Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Unified Sea Level Rise Projection for SE Florida

Summary from the Report  LINK

The Work Group recommends the use of the NOAA High Curve, the USACE High Curve (USACE, 2015) and the median of the IPCC AR5 RCP8.5 scenario (IPCC, 2013) as the basis for a Southeast Florida sea level rise projection for the 2030, 2060 and 2100 planning horizons. In the short term, sea level rise is projected to be 6 to 10 inches by 2030 and 14 to 26 inches by 2060 (above the 1992 mean sea level). Sea level has risen 3 inches from 1992 to 2015. In the long term, sea level rise is projected to be 31 to 61 inches by 2100. For critical infrastructure projects with design lives in excess of 50 years, use of the upper curve is recommended with planning values of 34 inches in 2060 and 81 inches in 2100. Sea level will continue to rise even if global mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are successful at stabilizing or reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations; however, emissions mitigation is essential to moderate the severity of potential impacts in the future. A substantial increase in sea level rise within this century is likely and may occur in rapid pulses rather than gradually.

The recommended projection provides guidance for the Compact Counties and their partners to initiate planning to address the potential impacts of sea level rise on the region. The shorter term planning horizons(through 2060) are critical to implementation of the Southeast Florida Regional 14 Climate Change Action Plan, to optimize the remaining economic life of existing infrastructure and to begin to consider adaptation strategies. As scientists develop a better understanding of the factors and reinforcing feedback mechanisms impacting sea level rise, the Southeast Florida community will need to adjust the projections accordingly and adapt to the changing conditions. To ensure public safety and economic viability in the long run, strategic policy decisions will be needed to develop guidelines to direct future public and private investments to areas less vulnerable to future sea level rise impacts.

Monday, December 14, 2015

SLR Summaries by Aslak Grinsted

I had been following Aslak Grinsted's twitter feed but just found his very nice blog

I'm just going thru the many references he has but thought you might want to look at it.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Swiss Re report on the "Big One"

Swiss Re has a new report out on what the effect the the 1821 hurricane occurred now. LINK

Quoted from Swiss Re
It has happened before

Nearly 200 years ago a major hurricane pummeled the entire Mid-Atlantic and Northeast - from Norfolk to Washington, DC to Boston. The 1821 Norfolk and Long Island hurricane made landfall on the coast of North Carolina with wind gusts above 156 mph and carved a path of devastation up and down the Eastern Seaboard, making subsequent landfalls in Delaware, New Jersey and New York. Only 136,000 people lived in New York City and Washington at the time and losses were modest by today’s standards. There was no such thing as radar, satellites or the National Weather Service, yet there were many vivid accounts and records, which can be extrapolated to the present to create instructive assumptions.
Past plus present equals future

A new report from Swiss Re, The big one: The East Coast's USD 100 billion event (PDF, 730 KB) examines how the 1821 hurricane would impact the region today. Trillions of dollars of assets and infrastructure would lie in the storm’s path, much of it aging and along the coast. Using our in-house, proprietary tropical cyclone model we reconstructed the storm track, wind field and potential storm surge and concluded that a large area of the most heavily developed Eastern Seaboard would be exposed to hurricane force wind gusts.
Storm surge comparable to Sandy would inundate New York City, accompanied by powerful winds gusting over 100 mph. Norfolk, Virginia - home of critical US Navy installations - would be completely flooded. Coastal counties would sustain wind damage alone in excess of USD 1 billion. Combined physical damage from both storm surge and wind would exceed USD 100 billion, while the storm's total potential economic impact is on the order of USD 150 billion.
Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call; if left unheeded, the 1821 Norfolk and Long Island hurricane would be the nightmare.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Civil Engineering and Climate Change

New report from American Society of Civil Engineers titled "Adapting infrastructure and civil engineering practices to a changing climate" LINK

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dutch Dialogues in Norfolk Virginia

"Dutch Dialogues" were held in Norfolk recently. 

A pdf of the full presentation is available on our website ( - see attachment 7A). 

Additional information on the workshop can be found online at

Recordings of the opening and closing presentations are on youtube:

thanks to Ben McFarlane (HRPDC) for summarizing this 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

NOAA Tidal Datums

Michael Michalski at NOAA/NOS provided links to several technical reports related to datums.

Technical report on the computation of the Modified Procedure for Tidal Datum Computation which looks at the shorter 5 year period for areas of rapid relative sea-level change.

Some additional references for tidal datum computation and datum error are the following.

Error analysis procedures used by the national ocean service to compute estimated error bounds for tidal datums in the Arctic Ocean.

Estimating accuracies of tidal datums for short term observations

Tidal datums and their applications

Computational techniques for tidal datums handbook

Tidal analysis and predictions

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Ed Show

The Ed Show on MSNBC had a series on 'Rising Tide - the climate crisis'

In my opinion this is one of the best series I've seen.

Five 5 minute episodes

Not that easy finding stuff on the site but here are the titles and links. There was a fifth I think but cannot find it.

"Rising sea levels threaten major cities" LINK

"Rising tide a national security threat"  -  LINK - features many of us in the region.

"Hoboken pushes forward" LINK

"GOP Lawmakers ignore climate science" LINK

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

More evidence of Gulf Stream Slowdown

Two papers just published by Rahmsdorf et al in Nature and Ezer in Global and Planetary Change  give more information on the Gulf Stream slowdown and of course that relates to coastal sea level.

The paper reference is Rahmstorf, S., Box, J., Feulner, G., Mann, M., Robinson, A., Rutherford, S., Schaffernicht, E. (2015): Exceptional twentieth-Century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation. Nature Climate Change (online) LINK

Tal Ezer. 2015. Detecting changes in the transport of the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic
overturning circulation from coastal sea level data: The extreme decline
in 2009–2010 and estimated variations for 1935–2012 LINK TO PDF has nice review of the Rahmsdorf paper and link to graphics etc. LINK

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Sandy Report

The North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study Report is now ready. Link to very useful website and nice graphics at

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Nuisance Flooding 1927-2014

With the beginning of a new year I downloaded all the one hour data from Sewells Point and plotted the number of hours measured water level was above the nuisance flooding level for that station.

Nuisance flooding is considered 0.53 m above MHHW.

If you want the data for this plot do you can replot it or data from Sewells Point contact me.

Here is the plot: