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Earth United States Science

NC Planners May Be Barred From Using Speculative Sea Level Rise Predictions 419

ideonexus writes "Republicans in North Carolina are floating a bill that would force planners to only consider historical data in predicting the sea-level rise (SLR) for the state as opposed to considering projections that take Global Warming into account. NC-20, the pro-development lobbying group representing twenty counties along the NC coast, is behind the effort and asserts that the one-meter prediction would prohibit development on too much land as opposed to SLR predictions of 3.9 to 15.6 inches." Scientific American has an acerbic take on the bill.
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NC Planners May Be Barred From Using Speculative Sea Level Rise Predictions

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  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:26PM (#40170153) Journal

    An actual law to prevent looking forward. For North Carolina Republicans, the entire world is in the rear view mirror.

    The law doesn't prevent looking forward. The law prevents the prohibition of building in areas that may be in danger based on the wildest of predictions that may have been exagerated [] or simply wrong.

    Believe it or not, sometimes, the models are wrong. You will notice, however, that the scientists always say, "we were wrong in our last model, but this time, we are correct!" For example: []

    We conclude that most climate models mix heat too efficiently into the deep ocean and as a result underestimate the negative forcing by human-made aerosols. Aerosol climate forcing today is inferred to be 1.6 ± 0.3 W m2, implying substantial aerosol indirect climate forcing via cloud changes. Continued failure to quantify the specific origins of this large forcing is untenable, as knowledge of changing aerosol effects is needed to understand future climate change. We conclude that recent slowdown of ocean heat uptake was caused by a delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols and a deep prolonged solar minimum. Observed sea level rise during the Argo float era is readily accounted for by ice melt and ocean thermal expansion, but the ascendency of ice melt leads us to anticipate acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade..

    -- J. Hansen, M. Sato, P. Kharecha, and K. von Schuckmann

    In other words, we can't accurately predict heat distribution because we don't understand the effect aerosols have on the climate, but we still predict an acceleration of sea level rise.

  • Re:Hard to insure (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spazmania ( 174582 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:03PM (#40170765) Homepage

    Insurance companies will use whatever sources they think are reasonable, so some of this to-be-planned development may be hard to insure.

    Nice theory but private insurers don't offer flood insurance in coastal areas. That's all done through the Federal National Flood Insurance Program. []

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:05PM (#40170783) Journal

    Actually, if memory serves, they've been washing away and coming back in various places [] for some time now. Hurricanes wash out parts of it, and the Gulf Stream drops off more due to North Carolina's unique geology (basically, it sticks out into the current).

    The Outer Banks are pretty much a dynamic setup, and IIRC are not as cyclical or regular like, say, the removal and deposition of sand out here on the Oregon Coast (winter storms wash it away, currents drop more off come Spring, etc).

    In either case, they've not always been there, and in truth, won't always be there - well, unless climate, tectonics, ocean currents, and weather all conspired to suddenly stop changing.

    By the way: "science-based predictions" isn't enough. I'd prefer "accurate science-based predictions" before whipping out the hysteria.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:08PM (#40170829)

    Nah. 1 meter is around the consensus projection.

    IPCC is saying "around" 59cm now. Which is a HUGE difference.

    It may be lower


    You'd have to show evidence that sea level increases were actually accelerating, which they are not - despite predictions over the past several years they would be. Since those projections were wrong then, what suddenly makes them so trustworthy now?

    in the case of Republicans, the scenario you want to believe.

    Why do the Democrats get a pass? They are picking 1M out of THIER ass simply to prevent development in some areas.

    The Republicans are at least saying, look, here is a clear trend line, it has been roughly on this path for decades, why not look at that as a baseline for predictions until a theory comes along that starts DEMONSTRATING otherwise? The Republicans seem to be the only ones presenting a way to come up with a reasonable estimate devoid of guesswork and hyperbole.

    The most annoying thing about the global warming cultists such as yourself is that you continue to ignore what happens in reality, and dismiss all attempts at reasonable and rational estimates for future change in favor of your own scare-mongering huge numbers. All while draping yourself in the false flag of "science" which you refuse to listen to or practice.

  • Re:Hard to insure (Score:5, Informative)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <mariet@got . n et> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @05:47PM (#40173199) Journal

    Clearly the folks scoffing not only didn't read the article, but are using poor information. When scientists originally predicted a 59cm rise in sea level by end of century, they were surprised and dismayed to find that the "Actual Rise" was significantly greater than expected and then were forced to revise the prediction to a meter. This is still a very conservative prediction. There is significant probability that the rise will be greater, perhaps significantly. This is particularly significant because when you add that meter to the substantial increase of serious storm surge from more frequent category 4 and 5 hurricanes (another gift from climate change), you have a significant coastal region which is going to be impacted in a number of really unhappy ways. To not use the information in hand to make intelligent plans based on best available information is tantamount to religious fanaticism, whether the religion is Gawd base or more Ideology centered. The smart money is on folks building floating homes on the N.C. Coast. Happy sailing!

  • Re:Hard to insure (Score:5, Informative)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <mariet@got . n et> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:12PM (#40173503) Journal
    You sir are a wise man. Here in California, we used to have a 5 mile wide "No Build Corridor" near the San Andreas fault in San Bernadino. No problem, it was sparsely inhabited dessert. As more and more folks moved out to what they call the "Inland Empire", the size of that corridor kept shrinking, cuz the real estate folks were howling to the State Gubernment that the laws were taking the very bread out of their chillens mouths. California has a very powerful Real Estate lobby (which can tell by the fact that 98% of our state's estuaries have been turned into marinas, waste treatment plants, or landfill, all for and because of Real Estate agents.) Soon they were putting mobile homes within a 100 yards, because heck their mobile homes right, who cares if they move a little... their mobile. Today, you can travel out to San Bernadino and go to the eastern edge of town [] and if you look real close at the diagonal line running from top left to bottom right of the Google map, you can see the meeting of the Pacific and North American plates. You can also see the fault has been littered with housing developments. Because who should be denied the breathtaking adventure of seeing their home split down the middle and travel in 2 different directions at 60 mph!

    People are stupid, and greedy, and they have a real poor memory. If you let'em they will stick their head right in the lion's mouth to see where the lamb went. That's why we pass laws to protect us from ourselves. Sadly who will protect us from the greedy buggers who buy the people who are supposed to protect us. Sigh!

The absent ones are always at fault.