Sunday, July 25, 2021

Moon Woobles, Chesapeake Faces "Climate Wreckage"

 First, from Sauron's Eye, NASA: Moon "wobble" in orbit may lead to record flooding on Earth

The new study from NASA and the University of Hawaii, published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change, warns that upcoming changes in the moon's orbit could lead to record flooding on Earth in the next decade.

Through mapping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) sea-level rise scenarios, flooding thresholds and astronomical cycles, researchers found flooding in American coastal cities could be several multiples worse in the 2030s, when the next moon "wobble" is expected to begin. They expect the flooding to significantly damage infrastructure and displace communities.

While the study highlights the dire situation facing coastal cities, the lunar wobble is actually a natural occurrence, first reported in 1728. The moon's orbit is responsible for periods of both higher and lower tides about every 18.6 years, and they aren't dangerous in their own right.

"In half of the Moon's 18.6-year cycle, Earth's regular daily tides are suppressed: High tides are lower than normal, and low tides are higher than normal," NASA explains. "In the other half of the cycle, tides are amplified: High tides get higher, and low tides get lower. Global sea-level rise pushes high tides in only one direction – higher. So half of the 18.6-year lunar cycle counteracts the effect of sea-level rise on high tides, and the other half increases the effect."

But this time around, scientists are more concerned. With sea-level rise due to climate change, the next high tide floods are expected to be more intense and more frequent than ever before, exacerbating already grim predictions.

So, we're going from normal to normal? Scary, indeed! Here in the Bay, with about 3 mm of sea level rise annually (between true sea level rise and settlement), that makes the water level about 58 mm, or 2.5 inches higher than the last time this happened. Hardly a catastrophe, although, if your property is low to the water, you might see instances of increased flooding. I look forward to looking for fossils with a slightly higher tidal range, though.

Next,  E&E News  Climate wreckage along Chesapeake fuels courtroom reckoning "Climate Wreckage"? Nothing alarmist about that headline, is there?

Foster, 63, has lived here on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay for nearly four decades. But he hasn’t shaken a sense of foreboding since 2003, when Hurricane Isabel slammed into the East Coast as a tropical storm, flooding his entire neighborhood.

The storm surge destroyed about 30 homes in Shady Side. Foster’s next door neighbor had her house excavated with a bulldozer after water caused the floor to collapse. Foster and his family went without power for a week and without running water for months because of damage to public wells.

“I certainly worry about the next hurricane. It’s not if, but when,” Foster said in a recent interview with E&E News in his front yard, which overlooks the bay. “Certainly the right trajectory would cause us some grief.”

Flag Harbor after Hurricane Isabel
Yep, Hurricane Isabel has a strong storm surge in the bay, particularly in the upper bay, where it "funneled up and concentrated at Annapolis and Baltimore. We had low houses flooded here too. 

Like Foster, state and local officials in Maryland are worried about the cost of protecting their communities against more severe storms and other natural disasters fueled by climate change. And they’re launching courtroom battles to force fossil fuel companies to foot the bill.

A growing body of research shows that climate change is making hurricanes stronger and more destructive. As humans continue to release more planet-warming greenhouse gases, the ocean is heating up. Warmer oceans hold more moisture, providing more energy for tropical storms as they move over land.

Actually, science shows no such thing. No significant change in hurricane and tropical storm number or intensity, although there are periods of higher and lower activity due to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).

Hurricanes are just the most dramatic sign of human-caused global warming here on the Chesapeake Bay. Sea levels are also creeping upward by approximately 1 inch every five years — nearly twice the global average rate.

with the difference being caused by settling and water usage. 

For state and local governments in Maryland, addressing these climate impacts will cost millions of dollars. Anne Arundel County, which includes Shady Side and the state capital of Annapolis, expects to spend at least $237 million to elevate public roads and replace drainage pipes threatened by sea-level rise, flooding and storm surge.

To help fund these efforts, local officials are pursuing legal action against a major source of planet-warming emissions: Big Oil.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, a Democrat, sued more than two dozen oil and gas companies earlier this year over their contribution to — and alleged deception about — the dangers of rising global temperatures (Greenwire, April 27).

The lawsuit asserts that Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and other oil supermajors misled the public for decades about the environmental risks of burning fossil fuels. It asks the companies to help fund climate adaptation projects to shield the county’s 530 miles of shoreline from rising seas and stronger storms.

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, another Democrat, launched a similar legal challenge in February. His complaint notes that the city expects to spend at least $56 million on protecting the historic downtown area from flooding, as well as at least $45 million on constructing 4 miles of sea wall by 2040.

These are bullshit, money grasping lawsuits, designed mainly to shake down fossil fuel companies too afraid to fight the bad science in court, and face the wrath of public opinion. 

With nearly a 100 year record, sea level rise at Annapolis is roughly 3.7 mm per year, with no sign of acceleration due to increasing fossil fuel use.

No comments:

Post a Comment