Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Temporary, Natural Sea Level Rise and Global Warming Alarmism Don’t Mix

A two-year sea level rise along the North American coast stretching from the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States up to Newfoundland has been called an “extreme event.” As Tim Darragh, NJ Advance Media for reports:

[A] new study published this week shows that sea levels along the east coast jumped up to four inches and stayed that way for two years in 2009-2010.

To ocean-watchers, the rise in sea levels, particularly from Newfoundland to New York, constituted an "extreme sea level rise event," according to Paul Goddard, a geosciences doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona and lead author of the paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

Statistical analysis suggests how extreme the sea level rise was: a 1-in-850 year event, the study said. It is "unprecedented during the past century," he said.

Darragh reports that . . .

The one bit of good news is that the forces driving the change are not permanent, said [coastal specialist Jon] Miller, who was not on the research team. “It goes up, but it does come down,” he said.

The causes behind this water level rise involve ocean circulation and the atmosphere, the study says. Specifically, the study said a circulation pattern known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation showed a marked decline in strength at that time.

While this was happening, a second phenomenon was occurring. A climate pattern called the North American Oscillation took shape such that winds would push water onto the northeast coast, the study said.

So the sea level rise is a natural, recurring—albeit rare—phenomena. But that didn’t stop the “experts” quoted in the article from dragging man-made global warming into the equation. As Darragh reports:

The findings in the report do nothing to diminish the impact global warming is having on coastal communities, Goddard said. If anything, the study says extreme sea level events may be linked to "human-induced climate change" and may worsen the impact of major storms.

Adding melting Artic (sic) and Antarctic ice will likely add to a future of higher sea levels along the North American coast, especially the northeast, the study said.

"For the 21st century, modeling results suggest that the increase in the greenhouse gas concentrations is likely to cause more extreme sea level rise events ... along this densely populated coast," it says. "Once coastal storms compound high sea levels, more damages will result."

Of course, it’s all supposition. Antarctic ice is growing, not shrinking. And melting Arctic sea ice woukd tend to lower sea levels, because liquid water takes up less space than frozen water. The rest has nothing to do with what’s actually happening. It’s all about what might happen, based on “modeling.” That’s why mushy words like “may,” “suggest,” and “likely” are used.

Catastrophic climate change predictions have been completely wrong for decades. But that doesn’t stop the climate ideologues from demanding a statist political agenda to deal with a threat of catastrophe for which it has no evidence.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger is guilty of employing this non sequitur. In Sea levels are rising. How much longer will Christie ignore it?, the Star-Ledger makes a sensible case for adjusting building standards to adapt to rising sea levels, specifically calling for elevating structures. But then:

New Jersey seems to have learned very little from [Superstorm] Sandy. Do we really want the Jersey Shore to end up like Miami? The city is literally drowning because it is run by Republicans who refuse to act on climate change. It is immersed in new construction and oblivious to scientific warnings.

Who does that sound like? [N.J. Governor Chris] Christie.

Consider this recent episode a harbinger -- and by the time we pay the price for our government's climate denial, Christie will be long gone.

“Act on climate change” means adopting the Left’s statist “solution” to climate change. “Climate denial” means objecting to the Left’s statism.

I left these comments:

It makes perfect sense, in principle if not in method suggested here, to adapt building standards to take into account sea level rise. But opposing the Left’s statist “solution” to climate change—such as a carbon tax, a cap-and-trade system, more subsidies (corporate welfare) for clean energy, government-forced conservation, and general hostility to fossil fuels—does not make one a “climate denier.” It makes one a common sense proponent of liberty and prosperity.

All around the world, people’s lives are getting easier and more prosperous, with better access to clean water, food, sanitation, increasing life expectancies, modern transportation and healthcare, a cleaner living environment, electrification, and dramatically lower susceptibility to extreme weather dangers—all 87% powered by fossil fuel energy. If the current modest level of climate change is the “price” of a better life for Earth’s billions of people—if it even is a price—then so be it.

Climate change, to the extent it is caused by human activity, is a global phenomenon and a side effect of rising world-wide energy-fueled industrial prosperity. To saddle New Jerseyans with higher energy prices and/or more energy regulations in a vain and delusional quest to “do something” about global climate change is absolutely senseless and immoral—especially since adapting to changing climate conditions requires large amounts of affordable, reliable energy to accomplish.

Acknowledge climate change? Yes. Acknowledge that industrial prosperity contributes to climate change? Yes. Adapt to climate change? Yes. Leave the energy market free and open, without government interference, to innovative “clean energy” technologies? Absolutely. More taxes, subsidies, regulations, and generally more government power over our lives? No way!

Related Reading:

Global Warming Brings 'Record' U.S. Crop Yields

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