3 thoughts on “Sea Level Rise Study

  1. It’s not a question of the data but the spin. The article implies that the very high projected SLRs are all climate-induced. My point is that they’re not. Policies based on the assumption that “fixing” climate change will stop the SLRs are doomed to fail at least to some extent for those cities with significant subsidence. The mass of their buildings and physical infrastructures crushing the land beneath them has nothing to do with climate change.

  2. This article is deceptive. The absolute rate of sea level rise is about 1 inch every 8 years (~3 mm/yr). This is the increase in the ocean level due to increasing mass of water and its expansion due to rising temperatures. The absolute rate of SLR may or may not be increasing (The data is far from clear.). However, coastal flooding reflects the relative rate of SLR – the change in the level of the ocean vs the level of the land. The report quoted here posits a rate 3X that of absolute SLR. To me, that implies that 8 of the 12 inches is due to subsidence of the land and has nothing to do with climate. And we know that for NOLA, Norfolk, Miami and many other coastal cities, this is indeed the case.

    Why is this important? We’re going to have to deal with this one way or another. The policies we choose to deal with SLR also have profound impacts on other aspects of our lives. We can spend trillions on policies eliminating fossil fuels. The net impact is lots more poverty, and an apparent SLR of 8 instead of 12 inches for coastal cities. Or, we can spend billions on mitigation of the entire SLR (and then some), with a potential reduction in poverty. I find the latter much more appealing.

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