm. Doenitz sent over U-boats to hunt ill-prepared and defended allied shipping. The US Navy refused to adopt the recommendations of the British Royal Navy, who had already been fighting the U-boats since September 1939 .. particuarly failiing to use the convoy system, and failing to black out the major US coastal cities, perfectly backlighting target ships for patrolling U-boats. Over 5,500 merchant mariners were killed in action along our Atlantic and Gulf coasts over a six month period ending in mid-1942, when the US finally got serious about ASW.

    But, no, the merchant mariners had nowhere near the highest casualty rate of US armed forces in the war.

    The highest casualty rate was amongst US submariners, who suffered 20% KIA during the war. Nearly every sinking of the 52 we had resulted in 100% KIA – it’s the nature of submarining.

    Other elements of the US military also suffered far higher casualty rates than the merchant mariners’ 1 in 26 (a bit less than 4%). The US Army Air Force lost about 1/3 of all its operational aircraft during the war, and suffered over 88,000 air operations fatalities for about a 16% KIA rate … plus many more wounded and captured.

    • I always wondered why those convoy ships didn’t tow lifboats that could be a refuge for men overboard.

      • They did carry rafts that floated off automatically when the ship sank. And lifeboats on davits. A towed lifeboat would have a very short life expectancy in the North Atlantic.

    • Those real and tragic statistics should put to shame those who peddle hysteria about an improbable risk of a building flooding , with the inhabitants being allowed at least a decade to clear their desks and walk (dont run!) to safety.
      I doubt that it will though.

  17. To the average observer, who knows nothing of the science, they would think that Amazon has a bunch of really smart people who don’t seem concerned or they would not have selected the location.
    Conclusion: the concerns about SL change are bogus and therefore CAGW concerns also likely bogus.
    Yep, their raving is likely bringing more people to the skeptical side of the argument.
    Thanks Dr. Strauss et al for shooting yourselves on the foot!

  18. When Amazon builds up its proposed infrastructure in Queens, Long Island just might start to tip in that direction, which will only magnify the flooding potential (but would have a favorable impact on the Atlantic coast.
    /sarc (just in case)

  19. Flood plain ???

    Whether sceptical or not about such claims bad spelling errors will always create a negative reaction in me.

    Or should that be



  20. I think this is the crux of the problem, a dangerous mix pretending to do highly important science to save the planet:

    “No one on their Surging Seas team has a background or education in geology, physical geography, oceanography, marine science or any other subject related to sea level changes. Nor are any of them civil engineers. Most of them have biology/ecology degrees. Their “Sea-Level Rise Scientist” doesn’t appear to have ever had a real job…”

    • Lars P.

      When climate change theories are predicated on unproven science, everyone has an opinion.

      Even me. I shouldn’t be here, but that’s the nature of the beast.

      I get to promote a political opinion on what should be done about climate change because politicians don’t need qualifications and the real scientist’s, geologists, physical geographers, oceanographers, marine scientists, civil engineers, or any other expert related to sea level changes (with the exception of contributors to sceptical blogs) are notable only by their absence.

      We are surrounded by low level education I’m afraid, and I include myself in that, but at least I admit it.

      Education is a life process, academia a direction. If I earned a degree tomorrow I would be better educated than I am today, but only by a day.

  21. So if Amazon add 1 metre of fill to their new site they’ll be safe for another 300 years then.
    Wow is that hard or what?

  22. Has anybody in the CAGW movement ever heard of sea walls. New York City Real estate is really expensive and worth protecting. And, the technology to protect it exists. For instance:


    “The western parts of The Netherlands (the provinces Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland and Zeeland) are below sea level. That’s more than half the land. For example Airport Schiphol is 1 meter under sea level. Parts of Amsterdam are 4 meters below sea levels, other parts are 2 meters above sea level. The lowest part in Holland is 6 meters below sea level!

    “Still, the Dutch aren’t worried about flooding because they have a innovative system of dykes, dunes, canals and barrages to break the water. The elaborate system is maintained and coordinated by 26 so called ‘Waterschappen (water boards)’. They continually check the level of water and adjust by pumping out water to the higher canals and rivers that run to the sea.

    “The Dutch are already anticipating the rising of sea levels due to climate change. Many of the dykes and dunes have been enforced in recent years. This will continue in the coming years.”

    • I think it will be much tougher than they plan on it being. They may be willing to pay tech talent $150,000/yr. but they will be bidding against Goldman Sachs and dozens of hedge funds that pay twice as much. I think they are not going to be thrilled to be hostage to the NYC Subway system that is about one breakdown from total collapse. They are also going to discover what miseries the NYC airports are.

  23. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in ecology to look at a topographic map, look up the elevations of places, look up the local rate of relative sea level rise and tidal ranges and put all of that together.

    And yet no one ever does?

    Present company excepted.

  24. ‘Under the most extreme projections of sea level rise, the researchers find a 100% likelihood that Queens will witness coastal flooding by 2050, meaning many of its low-lying buildings will be submerged in water. Even under moderate projections, parts of the county — including major waterfront developments — could be flooded by 2080, much sooner than scientists originally anticipated.’

    The future isn’t what it used to be.

    So Amazon moves their headquarters in 2080. Why should I care? Why should THEY care?

  25. I get the feeling that Amazon consulted people who knew what they were talking about when carrying out their Climate Change Risk Assessment, rather than some schmo who thinks RCP8.5 is hopelessly understating potential warming.

  26. In your article David you don’t discuss that ever since Jason 3 has taken over as the primary data the sea level rise has dropped dramatically. It’s either just a funny case of out there coincidence that sea levels paused at that exact moment or there is an interesting story to be had … time will tell 🙂

  27. Two years ago this truck driver went into Long Island City to pick up 13 palates of frozen Chinese food. IMO there would be no loss if the place was submerged. Taking a full sized rig with sleeper pulling a 53′ trailer into the boroughs of NYC is never a fun task and becomes even less so when your passing block walled enclosures covered by gang signs that has razor wire coils on top.

    Two weeks ago they tried the send me deep into Queens again and I refused. Worked for this company for 11 years but told them if they didn’t like it I would clean the truck out when I got back. They quickly decided they didn’t really need to send me or any other driver in for that load and gave it back to the broker. There is a ton of freight out there and absolutely no reason to send us into the boroughs for our back hauls. Doing so is an unnecessary insurance and security risk. You want freight out of NYC then set up a drop lot outside the city and use local drivers driving day cabs to shuttle it in and out.

  28. No-one believes it. There is no-one acting like they believe it. Not business, not countries, not individuals. The ones who claim to be acting on what they believe, like California, turn out to be doing things which are a mixture of the ineffective and the actually damaging. According to what they claim to be their beliefs.

    Why they keep claiming to, and then doing the exact opposite of what their beliefs would logically lead them to do, its a complete mystery.

    Its like an overweight guy claiming to believe fat and sugar are the problem, claiming to be committed to losiing weight, tucking into Sara Lee cheesecake.

  29. The fix is on the way
    NASA warns long cold winter could hit space in months bringing record low temperatures
    That’s the warning from a scientist who fears sunspot activity on the surface of our star has dropped so low that record low temperatures could soon set in.

  30. David Middleton: “Anyone with at least one semester of basic physical geology or physical geography under their belt could do what I did in this post.”

    I actually had one semester of basic physical geography. That is why I don’t fall prey to everything claimed by climate alarmists.

  31. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in ecology to look at a topographic map, look up the elevations of places, look up the local rate of relative sea level rise and tidal ranges and put all of that together.

    But what to do the rest of the day.

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