Sinking Cities and Sea Level Rise

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen – 21 April 2022

The field of sea level rise, as a scientific enterprise, is rife with all of the elements that make claimed scientific results, as published, unreliable.  The most unfortunate thing is that these unreliable results are then taken as proven fact and translated into activist talking points and treated by policy makers as The Science, despite the tentative statements and caveats included in the original research reports.

The media is complicit, as always.  Activist journalists, with a predetermined narrative given to them by their Editors, latch unto every little study and sift it for bits that match the story they have been told to write.

Sidebar:  You may think this is conspiratorial thinking.  Let me quote an email newsletter I received earlier this week from Covering Climate Now, which gives marching orders to journalists for the week 11 April to 22 April 2022:

This Earth Day, Climate and Democracy Are Both in Trouble 

Since Paris, “the world seemed to have swerved sharply away from democracy and toward autocracy — and in the process dramatically limited our ability to fight the climate crisis.” So wrote Bill McKibben in a Guardian article on Monday launching Covering Climate Now’s latest joint reporting project, “Climate & Democracy.” 

From April 11 through Earth Day on April 22, CCNow partner outlets including the Guardian, The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, VICE, Now This, Al Jazeera, Times of India, Die Tageszeitung (taz), and The Daily Maverick [ and many many more – kh] will run stories exploring whether defusing the climate crisis requires also defusing the democracy crisis, and how that can be accomplished. “

Here the latest offering from Katherine Kornei writing in ScienceNews:

Coastal cities around the globe are sinking — The subsidence renders coastlines even more vulnerable to rising seas”. 

“Coastal cities around the globe are sinking by up to several centimeters per year, on average, satellite observations reveal. The one-two punch of subsiding land and rising seas means that these coastal regions are at greater risk for flooding than previously thought, researchers report in the April 16 Geophysical Research Letters.”

“By measuring the timing and intensity of those reflected waves, the team determined the height of the ground with millimeter accuracy. And because each satellite flies over the same part of the planet every 12 days, the researchers were able to trace how the ground deformed over time.”

“The largest subsidence rates — up to five centimeters per year —are mostly in Asian cities like Tianjin, China; Karachi, Pakistan; and Manila, Philippines, the team found. What’s more, one-third, or 33, of the analyzed cities are sinking in some places by more than a centimeter per year.”

It is valuable information for municipalities to know if they are over-extracting water (or petroleum, oil, etc) from beneath their cities causing serious subsidence issues.  Cities with 30 foot (10 meter) elevation above their local sea level need not worry about flooding due to subsidence – they need to worry about their low lying areas that are already too close to local sea level and liable to be flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges from the storms they experience today. Municipalities need to worry about their local Relative Sea Level changes – which represent combined absolute sea level change at their locality and the subsidence of the local landmass.  As you will see further on, many of the areas of the coastal cities studied are not on the shoreline, but inland away from the sea.

Some places have caused themselves quite serious situations due to water pumping from underneath cities.  Jakarta is one, I wrote about it here. I pointed out that of the six cities in the image below (from a different study), “Jakarta leads the pack having sunk over 3.5 meters (almost 12 feet) in the ten years between 1990 and 2000.”   Of course, it was only a particular part of Jakarta that had that much subsidence.  The sinking – subsidence – of Asian cities is nothing new.  It is not news. 

In the new study by Wei et al, they find that coastal cities around the globe are sinking by up to several centimeters per year, on average.  It would be nice to have science journalists who don’t fall into these knowledge black holes in which unrelated things can be averaged into a meaningful single number.  The statement is not even true for the example cities in the original study.  Here’s an example of what is being discussed in the paper:

Here we see Tampa, Florida, in two versions.  The one on the left is the mean velocity of Vertical Land Movement (VLM) according to the authors and on the right a Google Map satellite version.  I’ve moved the white squares representing water wellfields that extract underground water from the satellite to the VLM graphic as black squares and added a red square where the tide gauge for Tampa Bay is located. The red line that cross the northwestern portion of the bay is a causeway and is shown to be subsiding at about 5mm/yr,  or about the thickness of 3 U.S. 1 cent coins stacked or 2 Euro 50 cent coins.   We see that for Tampa/St. Petersberg (St Pete), the area to the north of the Bay is subsiding in the 4-6mm/yr band, but other areas to the East of the bay are rising and the southern tip of the St Pete peninsula is rising as well.  Looking at the area with Google Earth, we see that the areas that are subsiding are riddled with small pot-hole lakes, many of which will have been formed by sinkholes.   Extracting water from the porous rock underlying this area causes the surface to subside.   The area to the north and west of the causeway is Dunedin, which sits atop a rise some 80 feet above sea level.

SONEL  gives VLM for the St Pete/Tampa Bay tide gauge station (red box) at -0.5 to -1.8 mm/yr (depending on GPS solution used), which agrees in general with the study image.

And an “average” for Tampa/St Pete?  Who knows. There is nothing to meaningfully average.  For this one city, it does appear that there is subsidence which might be due to pumping of underground water reserves or it may be subsiding due to the general porous nature of the sub-surface rock of Florida.

So, the data from the study seems sound, there are areas of Tampa/St Pete that are subsiding at ~5 mm/yr.  This however is not and cannot be a “one-two punch of subsiding land and rising seas”. 

The sea level of concern to Tampa/St Pete is the Relative Sea Level measure by the tide gauge there.  It shows that the combination of rising sea and subsiding land at the tide gauge to be about 3 mm/yr – that’s the combined figure.  That actual real-world measurement is about what would be expected from the generally accepted global absolute sea level rise of 1.7/1.8 mm/yr and a 1 to 2 mm/yr subsidence at the tide gauge.  In a century that will add up to less than 1 foot of relative sea level rise. 

One of the authors of the study, Matt Wei, is quoted saying:  “We tried to balance population and geographic location,” he says. While subsidence has been measured in cities previously, earlier research has tended to focus on just one city or region. This investigation is different, Wei says. “It’s one of the first to really use data with global coverage.”

Of course, author’s admit:  “We measured subsidence rates in 99 coastal cities around the world between 2015 and 2020 using satellite data. Subsidence rates are highly variable within cities and from city to city.”    Well, they would have to be, as subsidence is entirely a local problem – local to sub-sections of cities.  Interestingly, they determined the risk of flooding based on:  “To estimate the areas where subsidence has the most immediate potential for increased risk of future flooding, we estimated the total area within each urban area that is elevated less than 10 m from sea level and subsiding faster than 2 mm/yr LOS (Figure 1b). The 2 mm/yr threshold is comparable to the rate of global mean sea level rise. We selected the 10-m elevation cutoff because flooding reached 9.1 m during the 2005 hurricane Katrina (Fritz et al., 2007) and the storm surge will continue to increase as sea level rises (Garner et al., 2017).”

The subsidence data in the study comes from the Sentinel series of satellites.  The latest Sentinel-6 – the most accurate – has a measurement uncertainty, according to its official specifications, has a “combined standard uncertainty is 3.46 cm [ 1.36 in ] for LR ALT-NRT products and 3.35 cm [ 1.32 in ]  for HR ALT-NRT products.”

[NRT = Near Real Time,   ALT = Altimetry,  LR =  Low Resolution,  HR = High resolution   Combined standard uncertainty should be notated as  +/- ]

“Wei and his team relied on observations made from 2015 to 2020 by a pair of European satellites. Instruments onboard beam microwave signals toward Earth and then record the waves that bounce back. By measuring the timing and intensity of those reflected waves, the team determined the height of the ground with millimeter accuracy.”  [ source ]   

The study authors, like many satellite sea level groups, claim that Sentinel series satellites can determine altitude (of the ground or sea surface) to millimeter accuracy.  That is likely not to be true according to the specs of the satellite system, quoted above.    However, combined with ground mounted GNSS stations, they could possibly get a trend of VLM in millimeters over five years.

Overall, the study, which is available in full here, is annoying to read and view.  All of the illustrations use bright red for alarming effect, and the color index changes from image to image, so that they cannot be compared easily – for instance, in some bright red is VLM of -10 mm year, in others -2 mm/yr. 

Bottom Lines:

1.  Some coastal cities have been found to have areas that are subsiding.  This is true of non-coastal cities as well. This was already know from other studies.  Rapidly growing mega-cities in less developed countries suffer greater subsidence problems from ground-water extraction from directly beneath these  large rapidly-growing cities.  While this was previously known, it is important for local governments and planning bodies to know and understand.

2.  None of these groundwater extraction subsidence problems have much, if any, thing to do with sea level rise.

3. Almost every waterfront  property in the world not lying on bedrock,  particularly ports with their docks and piers,  is subsiding at some rate as these are generally built at the confluence of rivers and the sea are situated on man-made filled land over the original shoreline.  This subsidence combines with absolute sea level rise (rising sea surface) to increase risks of flooding. 

4.  Even just the idea of averaging subsidence from unassociated, widely geographically separated cities makes me worry about how science is being done today. 

# # # # #

Author’s Comment:

In truth, the paper being discussed strikes me as a paper written for the sole purpose of “getting published”.  It is so full of key words meant to attract attention from journals:  Global, (alarm about) sea level, human activity…is likely the main cause, etc. all leading to an alarming sounding single number.

The authors have aggravated my sense of correctness by the idiotic non-scientific action of averaging disparate unrelated data – which is used to create a prime example of the One Number to Rule Them All Fallacy (the tendency to try to reduce complex issues into a single number).

Long-time readers will already know that I have written many times about cities being endangered by sea level rise (and many are) and that most of the threats of the sea are really caused by the already-low-lying land sinking.

Thanks for reading.

# # # # #

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April 21, 2022 10:11 am

More “news” unrelated to climate to support the CC narrative.

Bill Powers
Reply to  markl
April 23, 2022 12:11 pm

Warming and cooling. Hurricanes and tornados. Droughts and deluges. Meteors and Comets. Solar flares and radiation storms. Covid/Delta/Omnicron, Oh MY! Its a constant rat-a-tat-tat. Be afraid! Be very, very afraid.

And its all your fault if you don’t listen and obey. Big Brother is watching. Well they contracted out that last bit to Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. That way Obama, Biden can proclaim that it doesn’t stand in the way of your 1st Amendment rights.

Worry, stress, and anxiety will kill you faster and more completely then all the other boogiemen combined. And your greatest worry is being cancelled and losing your livelihood because some adolescent in their parents basement became offended on behalf of somebody they don’t even know.

April 21, 2022 10:12 am

“the world seemed to have swerved sharply away from democracy and toward autocracy — and in the process dramatically limited our ability to fight the climate crisis.”

Hmm, a problem of their own creation.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  co2isnotevil
April 21, 2022 8:56 pm

I found that one to be especially funny as it’s the climate Scientologists that are specifically demanding governments disregard democracy in order to fight “climate emergency”.

Rud Istvan
April 21, 2022 10:18 am

It never dawned on CCNow that subsidence cannot be fixed by renewables. Just put out the same old disproven sea level rise acceleration talking points instead.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 21, 2022 11:41 am

They could always capture emitted CO2 and use it to ‘inflate’ the areas of concern /sarc

Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 21, 2022 7:25 pm

Just pump sea water into the ground under the city. Add some sand. In Saskatchewan, we disposed of produced sand by pushing it down disposal wells at high pressure and ended up raising the ground elevation several feet at the disposal well locations. This caused some concern amongst regulatory types who then shut the project down…..

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 21, 2022 8:58 pm

Where was that exactly?
Assbackwardistan could use some more hills in some areas, to soften the nice “pool table” feature

Joao Martins
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 22, 2022 5:59 am

Does CCNow know what is “subsidence” and understand how it “works”?

(Rhetoric question: the verbs “to know” and “to understand” have been cancelled long ago…)

April 21, 2022 10:18 am

Or a city is sinking or the sealevel is rising, what are they talking about ?

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 21, 2022 2:07 pm

Jakarta, Indonesia, for example, is sinking because it was built on mud flats, river delta.

Robert of Texas
April 21, 2022 10:32 am

Let’s see…if subsidence/sea-rise averages 1 foot per century then when a building is replaced, we put another 10 feet of fill beneath it and are good for the next one thousand years. Wow that was hard to solve.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 21, 2022 12:13 pm

There are already cities built upon the first floors/basements of previous buildings. London and Rome come to mind. They aren’t exactly coastal cities, but examples of the fact we have already done this.

Reply to  Matt Kiro
April 21, 2022 12:33 pm

York Minster, where when the Normans re-built on the ancient Roman site, they thought the Romans must have laid down robust foundations centuries earlier (they hadn’t), then when the Christians re-built the joint again centuries later, they thought the Normans must have taken care of foundation works (they hadn’t either).

Reply to  Matt Kiro
April 21, 2022 2:25 pm

Venice, Italy

Reply to  Matt Kiro
April 21, 2022 2:59 pm

Don’t forget the castle that was mentioned in Monty Python’s holy grail epic. The first castle was built on a swamp, and that sank in the swamp. So a second one was built, and that one also sank into the swamp. The third one burned down, then fell over, and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And now it is the strongest castle in all of England.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  Wade
April 21, 2022 4:22 pm

I take it, it now has good fill below it, not by design but by accident.

George Daddis
Reply to  Matt Kiro
April 22, 2022 6:58 am

On a much smaller basis I was surprised to see how many (New) Jersey Shore homes have been raised a level since Tropical Storm Sandy.
Their value has thus significantly increased (bigger, updated home) and thus the alarmists will be able to point to the increase in $ value of damage after the next storm. (“See, it’s getting worse!”)

Reply to  Matt Kiro
April 23, 2022 11:25 am

Seattle is another. One of the fun tours in Seattle is the underground.

Reply to  ex-KaliforniaKook
April 23, 2022 1:07 pm

Another is Las Vegas. There they claim it is because of the extra moisture due to people watering their lawns, wastewater, etc. Two of those large casinos have had their first floors become basements.

michael hart
April 21, 2022 10:39 am

Cui bono?

There surely must be some property-derived financial assets that can be shorted just before these type of reports are released. The temptation to make some quick ill-gotten gains is probably more than a little irresistible in a market where the wealthy are showing no signs of heeding the continuing alarmist calls of doom.

It’s almost as if no one believes a word they say.

Jim Gorman
April 21, 2022 10:40 am

This is and has been a problem since the advent of computers and easy to use spreadsheet software. It makes scientists and engineers out of everyone. Put a few numbers in a column, highlite them into a statistical package and presto-chango you have a mean. Who cares about all that other garbage like standard deviation, kurtosis, or skewness? The average is the thing!

I’ve even seen it in baseball stats. A pitcher can throw a fastball, curve, and changeup with an average of 88 mph. Another only throws 4-seam and 2-seam fastballs and averages 95 mph. Some will bust the pitcher’s chops because he doesn’t average what the other guy does. None of the other stats matter by God, just the AVERAGE.

Jon Zig
Reply to  Jim Gorman
April 22, 2022 1:13 pm

I worked with SPC when it first reared it’s head in the US. There are more ways to message the data than one would believe. Statistics require honesty and some knowledge of standard deviation and the number of variables. For goodness sake, don’t tell them about the bell curve or sigma!

April 21, 2022 10:42 am

OT but makes my insignificant mind infinitely boggle
Elon Musk is set to take home a bonus worth more than $23bn (£17.6bn) after Tesla posted a massive jump in sales and profits, smashing Wall Street’s expectations despite supply chain problems.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 21, 2022 4:30 pm

Producing a product people want and employing people to build it is not funny money. It is real money, printing and giving it away without work or effort to get it, is funny money. All the housing for the homeless will not “fix” the homeless problem. Only way to reduce poverty is to have jobs that produce something of value and making sure people work to earn the money they live on. Handouts “fix” nothing they only create more people want and expecting handouts. From someone who once was poor but not stupid.

Jon Zig
Reply to  Mark A Luhman
April 22, 2022 1:50 pm

Some Truth! I’m wondering what the US is going to do when China decides to tell us to go pound sand, and we have no industrial base, no money and no educated and talented work force to rebuild the industries or fill the jobs. So much of our manufacturing capabilities have been lost, we will spend a century retooling, re-educating and relearning what should have NEVER been lost. We built our own trap and are about to be caught in it.

Reply to  Vuk
April 21, 2022 12:59 pm

Good for him …unlike pseudo scientists he actually produces things other than gloom and fear

Reply to  Vuk
April 21, 2022 2:00 pm

The bonus isn’t cash, it is mostly stock/options. He would have to sell it to get cash and the net net after taxes, though still enormous, is substantially less than $23B. Plus if he did sell it, the price would go down and he would get even less. Take his expected lifespan and divide it into what stock value he has, and like Gates, he can’t liquidate it fast enough if he wanted to.

Then when he dies, the Federal government will take 40% of what ever he has left. And as much as he has, the US government can print money even faster, so they will tax it away through inflation as time goes on.

Reply to  rbabcock
April 21, 2022 6:07 pm

That sounds like a problem for Elon Musk.

I wish I had his $23bn problem. I’m sure I could muddle through somehow.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Vuk
April 22, 2022 5:18 am

Tesla builds vehicles in China. Do they have supply chain issues?

April 21, 2022 10:44 am

This is much ado about nothing. Miami for example is going to flood from normal sea level rise (without any additional rise from global warming) in 125 years. With additional rise from warming it’s going to flood out in 100 years – either way it’s going to flood. Miami has enough time to do something about it if it chooses. Virtually all infrastructure in the USA will have been replaced in the normal way in 100 years anyway – so what exactly is the issue here?

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Terry
April 21, 2022 11:04 am

The issue is that these people are pretty sure the sea level rise and flooding is so sneaky, being that it is imperceptibly slow, that someday they arrive at the breakfast table to find that their feet get wet.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  Kevin kilty
April 21, 2022 4:37 pm

My guess said people doing the report would stand there and wait for their feet to get wet. After all fate has nothing to do with what you do, the future after all is predetermined. The stupidity of these people is enormous, now if they would do the work and furnish specific as to where on a fine scale, that would be helpful. Of course, people like the author already knew of the problem and what areas of specific cites this is happening.

paul courtney
April 21, 2022 10:46 am

I finally get it- to address the subsidence/rise problem, you stop emitting CO2. How could I not see this??

Reply to  paul courtney
April 21, 2022 11:14 am

Keep emitting CO2… Capture it and inject it under sinking cities until they stop sinking and start rising… Problem solved… 😉

Gunga Din
Reply to  David Middleton
April 21, 2022 11:38 am

Or grind up all those windmill blades that can’t be recycled and inject them!

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  Gunga Din
April 21, 2022 4:53 pm

Windmill blades glass and resin. The glass is stable, although small size of the particles may allow them to migrate if they get free of the resin. I have not seen anything on that. The resin might not be based on life experience. My father had an old cedar strip boat the hull had been cover with fiber glass. The boat was replaced with an aluminum boat, and it sat for years in a grove by the house. The Minesota weather took its toll, the cedar went first and the fiberglass last but, in the end, it was all gone by the time I was an adult.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 21, 2022 11:49 am

inject it under sinking cities until they stop sinking and start rising…

Add Baking Soda??????

When I want something to rise, this is how I do it.

(I know, I know, there may be a Dean Wormer moment in my near future.)

Reply to  David Middleton
April 21, 2022 11:51 am

Well, CO2 does make bread rise, so it out to work for cities too. 🙂

Mike McMillan
Reply to  RicDre
April 21, 2022 4:44 pm

No, CO2 is heavier than air, so the cities would sink faster. Need to inject helium.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
April 22, 2022 4:50 am

No, let’s use hydrogen…there’s going to be lots of that around the world soon we’re constantly being told. Added benefit is it should stop them smoking!

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Alastair Brickell
April 22, 2022 5:25 am

But it would have to be green hydrogen.

paul courtney
Reply to  David Middleton
April 21, 2022 12:50 pm

Mr. M: You’ve been very nice to a certain bob lately, are you trying to make his big oil gush?!

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  David Middleton
April 21, 2022 4:43 pm

In a lot of places, even Mesa Arizona where I live the problem with the land sinking. The problem is already carbon storage, it tends to dissolve in water and run away. If you have not figured it out by now and David, I am certain you have, that carbon storage system is an old one, called limestone. I still like you comment after all we have to feed the trolls once and a while.

Reply to  Mark A Luhman
April 21, 2022 6:17 pm

The solution is obvious. Open a soft drink bottling plant in Mesa AZ.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Mark A Luhman
April 22, 2022 3:24 pm

Water + CO2 + Limestone = Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. (Plus water that makes great bourbon!)

April 21, 2022 10:54 am

The number of all humans who have ever lived vs. the number who are alive now says that the average human is dead. Which would be just as meaningful as the averages tossed about in the posted analysis of sea level changes.

As to Tampa, having lived there for many years in the past and having family there now, none of the areas experiencing coastal subsidence, such as they may be, are not due to groundwater or oil withdrawals. There is no oil production in the Tampa Bay area, and most of the groundwater withdrawals are located in major regional wellfields many miles from the coast, well north of Tampa Bay.

As for sat measurements of ground elevations, they are simply vastly too imprecise to measure changes in the 1-3 mm per year range when the measurement accuracy of individual sat elevation measurements is more than an order of magnitude larger than the claimed change.

To make reliable measurements of a rate of change with a magnitude of 1-3 mm per year, the measurement device must be capable of accuracy (plus or minus) significantly LESS than the measured change, at least an order of magnitude more accurate (i.e. 0.1 to 0.3 mm/yr). That is vastly more accurate than any land survey system that has ever been invented and used for actual mapping purposes. You can’t do a land survey with a micrometer.

The US national standard for vertical accuracy of legal professional land surveys (NAVD 88) for most survey work is plus or minus 5 cm, as measured with precision ground based survey instruments, not remote satellite measurements. For survey work that requires greater accuracy, there are various “orders” and “classes”, using specialized equipment, that may be as little as 1 to 2 cm accuracy. As stated above, claimed (proven with what?) accuracy of sat measurements is plus or minus 3.46 cm.

Anyone who claims that a sat with an accuracy of plus or minus 3.46 cm can accurately measure changes in land elevation of 1 to 3 mm is blowing smoke up someone’s ass.

April 21, 2022 10:54 am

Yes, cities built along the majority of coastline worldwide are sinking, sea level is not rising fast enough to be of any consequence, land subsidence is of consequence. Period. Full Stop.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 21, 2022 3:30 pm

Yep, build a modern metropolis on swamp land and sand bars and this will happen. When visited there in early ’70s my grandfather explained to us what was going to happen, and here we are. We stayed at his brother’s place in Stiltsville and fished every day.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  2hotel9
April 21, 2022 4:58 pm

There are a lot of places build on sand bars and delta, and like all sand bars and deltas they change with time and some of those changes can be abrupt. The functioning/educated morons of the world fail to understand this.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 21, 2022 5:30 pm

Miami has always been barely above sea level, at least since the Holocene was underway. Indeed the most famous part of Miami, Miami Beach, was below sea level a century ago. Most of Miami Beach was created by dredging Biscayne Bay to create the port of Miami and the Intracoastal Waterway in the early decades of the 20th century … the rest of Miami, on the west side of Biscayne Bay and east of the so called “coastal ridge”, being less than 6 feet above MSL.

In Miami it’s flood prone not because of recent sea level rise, but because much of it has for the last 10,000 years been barely above sea level.

Kevin kilty
April 21, 2022 10:57 am

Gee whiz, Kip. A climate crisis, a democracy crisis, and now a crustal/coastal crisis.

What I see is a critical-thinking crisis. No one can actually see a climate crisis. The demise of the polar ice caps is some nine years overdue. Temperature rise, even if we assume what the climate crisis confederacy claims is true, is far too small for the ordinary person to notice. There are droughts occurring in many places, but there is no evidence that these are out of the ordinary. Nor are any other alleged climate trends.

The democracy crisis is that we, the U.S.A., are not a democracy, but rather a constitutional republic which is in danger of being dismantled by the largest (allegedly again) of our political parties and turned into an incompetent “democracy” where the outcomes of elections are known in advance and nothing works very well.

Keep up the good fight.

Reply to  Kevin kilty
April 21, 2022 12:49 pm

I experienced an extreme climate crisis many years ago.

Tapped to crew on a 38′ ketch sailing out of Bay of Islands in NZ’s north islands in the middle of a hot February, I was ordered to travel light – just one carry-on bag.

I swear I had hypothermia after my first watch, and things just deteriorated from there.

Main problem was – most of the rounded-up crew were in the same boat (pardon pun) when it came to warm attire.

Skipper had read & seen Caine Mutiny, so he knew he needed to pull into the next port so the crew could raid a clothing store.

Forecast was for ~ 25C all week. Lucky if we got half that.

April 21, 2022 11:05 am

When ever I fight something, I open my wallet and throw money at my opponent.

It’s such a successful strategy. So far I’ve cured cancer and ended starvation. I’m positive that with just a few more hundred of trillions we can change the weather to stop ice from melting too.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Doonman
April 21, 2022 9:07 pm

You haven’t stopped me, I dare you to try.

50s and 100s only please.

April 21, 2022 11:27 am

As many point out here, there will be no flooding. Construction will simply move inland. There will never be any flooding.

April 21, 2022 11:27 am

“The one-two punch of subsiding land and rising seas means that…”

… it’s worse than they thought. What isn’t? Who is John Galt?

Today’s scare was brought to you courtesy of insectaggedon and sea level rise and the ever helpful Media.

Ben Vorlich
April 21, 2022 11:55 am

If there have been 6 Sentinal Satellites measuring sea level how are the changes of one to the next handled and how was the first calibrated against other measurements.

The researchers involved in this sort of stuff never seem to compare new to old and account for any differences. There always are differences as measuring equipment and techniques have differences. Without calibrating we’re comparing oranges and potatoes

April 21, 2022 12:06 pm

We are all familiar with the Arctic Ice predictions which would end in disaster for us all.
When the dust settled, we all saw that the only disaster was the predictions themselves and how wretchedly wrong they were.

Here we have the SLR equivalent. Several years back the disaster-de-jour was a horrible Sea Level Rise of 10 feet by 2100. This claim was trumpeted by such scientific luminaries as Scientific American, National Geographic and the Public Broadcasting System.
As I later studied SLR for Boston and it’s long running tide gauge, it was convenient to consider the DOOM of 10 ft of SLR in 80 years.

I made a plot, actual data is Boston SLR from the tide gauge. The 10 foot claim is presented for both the constant rate case and the constant acceleration case. Later on, the new purported cause of the unprecedented SLR was added for your amusement.

I present the graph for your consideration, such you may judge how plausible the 10 ft. by 2100 claim really is.

(As usual, click to embiggen)

Matt Kiro
Reply to  TonyL
April 21, 2022 12:26 pm

Having been to Boston hundreds of times, even though the sea level has risen by nearly a foot in the last one hundred years, it has amazingly kept filling in with landfill and is in no danger of disappearing into the Atlantic. You can go visit all the Revolutionary war sites and they are all still there, dry and safe.
Of course there are storm surges, but Boston just went 30 years between hurricanes. I think it will be alright.

Tom Gasloli
April 21, 2022 12:11 pm

The problem if sinking cities & rising sea level is so bad that our elites rush to purchase beach front properties before they disappear. 😁

Frank from NoVA
April 21, 2022 12:26 pm

Nowhere in these alarmist articles on sea level rise is it ever mentioned that water seeks its own level. Hence it is impossible for there to be ‘unprecedented’ absolute sea level rise in some locations but not others.

Matt Kiro
April 21, 2022 12:27 pm

Didn’t all those Asian cities have massive population growth? The weight of all the buildings must have had an effect on subsidence.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Matt Kiro
April 21, 2022 12:59 pm

Not to mention the weight of the people, cars, and pavement.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 21, 2022 8:06 pm

That’s right – we almost lost Guam under weight of all the soldiers we deployed there! (/s)

son of mulder
April 21, 2022 1:22 pm

As sealevel has risen by 400 feet since the last iceage does this extra weight of water cause the sea bed to sink and drag down the coastlines with it and is there a corresponding rise in land height inland particularly where that land was once covered in many feet of ice during the iceage? But also where there wasn’t inland ice but not to the same extent.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  son of mulder
April 21, 2022 9:12 pm

The weight of the sea pulls down the coasts and the center rises, like bending a blade
Eventually all the stuff in the center of Australia will tip over and slide into the ocean on either side.

And you probably thought it couldn’t get any worse.

Gordon A. Dressler
April 21, 2022 1:45 pm

According to the above article, first you have this simple quote given by Katherine Kornei writing in ScienceNews:
“Wei and his team relied on observations made mostly from 2015 to 2020 by a pair of European satellites. Instruments onboard beam microwave signals toward Earth and then record the waves that bounce back. By measuring the timing and intensity of those reflected waves, the team determined the height of the ground with millimeter accuracy.”

It’s not just “timing and intensity” . . . left unmentioned are the numerous corrections that have to applied to radar altimetry of land from orbiting satellites, such as:
— Temporal geophysical correction. Corrections for solid earth variations due to the attraction of the Sun and Moon. Calculated by models. Order of magnitude: 50 cm.
— Ionosphere propagation correction for the path delay in the radar return signal due to the atmosphere’s electron content. Calculated by combining radar altimeter measurements acquired at two separate frequencies (C-band and Ku-band for Topex and Jason-1, Ku-band and S-band for Envisat). Order of magnitude: 0 to 50 cm.
— Wet troposphere propagation correction. Correction for the path delay in the radar return signal due to cloud liquid water and water vapour in the atmosphere. Calculated from radiometer measurements and/or meteorological models. Order of magnitude: 0 to 50 cm.
— Dry troposphere propagation correction. Correction for the path delay in the radar return signal due to dry gases in the atmosphere. Calculated from meteorological models. Order of magnitude: 2.3 m.
— Inverse barometer surface correction for variations in sea surface height due to atmospheric pressure variations (atmospheric loading). Calculated from meteorological models. Order of magnitude: about 15 cm, depending on atmospheric pressure.

(source of above-noted, necessary radar altimetry corrections with my added underlining emphasis: )

Note the multiple corrections that need to be applied to the radar waves over the round-tip path, each one of order-of-magnitude of tens of centimeters or higher.

And below Ms. Kornei’s quote, Kip Hansen, author of the above article, rightfully points out:
“The study authors, like many satellite sea level groups, claim that Sentinel series satellites can determine altitude (of the ground or sea surface) to millimeter accuracy. That is likely not to be true according to the specs of the satellite system, quoted above.  However, combined with ground mounted GNSS stations, they could possibly get a trend of VLM in millimeters over five years.” Again, my underlining emphasis added.

I can accept an assertion of millimeter-level precision in a trend line (after all, that’s what unlimited insignificant digits and decimal places can be used for, wink-wink), but I’ll assert there is absolutely no possibility of obtaining millimeter accuracy in a trend line, let alone in individual measurements, using the best radar altimetry instruments being carried aboard satellites today.

Perhaps Ms. Kornei does not know the difference between precision and accuracy?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 22, 2022 12:30 am

So, is that a viable excuse for what she writes with her name as attribution?

Curious George
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 21, 2022 5:32 pm

Are ocean waves really smaller than 1 millimeter?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Curious George
April 22, 2022 12:41 am

I have no idea why you are asking me that question. The issue discussed in my OP above referenced Ms. Kornei’s statements about determining the “height of the ground” to millimeter accuracy. Please reread my OP.

Nevertheless, yes, I do believe an assumed Gaussian distribution of wave heights, centered around given peak height at any given time and place on any liquid ocean surface anywhere on Earth, does admit the possibility of some wave heights smaller than 1 millimeter.

Otherwise, please prove me wrong.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 22, 2022 8:05 am

Ooops, mea culpa. I poorly worded my sentence related to an assumed Guassian distribution of wave heights.

It is correctly stated as: “. . .an assumed Gaussian distribution of wave heights, centered on the mean (most frequent) peak height at any given time and place on any liquid ocean . . .”

April 21, 2022 2:10 pm

Mathew 7.24

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

The Dark Lord
April 21, 2022 2:26 pm

only a truly gifted academic can drown in 5 mm of water …

Reply to  The Dark Lord
April 21, 2022 4:02 pm

To escape the oncoming flood, they would have to run the 100 yard dash in, say, 150 years.

W. Stone
April 21, 2022 2:29 pm

If pumping (water, oil) causes subsidence of the land, thus lowering elevation, perhaps pumping more oil offshore will lower the seabed elevation and thus inhibit/reduce sea level rise? Might that cause more cognitive dissonance amongst climate cultists?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  W. Stone
April 21, 2022 4:06 pm

Hmmm . . . volume of offshore-source oil pumped out by humanity over, say, last 50 years compared to volume of world’s oceans . . . um, where is my calculator . . . oh, wait, I don’t believe I need it after all . . .

April 21, 2022 4:15 pm

Can you remember a few decades ago when Mexico City was sinking and major public works pumping concrete into the voids below stopped or slowed the sinking problem.

And Venice, Italy sinking as timber piles go down, and many other examples of natural disasters from building on soft and wet ground.

April 21, 2022 4:17 pm

And the Pacific Islands story, climate change causing islands to sink but long term research by a New Zealand University has recorded the opposite taking place.

April 21, 2022 6:14 pm

Since Paris, “the world seemed to have swerved sharply away from democracy and toward autocracy — and in the process dramatically limited our ability to fight the climate crisis.” So wrote Bill McKibben in a Guardian article on Monday launching Covering Climate Now’s latest joint reporting project, “Climate & Democracy.”

So, sayeth communist McKibben who believes China’s autocracy is best for forcing reactions to their versions of climate change..

April 22, 2022 1:02 am

And I still don’t see any bargain basement prices on sea side property in said cities. Money talks and BS walks off into the mountainous and ever growing dump of climate disaster papers.

April 22, 2022 4:48 am

Liverpool sort of has the opposite problem: when, years ago, Tate & Lyle closed their sugar factory they stopped pumping groundwater out of the wells they’d sunk. Years later, the water-table has risen and there’s now problems keeping the water out of the underground railway tunnels. At some stations you can see it flowing between the rails! Higher water levels but nothing to do with climate-change…

Dave Andrews
Reply to  atticman
April 22, 2022 8:55 am

Yes. And the Mersey Estuary has a tidal range of up to 9 metres so the city is obviously inundated on a daily basis 🙂

April 22, 2022 5:49 am

My understanding is that, according to some climate alarmists, the autocratic system of government in China is much better-placed to introduce the measures necessary to combat the climate “emergency” than are democratic countries. So how has swerving “sharply away from democracy and toward autocracy limited our ability to fight the climate crisis” as far as these people are concerned?

April 22, 2022 7:06 am

Many are probably unaware that California experienced comparable land subsidence from groundwater extraction in the 1950s and 60s. San Jose sank 8 ft. Places in the San Joaquin Valley sank more than 20 ft. The State Water projects of the 60s and 70s routed mountain water to replace groundwater use and to replenish groundwater reservoirs, effectively ceasing the land subsidence.

Jon Zig
April 22, 2022 12:57 pm

i read these alarmists and it’s always the same, “the sky is falling and the oceans are rising” Eeeeeeeeeee! If this is true, then we are done as a species. Why you may ask, are all the most well healed and smartest among us, continuing to buy ocean front properties? Maybe it’s Ins. fraud premeditated? Or maybe they have so much money they don’t care if it gets washed out to sea? Or, maybe they are just liars and don’t want any common folk moving to the beaches? Regardless, just like “climate change” the oceans and their rise and falls are not unusual events. They don’t predict anything significant but they are always changing. That’s why we see towns and cities under water in some places and far from the water in others. Even if these know it alls watched the science and history channels, they would be twice as smart. That’s a start but they would still be just a little smarter than a stack of wood.

April 22, 2022 8:14 pm

Regarding the claim that the Wei et al study says “Coastal cities around the globe are sinking by up to several centimeters per year, on average, satellite observations reveal.”: I ask for a link to a significant MSM article mentioning such a tall claim. The taller claims that I have seen in the MSM, that I pay substantial attention to, are less than 1 centimeter per year. Until this WUWT article, I have seen the argument (including both MSM and WUWT) being about how many (mostly around or less than 4, mostly 3.something) or how few (around or less than 2) mm per year sea level has been rising.

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