Monday, May 11, 2015

Will This Float Your Boat - 10

Chesapeake Bay: Largest estuary in the U.S.A.
In some previous posts of this series the subject was: the number of people affected by sea level rise (SLR) in the North East.

Specifically, I focused on the Hudson River and "Hudson" / NY Bay area.

But, I also wrote "[e]xpand the scope of these wonderful opportunities south to New Jersey ..." (Will This Float Your Boat - 9).

So, today we will go a bit further south for a look at a well known area that has a similar SLR problem as the Hudson River Bay area, but one that is a larger estuary than the Hudson Bay: we will consider the ports and the estuary of Chesapeake Bay:
"With its expansive coastline, low-lying topography, and growing coastal population, the Chesapeake Bay region is among the places in the nation most vulnerable to sea-level rise."
"Average sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay have been rising. Many places along the bay have seen a one-foot increase in relative sea-level rise over the 20th century, six inches due to global warming and another six inches due to naturally subsiding coastal lands--a factor that places the Chesapeake Bay region at particular risk."
"Already, at least 13 islands in the bay have disappeared entirely, and many more are at risk of being lost soon."
(Chesapeake Bay and Global Warming, 2007-08, emphasis added). If you think that description reads like the description of the vulnerable coast of New England, at Hudson River Bay, it is because it is under the exact same threats from SLR:
The harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized. The Government’s own objective assessment of the relevant science and a strong consensus among qualified experts indicate that global warming threatens, inter alia, a precipitate rise in sea levels, severe and irreversible changes to natural ecosystems, a significant reduction in winter snowpack with direct and important economic consequences, and increases in the spread of disease and the ferocity of weather events. [quoting U.S. Supreme Court]
"By volume, more than 95 percent of U.S. international trade moves through the nation's ports and harbors, with about 50 percent of these goods being hazardous materials." [quoting NOAA 'Ports']
(Will This Float Your Boat - 8). For those who don't get it yet (the threat to national security, national economy, and American stability), see the satire @ Will This Float Your Boat - 9, and the information about the great difficulty involved with official processes dealing with solving port problems (The Agnotology of Sea Level Rise Via Ice Melt).

Likewise, for those who do not get the danger to current civilization, apply these principles and realities to the 196 countries with more than 4,764 ports of current civilization (World Port Source).

As I indicated above, previous posts covered the port-related danger to the San Francisco Bay area (The Evolution of Models - 5 and 6), as well as New York's Hudson River Bay (FERC Plan To Limit Overpopulation?).

So, today let's consider what ports are involved in the Chesapeake Bay area:

Port of Alexandria
Port of Norfolk
Port Cape Charles
Port of Chesapeake
Port of Hopewell
Port of Newport News
Port of Piney Point
Port of Portsmouth
Port of Richmond
Port of Yorktown


Port Annapolis
Port of Baltimore
Port of Cambridge
Somers Cove Marina
City Yacht Basin
Naval Air Station Patuxent River
Solomons Island Harbor
(World Ports: Virginia, Maryland). These ports that impact multiple millions of Americans (e.g. international commerce) are under the same threats as the New York and New England ports (danger of Greenland Ice Sheet melt-collapse generated SLR).

The greatest danger is not recognizing the danger, and the second greatest danger is the inability to do anything about it in real time, once anyone even notices.

This was discussed in the context of other ports:
However, several barriers to climate adaptation have been recognised (Becker 2011, IAPH 2011, UKCIP 2007), including inconsistency between organisational planning timeframes (5 – 15 years) compared with climate projections of 30 – 90 years; as well as the uncertainty of local climate projections leading to decision-makers delaying action until there is perceived to be more certainty. To help address these concerns, this report proposes a hybrid “risk / vulnerability” approach to understanding and adapting to climate change. That is, consideration of current day vulnerabilities to extreme weather events, integrated with an assessment of future climate risks." (Climate Resilient Ports, emphasis added).

"First proposed more than 20 years ago, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project has been studied and delayed more times over the past two decades than anyone can count. So it’s no surprise that the big news at the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) this year has been the approval of the massive project to deepen the Savannah River and harbor to expand the Port of Savannah’s capacity.

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) finally got the go-ahead in October – 15 years after it first received a congressional OK in 1999 – when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the GPA signed a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA). After years of studies, delays and lawsuits that both stalled the project and pushed projected costs sky high, construction was scheduled to begin by the end of 2014 on what has been called the most critical infrastructure development project in Georgia in decades." (Georgia Trend, emphasis added).
(The Agnotology of Sea Level Rise Via Ice Melt). Even when states seriously consider the danger to their coastal ports, cold molasses moves faster.

Several states under neoCon control have been ignoring the SLR threat for years and decades, because "it does not compute" or "it is outside our comfort zone" (The Epistemology of Goldilocks RE: Sea Level Rise).

It is the folly of fools to think that ignoring this problem is going to make it go away.

The terrors frozen deep inside Greenland and Antarctica are rising to the song of an accelerated threat, rising to the song of global warming induced climate change, rising to drown the Earth destroyers (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR?, 2, 3, 4).

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

If I was a Terrorist:

A 1958 video which shows we went into the catastrophe with our "eyes wide open."


  1. Terrific info - not available anywhere else.

  2. Connecting this to an earlier post:

    UN looks to religions for ‘moral leadership’ on global warming – ‘Let the world know that there is no divide whatsoever between religion and science on the issue of climate change’


    (Catholic Herald) – Dealing with climate change will take more than just global policies and agreements, it will also take a unified stance from the world’s religions, the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) said at the Vatican.

    To have development without destruction and “to transform our economies, however, we must first transform our thinking, and our values. In this, the world’s religions can provide valuable leadership,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told religious leaders, scientists and scholars.

    “If ever there were an issue that requires unity of purpose” among governments, private businesses, civil society and faith-based groups, “it is climate change,” he said, giving the opening address at a Vatican-sponsored workshop on Tuesday. [more]


    1. Tom,

      Good points.

      My preference would be to keep the focus on science.

      I do not like energies that break down the wall between church and state, temple and state, or mosque and state.

      What I do like is when religious leaders understand that climate science is not a matter of doctrine, neither scientific dogma nor religious dogma.

      We can have our own opinions but not our own "facts."

      That said, I appreciate it when anyone, religious leaders, political leaders, and lay people alike, get the facts straight.

      Differing on minor detail is not a problem, because the main agreements are those dealing with the main facts of SLR.

      Fossil fuelled AGW, and the resulting climate changes being brought about, add up to a grave threat to both civilization and to species.

  3. The inexplicable attitude of the U.S. government is naked.

    They approved Arctic drilling for Shell (link).


    Even after the last ship that tried it was almost destroyed.