Uncomfortable realities haven’t always been the purview of economic development and business booster groups, who typically tend to hold fast to blue-sky outlooks with nary a discouraging word. Troubling topics are usually taboo or glossed over by people charged with attracting industry, commercial enterprise and investment into the community.

So, organizers of, and speakers at, Galveston Economic Development Partnership’s summit in Galveston last week deserve congratulations for openly addressing reality about flooding and sea level rise. Although, it wasn’t the main focus of the summit, it was courageous to mention it at all.

 Laura Elder: 409-683-5248; laura.elder@galvnews.com

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(12) comments

Carlos Ponce

Sea levels have been rising for millennia. Remember off New York the islands we now call Liberty Island and Ellis Island were once one land mass connected to the mainland. As for Galveston Island read Ray Miller's "Galveston". The island explored by Cabeza de Vaca and later occupied by Pirate Jean Lafitte was much different than what we see today due to hurricanes, changing sea level and human activity - man and nature combining to create the Galveston we know today. Not surprising that the cemeteries along Broadway have been filled in twice since the 1900 Storm. What we see now is actually the third level.

Bailey Jones

The seas are rising, but the greater risk is subsidence. IIRC, the sea level relative to Galveston Island is up 24 inches since 1900 - and this is mostly due to subsidence - the island is sinking. Subsidence is caused by pumping fresh water out of the ground, sea level rise is due to increased temperatures expanding the volume of sea water and the melting of land bound ice and glaciers - both of these activities are increasing with no end in sight. Warmer seas mean stronger storms which means higher storm surges and rain events. A prudent city would start redesigning itself for sea level rise now. But I suspect that it will take another flattening of the island to prompt any real change, human nature being what it is.

Ray Taft

Scientists at The Heartland Institute, showed that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other government and nongovernment organizations are wrong to claim sea levels are increasing at an unusually rapid rate due to climate change.

For some cities, the rate of sea level rise has remained virtually constant, neither increasing nor declining appreciably from the rates experienced before climate alarmists blamed humans for global climate change.

The disconnect between actual data recorded by the global tidal gauge system and projections made by IPCC is due to the fact that sea-level rise is a research area that has come to be dominated by computer models.

There has been a decades-long failure of climate-alarmist computer-model forecasts.

Alarmists offer as experts for their Green New Deal Greta Thunberg, a high school student from Europe, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former bartender from the Bronx in New York City.

Five hundred real scientists have signed a letter to the United Nations saying there is no climate crisis.

There is no need to panic over this false media rhetoric about rising sea levels. The media and climate alarmists should not be allowed to stop economic growth.

In 2015 while Obama was President, the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was nearing record-breaking size, scientists reported. This year, the ozone hole near the South Pole is the smallest since it was discovered.

According to the alarmists’ own rhetoric, that means President Trump has done a better job than Obama. The climate alarmists should be grateful that Trump is President.

Bailey Jones

Sea level is measured by satellites, tidal gauges and sea buoys. All three say the same thing - sea level is rising. For instance - sea level is measured at Pier 21 every 6 minutes - since 1950 - and the data is clear.

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/waterlevels.html?id=8771450&units=standard&bdate=19500101&edate=20171231&timezone=GMT&datum=MSL&interval=m&action=

And at the Pleasure Pier -

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/

Global sea rise is also confirmed by satellite data from NASA - https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/

Of course, if you believe that this is all a massive global conspiracy among 10000's of scientists and civil servants and dozens of nations - then there's not much science can do for you.

James Lippert

Great factual and objective article! Yes facts do matter. Just 7 feet of incoming tide (whether it be from subsidence, rising ocean levels or just a good old fashioned hurricane) puts many flood susceptible places like San Leon, Galveston & Bolivar UNDER water. https://coast.noaa.gov/slr/?fbclid=IwAR32uG8qjsAsOmm6aLpUGR5eIVv6LugPZ547RPtj_O7O3tz8rpShaaQNFV4#/layer/slr/10/-10575998.17830228/3441064.9620272354/12/satellite/none/0.8/2050/interHigh/midAccretion

Paul Hyatt

Just one question for you. If "Climate Change", "Atmosphere Global Warming" were really real, then why have not one of the alarmist predictions that we have been hearing for decades come to pass? Gore the high priestess of all of this garbage has had many predictions that have never come to pass and he has become a very rich man predicting these things. If it was all true then why do all of the crazies who believe in all of this stuff drive around in their big SUV's and fly their private jets all over the world?

Jim Claffy

Coincidentally, there is an article out today about an 'explosion in Antarctic sea ice levels" (https://www.foxnews.com/science/explosion-antarctic-sea-ice-ice-age) which may lead to another ice age. So it only makes sense for us to also consider the possibility of receding sea levels, no?

The research has been published in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0466-8).

What if the computer models, on which these predictions are based, are flawed? There are most certainly variables involved that we do not yet comprehend. Only God knows what our future holds so I prefer to live in the present with gratitude and optimism.

"The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in

Meltdown expected, the wheat is growin' thin

Engines stop running, but I have no fear

'Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the river"

- The Clash

Bailey Jones

Please read the article again. It talks about two things. One is happening now - rising sea levels tied to increasing CO2 levels. The other thing MAY happen in the future due to the melting of Antarctica's ice - a change in sea currents that could lead to decreasing CO2 levels and another ice age. One of the great unknowns about our present situation with unprecedented amounts of CO2 being pumped into the earth's very complicated climate system is what will become of the great ocean currents that regulate the global temperature. If we should ever see CO2 levels decreasing - then yes, we should start thinking about receding sea levels. But as long as levels continue to go up, so will the seas.

Jim Claffy

I’d ask, respectfully, that you re-read the article I linked to. Ice in Antarctica is increasing, not melting.

Bailey Jones

Imma reading - I see "Upside-down "rivers" of warm ocean water may be one of the causes of Antarctica's ice shelves breaking up, leading to a rise in sea levels." And I see, "Correction: A previous version of the story said the study had implications for future events. It was only about past events."

Slogging through the source article it seems to be talking about how an increase in Antarctic ice leads to the oceans absorbing more CO2 and how this might have affected past ice ages.

What did I miss?

I have read elsewhere that ice levels in Antarctica are increasing - the warmer climate being more conducive to snowfall and bringing in more moisture, but also causing the disintegration of ice shelves and adding more ice to the oceans - but a net increase overall. It's the land based ice falling into the sea that causes the sea rise. (Melting of sea based ice, like in the Arctic, has little effect on sea rise.)

A warming climate doesn't always result in uniform warmness - the global system is just too complicated. For instance, if melting glacial ice adds enough fresh water to the Atlantic, it could alter the course of the gulf stream which carries warm water up to Britain. If that was to cease, Britain would get colder, even though the earth as a whole is getting warmer. This is why we should be so alarmed about rising CO2 levels - the effects on any one locale aren't easily predicted.

Michelle Aycoth

I predict nature is going to do what it wants to do.

Subsidence has slowed to 3mm per year.

Galveston needs to build the full blown Ike dike and install pumps throughout the city.

To not take action now is short sighted.

Andy Aycoth

Paul Hyatt

What is amazing to me is that so many are so ignorant about what CO2 is used for. Do people not understand or realize that the plants (trees) love CO2 and that they release O2 for us to breath.... Where did our thinking go in this nation that so many do not understand what is going on. Climate change is ALL about controlling the masses.... Nothing more....I will ask once again, what predictions have ever come true from those so called experts????

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