Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
The Orange County Register ran a story hyping the usual speculative climate alarmist propaganda claim that sea level rise “could wipe out beaches”, jeopardize “90 beach front homes” and “threaten” the railroad and pier in the city of San Clemente.
“Sea-level rise in San Clemente will threaten portions of the seaside railroad, increase the pier’s exposure to high surf, radically shrink beach size, hurt surfing quality and eventually erode bluffs that are topped with homes, according to a vulnerability assessment presented to the City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Like most coastal cities in Orange and Los Angeles counties, San Clemente is analyzing the threats of rising seas and beginning to develop strategies for dealing with increased flooding and erosion.
While significant changes to San Clemente’s beaches could occur by 2030, time projections for sea-level rise are imprecise and it could be 2100 before the railroad is seriously threatened, according to the study by Moffatt & Nichol, an engineering and infrastructure firm consulting a number of coastal cities on sea-level rise.
On the other hand, the critical height for jeopardizing the railroad — estimated at 3.3 feet of sea-level rise — could happen as soon as 2070, the study notes. Major alterations would need to be in place by the time of 4.9 feet of rise, which the report said could happen as soon as 2080.”
These usual dire and hyped coastal sea level rise claims are based upon calculated output that arise from unvalidated “computer models” that are supposed to help city officials evaluate future coastal protection actions.
Front and center in the consultant report used to support the hyped “computer model” sea level rise manufactured outcomes is the following disclaimer that clearly demonstrate the high level of speculation and conjecture behind such “estimates”:
“It is understood that estimating and projecting future weather, tidal, ocean and on-shore conditions and their impacts upon existing or contemplated developments or resources is difficult, complex and based on variable assumptions, and further, is impacted by factors potentially beyond the Consultant’s ability to predict or control. Accordingly, any estimates, forecasts reviews or assessments provided as part of the Services are presented solely on the basis of the assumptions accompanying the estimates, forecasts, reviews and assessments, and subject to the information or data utilized at the time of this project.”
The consultant report does not provide explicit and available NOAA tide gauge data as noted below showing that the actual measured rate of coastal sea level rise at the closest regional location which is La Jolla is just 8.5 inches per century with that rate having remained consistent for the last 95 years.
Nor does the consultant report provide any information showing that climate alarmist claims of accelerating sea level rise have been on going since Congressional hearings took place in 1988 and that after more than 30 years these claims are not supported by actually measured tide gauge data as provided in a prior WUWT article noted below.
“NOAA has updated its coastal tide gauge measurement data through year 2018 with this update now providing 30 years of actual data since the infamous 1988 Senate hearings that launched the U.S. climate alarmist political propaganda campaign.
In June of 1988 testimony was provided before Congress by various scientists, including NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, claiming that man made greenhouse gas emissions were responsible for increasing global temperatures with the New York Times reporting, “Global Warming Has Begun, Experts Tells Senate”.
The Times article noted that “The rise in global temperature is predicted to cause a thermal expansion of the oceans and to melt glaciers and polar ice, thus causing sea levels to rise by one to four feet by the middle of the next century. Scientists have already detected a slight rise in sea levels.”
“In all more than 200 coastal locations are included in these measurements with more than 100 of these coastal locations with recorded data periods in excess of 50 years in duration. None of these updated NOAA tide gauge measurement data records show coastal location sea level rise acceleration occurring anywhere on the U.S. coasts or Pacific or Atlantic island groups.”
Climate scientist Dr. Judith Curry has studied claims of sea level rise acceleration for years and concluded the following concerning such assertions:
“Sea level is rising, but this has been gradually happening since the 1860s; we don’t yet observe any significant acceleration of this process in our time.” Here again, one must consider the possibility that the causes for rising sea levels are partly or mostly natural, which isn’t surprising, says Curry, for “climate change is a complex and poorly understood phenomenon, with so many processes involved.”
“Climatology is becoming an increasingly dubious science, serving a political project,” she complains. In other words, “the policy cart is leading the scientific horse.”
The longest available record of coastal NOAA tide gauge data measurements is at The Battery in New York shown below with measurements covering a period of more than 160 years of data indicating no sea level rise acceleration occurring with a consistent rate of rise of about 11 inches per century.
This latest climate alarmist sea level rise article from the Register is basically a repeat of the same type of alarmist article that ran on April 24, 2016 falsely claiming that a sea level rise of 3 feet could occur by year 2100 with that article addressed at WUWT and concluding:
“The NOAA tide gauge data for these locations which covers time periods from more than 80 to over 100 years ago through 2015 data measurements shows that there is no sea level rise acceleration taking place at these locations and that the rate of sea level rise is stable and between 3 to 9 inches per century at these locations not the 3 feet proclaimed in the alarmist article. This NOAA tide gauge data should have been discussed and presented in these Register articles.”
“These stories based their sea level rise information on the “National Climate Assessment” report and incorrectly applied the mid range scenario to Long Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. Additionally the articles failed to make any mention of the huge qualifications and limitations of the National Assessment reports global sea level rise scenarios.”
The recent sea level rise hyped Register article is just more of the same scientifically unsupported climate alarmist sea level rise propaganda.