Climate adaptation follies. Part I: The New Jersey challenge

by Judith Curry

New Jersey has a sea level rise problem.  How should this be managed?

New Jersey’s peninsular geography makes it especially vulnerable to sea level rise.

The problem

Sea level is rising along the New Jersey coast, at a rate substantially higher than the global average.  Here is the data for Atlantic City, NJ (from the NOAA site):

Why is sea level rising so fast off the coast of New Jersey?

Many places in the Eastern U.S. have been sinking for thousands of years and will continue to sink for thousands more, in response to adjustments from the retreat of glacier ice following the last Ice Age. Even though the glacier ice retreated long ago, the U.S. East Coast and Great Lakes regions are still slowly sinking.

Ground water withdrawal and sediment compaction are additional factors influencing the local rate of sinking. Locations that sit atop a coastal plain, such as the Jersey Shore, are seeing the fastest rates of subsidence, since the geology of the coastal plain features more settling of the land from groundwater depletion and long-term sediment compaction. By contrast, Mid-Atlantic coastal locations that are built on top of bedrock, such as New York City, have relatively low sinking rates.

There are numerous estimates of vertical land motion along the Jersey coast.  Estimates  of vertical land motion are based on regional GPS measurements (ranging from -1.25 to -1.53 mm/yr) and by comparison of tide gauge records with observations of global sea level rise (-2.10 to -2.27 mm/yr).

U.S. East Coast sea level variability on decadal time scales has been related to changes in various components of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation, such as the Florida Current, Gulf Stream, and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The U.S. Atlantic coast north of Cape Hatteras has been identified as a ‘hotspot’ of  sea level rise that has been detected since the 1970’s.  The mechanisms for producing the hot spot relate to ocean circulation patterns and also associated variations with northern hemisphere changes in glaciers and the mass balance of Greenland.

The problem for New Jersey is coastal flooding and degradation of coastal ecosystems and beach erosion.  This comes from storm tides (the most recent huge impact was from Hurricane Sandy in 2012) and also nuisance floods from high tides.  Coastal flooding degrades coastal ecosystems and erodes shorelines.  There are 2.5 million people living in 5 counties along New Jersey’s Atlantic coast. There are many oceanfront  communities, with an estimated 45,000 properties currently at risk from coastal flooding.   The Jersey Shore is a popular vacation spot.

The solution

New Jersey is being pro-active in dealing with its sea level rise problem. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection is working on a climate strategy document that should be ready by Earth Day on April 22, and as it is writing new regulations under the NJ Protecting Against Climate Threats process. The regulations are expected to place new requirements on owners of new and existing property in future flood-prone areas. 

The team of scientists at Rutgers University was engaged by the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to identify and evaluate  the most current science on sea level rise projections and changing coastal storms, considering the implications for the practices and policies of local and regional stakeholders, and providing practical options for stakeholders to incorporate science into risk-based decision processes.

Here is a [link] to the Rutgers Report.  The punchline of the Rutgers Report is this table of sea level rise projections for New Jersey:

From the DEP:

“We have a section of our strategy right now that talks about moving to safer areas,” he said. “Retreat sounds so immediate. We know that we are going to have communities that are impacted by sea-level rise. Some of that will be addressed by civil works projects but there’s not enough money, and some of the areas don’t lend themselves to civil works projects. We’re looking at a gradual movement from fringe areas.”

“We don’t adequately price the risk of climate change right now, and what the state is rightly trying to do is to say, ‘We have to understand this risk and we have to be able to value it appropriately, and the people who are taking the risk have to be paying for it’”

The problem with the solution

The most outspoken critic of the NJ sea level rise adaptation plan is Ray Cantor, Vice President of Government Affairs for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.  He has published two articles [link1] and [link2].  Excerpts:

<begin quote>

However, legitimate concerns about climate change, sea level rise, and flooding are not a justification to overreact and harm our economy today with draconian policies unsupported by science. Let’s look at the data on which DEP is basing its Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT) regulatory changes.

The PACT proposals are based on a flawed, non-peer-reviewed Rutgers report, “New Jersey’s Rising Seas and Changing Coastal Storms: Report of the 2019 Science and Technical Advisory Panel,” which contained a table of sea level rise scenarios in the state through the year 2150. The DEP selected the chart’s predictions for the year 2100 – 80 years from now – assuming a sea level rise of 5.1 feet, which the report itself says has only a 17% chance of occurring.

In other words, DEP wants homeowners and businesses to comply with flood hazard regulations that assume this sea level rise is here today, not potentially 80 years in the future. Together with a concurrent proposal to subject inland areas to 500-year flood levels, which is based on no science at all, these proposed regulations will turn nearly half the state into a regulatory flood zone.

There are real world impacts to these proposals. Buildings in affected areas will have to be elevated an additional five feet. Many areas of the state, including our barrier islands, bay communities, as well as urban areas such as Hoboken, Newark, Jersey City, and Atlantic City, may become undevelopable. Even redevelopment may be made more difficult if not impossible. Homeowners and businesses whose properties never flooded before, and likely may never flood in the future, will be regulated as if they are currently underwater. Infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, will be more expensive to build.

New Jersey must not rush to impose regulations just so we can say we did something to address the threats of climate change. The stakes are too high.

But what happens if the science is not there or, perhaps worse, what if the science is weak, wrong or even ideologically driven? Should we base public policies that will have significant economic impacts on flawed scientific studies?

This is exactly the conundrum we find ourselves in as the state Department of Environmental Protection prepares to roll out its climate change proposals.

<end quote>

Part II

Stay tuned, the plot thickens.  I will have Part II posted on Tuesday.

93 responses to “Climate adaptation follies. Part I: The New Jersey challenge

  1. Richard Schulze Jr

    It never occurred to me that much of the rising sea levels we see here on the coast (I live on the Vernon River in Savannah, Georgia) can actually be attributed to subsidence of the coastal plains. I suppose it makes sense if you think about it, but the land here is definitely subsiding. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    • The barrier islands are most vulnerable – with major infrastructure including Atlantic City on them. Do you feel lucky? Large areas could be protected with driven steel piling. Otherwise there seems opportunity to conserve and restore fast accreting marine flats and fringing vegetation. Slow down runoff, catch rain where you can, infiltrate rainfall in organically rich soils in both urban and rural regions with swales, streams, forests…

    • This is a USGS document on subsidence in the southern Chesapeake Bay region but it also covers subsidence in general which affects coastal communities across the globe and is the root cause of the hysterical media coverage of sea level rise.

      Click to access circ1392.pdf

    • Those on the East Coast still aren’t facing the up to 60mm per year subsidence of parts of Jakarta.
      “The highest rate of land subsidence with 6 cm/year occurred in eastern part and western part of north area of Jakarta, some part in West Jakarta, Central Jakarta, and South Jakarta. The similar rate also occurred in Bekasi City, Bekasi Regency, Depok City, and Tangerang Regency. The moderate rate of land subsidence occurred in Tangerang City and South Tangerang City with 2-3 cm/year.”

      It puts the GMSL of 3mm/yr into perspective.

      https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/1185/1/012004/pdf

      • In Bangladesh the sea-level rise is twice the observed global rate. In most part, this elevated rise is due to extraction of subsurface water across the delta by more than 5 million tube wells for irrigation to accommodate year-round cropping. See Pethic and Orford (2013)
        Rapid rise in effective sea-level in southwest Bangladesh: its causes and contemporary rates: Global and Planetary Change, 111 (2013) 237-245

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  3. The solution is easy. Build a massive sea wall like they did in the Netherlands. Just transfer funds from the Climate Alarmists’ massive bankroll to the sea wall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdGjgmyFP9M

  4. PS: as a physician (I’m an eye surgeon), I consider myself to be well-versed in the scientific method, but as a consumer of climate change information I find myself skeptical and confused by much of what I read in the news.

    I have a few questions that I hope you could address in future posts:

    1). The best, most succinct review of the climate change debate I ever read was published by the late Freeman Dyson in the New York Review of Books in 2008. His review was refreshingly full of science and free of partisan political leanings. Could you comment on Dyson’s perspectives in a future blog post? For those who are not familiar with his work, here is a link: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2008/06/12/the-question-of-global-warming/

    2). It seems to me that while there is no question that human activities, including CO2 emissions, affect climate, much of what we see with climate change can be attributed to long term trends that occur on an essentially geologic time frame. The best book I have read on this subject is The Long Summer by Brian Fagan, a book which is also refreshingly free of a political agenda. For a generalist like myself, I would appreciate to hear your critique of his work. https://www.amazon.com/Long-Summer-Climate-Changed-Civilization/dp/0465022820/ref=asc_df_0465022820/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=266173573147&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12238789824815185174&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011294&hvtargid=pla-487663498539&psc=1

    3). I just finished reading Bill Gates’ new book, How To Avoid A Climate Change Disaster, and while I found it to be well-written, many of the claims he makes seemed to me to be mere speculation presented as facts. I would be curious to hear your perspective on the book.

    You may well have already addressed these issues but I would appreciate any insights you could offer.

    • The Dyson article is indeed excellent. Thanks for the link.

      • Perhaps so, but it’s paywalled.

      • Danley B. Wolfe

        Richard Schulze – if you page down at your link you will find that NY Review of Books will allow you to download just the one article if you register, without any requirement for subscribing to the publication. Then, I suppose when they bombard you with subscription requests you can hit the “unsubscribe” link.

    • I know your interest is broader than this, but this report by Judith on Sea Level Rise is excellent. It’s a summary of numerous papers.

      Click to access special-report-sea-level-rise3.pdf

    • Richard Greene

      You have been living with global warming since the mid-1970s, along with about seven billion other people. The warming has been pleasant, and more CO2 in the air is greening our planet.
      Globak warming has been good news, unless you think warmer winter nights in Siberia and Alaska are bad news.

      During that 45 years of global warming, since the 1970s, scientists have been predicting a coming climate crisis every year. They started by predicting a coming global cooling crisis … which quickly changed to predicting a coming global warming crisis. It is always coming in 10 years. 10 years from now it will be coming in 10 years. Same in 20 years.

      It’s your choice who to believe:
      (1) Your actual experience with global warming, or
      (2) Self appointed “experts” claiming FUTURE global warming will be horrible, completely unlike PAST global warming. Their “scientific” explanation: Because we say so.

      Concerning Bill Gates: He had the great honor of receivihg the highest honor possible at my climate science end energy blog: 2020 Climate Buffoon of the Year. He may know computers, but on the subject of climate science, Gates is as dumb as a rock. At best, Gates is a trained parrot repeating the coming climate crisis predictions we have been hearing for the past 50 years. No offense intended toward real parrots

  5. Sounds like yet another reason to leave New Jersey as the place is increasingly unaffordable for most folks.
    No chance of overthrowing the ruling one-party elite. Only real choice is to flee.

  6. This paper from 2017 covers New York City. The takeaway is that relative sea level has been increasing since 575AD.. From the abstract.

    “We show that RSL in NYC rose by ~1.70m since ~575 CE (including ~0.38m since 1850 CE). The rate of RSL rise increased markedly at 1812–1913 CE from ~1.0 to ~2.5mm/yr, which coincides with other reconstructions along the US Atlantic coast. We investigated the possible influence of tidal-range change in Long Island Sound on our reconstruction using a regional tidal model, and we demonstrate that this effect was likely small. However, future tidal-range change could exacerbate the impacts of RSL rise in communities bordering Long Island Sound. The current rate of RSL rise is the fastest that NYC has experienced for >1500 years, and its ongoing acceleration suggests that projections of 21st-century local RSL rise will be realized.”

    RSL has been rising since at least 575AD. The rate of rise increased 1812-1913, well before impact from any CO2. On top of any natural effects the area has undergone, significant changes have occurred to the geomorphology, compaction from construction, dredging, hardening of the coast,etc. Is it any wonder the rate of rise has accelerated.

    Tempering any predictions for a dramatic rise in SLR, we should remember that nearly 40 years ago EPA said in several decades SLR could be 10 feet. And then add that miss to an endless list of other failed predictions. Being sanguine comes to mind.

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0959683616683263

  7. Atlantic City tide gauge data can be obtained from PSMSL. 110 years of observations are available. Although variations from a month to the next can be large, they show no trend over the last 110 years.
    The average sea rise from 1910 to now is 2.8 mm/year.
    For the next 80 years, a new sea level rise of 224 mm (17 3/4 inches).
    Station ID: 180
    Latitude: 39.355
    Longitude: -74.418333
    GLOSS ID: 220
    Coastline code: 960
    Station code: 91
    Country: UNITED STATES
    Time span of data: 1911 – 2020
    Completeness (%): 93
    Date of last update: 02 Feb 2021

    • Not being picky but 17.75 is a bit much. That is, 224mm is only shy of about 9″ rise over 80 yrs @ 2.8mm / year

  8. It sounds like New Jersey is considering adopting a 130 year plan, based on the best judgment of today’s ruling politicians. That’s audacious! Chairman Mao and Lenin were not that bold. There is zero chance that anyone can plan for climate change on that scale, but also no doubt that there are politicians willing to try. Coastal property owners in New Jersey should plan to move soon.

    • David Wojick

      They cannot sell, so cannot move. The government is rendering their properties worthless, or less than worthless. On the other hand, fine beachfront properties cheap. What’s not to like?

      Sickenly funny.

  9. These papers add to the discussion of nuisance flooding which has been highlighted in the media over the last few years. Alterations on the coast have altered tidal ranges.
    “While sea-level rise is the main driver for the observed increase in NF events in the United States, we show here that secular changes in tides also contribute. An analysis of 40 tidal gauge records from U.S. coasts finds that, at 18 locations, NF increased due to tidal amplification, while decreases in tidal range suppressed NF at 11 locations. Estuaries show the largest changes in NF attributable to tide changes, and these can often be traced to anthropogenic alterations.”

    A new paper.

    https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/10/eabe2412?utm_campaign=toc_advances_2021-03-05&et_rid=267930073&et_cid=3689529

    Another new paper
    “Anthropogenic modifications of estuarine morphology such as navigational channels have changed tidal dynamics in many estuaries. The implications of deepening may include shifts in tidal range, sediment transport, pollutant dispersal, and changes in flood risk, among others. “

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2020JC016256

  10. For What It’s Worth, it’s crucial that the science gets settled once and for all. New physics gravitational forcing predicts a steady increase of tidal range, contributing to nuisance flooding.

    • I’ve wondered about your science from time to time, but, Lennon on the other post and now Buffalo Springfield? I certainly can’t quibble with your music. On a day when I could barely swing a club when I tried for the first time in months, it’s good to feel young again. Thanks.

  11. Wilmington, NC has been the subject of many articles about nuisance flooding and threats of storm surges. This paper investigated the effects of channel deepening.

    “In this study we investigate the hypothesis that increasing channel depth in estuaries can amplify both tides and storm surge by developing an idealized numerical model representing the 1888, 1975, and 2015 bathymetric conditions of the Cape Fear River Estuary, NC. Archival tide gauge data recovered from the U.S. National Archives indicates that mean tidal range in Wilmington has doubled to 1.55 m since the 1880s, with a much smaller increase of 0.07 m observed near the ocean boundary. These tidal changes are reproduced by simulating channel depths of 7 m (1888 condition) and 15.5 m (modern condition). Similarly, model sensitivity studies using idealized, parametric tropical cyclones suggest that the storm surge in the worst‐case, CAT‐5 event may have increased from 3.8 ± 0.25 m to 5.6 ± 0.6 m since the nineteenth century. The amplification in both tides and storm surge is influenced by reduced hydraulic drag caused by greater mean depths.”

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL069494

  12. NJ will view it as in their interest — whether Democrat-Socialists are in power or not — to finger human activity (AGW) as the cause for demanding the need that others pay for various environmental costs and infrastructure improvements like federal tax dollars being used to build walls and dredge harbors, by linking natural and predictable damages to the hoax and scare tactics of AGW alarmism.

  13. We have an excellent sea-level record of 110 years in Atlantic City. It shows no acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise. None. Zero. Despite rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels, no acceleration.

    Now, the current rate of rise there is 1.4 feet over 100 years. But despite that, their claim is that there is a 50-50 chance that with “medium CO2 emissions” the sea level will rise about a meter, 3.3 feet, from 2000 to 2100 … really?

    We’re a fifth of the way there already, and the rise has been 8.28 mm. That leaves 992 mm of rise that has to happen in ~80 years. The average rate of rise would then have to be 12.4 mm/year. And for that to happen, if the acceleration is linear, the sea level in the year 2100 would have to be 20.7 mm/year … yeah, that’s totally legit.

    It gets worse. They claim with high emissions there’s a 5% or so chance that the rise would be 8.8 feet, or 2,682 mm from 2000 to 2100. So far it’s risen 8.28 mm. That leaves 2,674 mm from now to 2000. That’s an average rate of rise of 33.4 mm/year, and if the acceleration is linear, it implies a rate of rise in 2100 of 62.7 mm (2.5 inches) per year.

    That’s about the rate of rise during Meltwater Pulse 1A, the fastest sea-level rise during the last deglaciation, when the mile-deep ice over North America was melting fast. But there is no mile-deep ice left to melt. I want to know what these guys are smoking, it must be some dank weed to give them hallucinations that bad …

    w.

    • Richard Greene

      Your problem Willis, is concentrating on old science. A focus on the past.

      Climate change requires new science.
      A focus on the future.

      Old science:
      No acceleration of sea level rise in 110 years.
      Past 45 years = pleasant global warming
      Proof: Data and other observations

      New science:
      Sea level rise of one foot a year, or more
      Next 45 years of global warming will be horrible — a climate emergency
      Proof: Big shot government bureaucrat scientists with PhDs say so.

      So Mr. Willis, you are not a big shot government scientist with a PhD, and you practice old science (boring), not new science (exciting).

      Due diligence: Al Gore and I own the Wall Street Gondola Line, intending to ferry Wall Street executives to work when Manhattan streets are flooded from sea level rise. I should say I own a 1% share in Mr. Gore’s venture. And there are 1,749 other one percent shareholders. I don’t understand finance, but Al assures me that I will be rich in a decade or two.

  14. ” Even though the glacier ice retreated long ago, the U.S. East Coast and Great Lakes regions are still slowly sinking.”

    I am curious as to why the Great Lakes regions are mentioned in this article on New Jersey’s coastal sea inundation. The Canadian Shield, underlying a major portion of the Great Lakes, extending from eastern Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, down to the Appalachian & Adirondacks, extending even to Texas, traversing Hudson Bay and Greenland and is almost 4 billion years old is unlikely to suffer subsidence in the foreseeable future necessitating human intervention.

    Obviously I am missing something.

    • David Wojick

      Indeed, plus they shouod be rebounding, not sinking.

    • When the ice sheets to the north of NJ sank the land under the the ice the New Jersey land went up in response. Think pushing down on a water bed

      • David Wojick

        Got it. And if the land to the north went down and NJ et al went up there should be humongous fault lines in between, where the crust tore. Where exactly are they?

      • David,
        My geology courses were so long ago that I forget the explanation why faults are not necessary for the isostatic rebound effects. FWIW there were so long ago that I may have the explanation wrong in the first place.

  15. I’m bemused and confused. Earlier, it’s 4 mm apparent SLR. Yet if I’ve done my sums right, Rutgers is saying that the Y2K to 2030 rate is 8mm/yr. New math?

  16. “How should this be managed?”

    Move away from the shoreline… Or if you prefer, move inland!

    • David Wojick

      Oh but inland we have floods and droughts and heat waves and polar vortex cold (whatever that is) and invasive species looking for a home and lord knows what else. There is no place to hide. We are doomed. But I am happy to buy beachfront property really cheap. Got any?

  17. Receding glaciation produced isostatic rebound in days of old. Has the curriculum changed?

  18. David Wojick

    The basic fallacy in all this is that the ocean basins are tectonically stable. In the deep ocean the crust is estimated to be only a few miles thick, on a circulating molten ball 8000 miles in diameter. Tectonic motion is everywhere we look,often in cm per year.

  19. Speaking as an experienced coastal engineer – there is a decision to be made and not just in New Jersey. Build defences or surrender coastal infrastructure. I suspect that New Jersey can afford to spend a trillion or so dollars on defences. Call it a national emergency. But don’t panic – it is still just a couple of millimetres per year of sea level rise.

  20. Rob Starkey

    NJ has been experiencing land subsistence of roughly 2mm per year. The trend is not expected to change in the near future. This issue is completely unrelated to classical sea level rise although the impact on humans is similar.

  21. Bill Fabrizio

    There are several ways to manage coastal areas. New Jersey has for a while changed their building codes to raise barrier island properties. ‘Living levels’ are 10′ or more above grade. The Southeast has had these changes even longer. Since Sandy, Long Island has also caught up. Barrier islands also need to manage their sand. Off-season capture fencing can raise beach sand levels considerably. This excess sand can be formed into dunes, which New Jersey hasn’t fully embraced. Raising beach levels and maintaining a healthy dune system can add significant protection from storm surge. These are relatively inexpensive methods for coastal management.

  22. > The most outspoken critic of the NJ sea level rise adaptation plan is Ray Cantor, Vice President of Government Affairs for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

    Criticism usually implies argumentation, not whining.

    Ray simply asserted that the science was flawed.

    Twice.

    In what appears to be similar rants.

  23. Morner has an impressive resume. For those interested in all the dynamics of sea level rise this is an interesting read.

    Click to access the_great_sea_level_humbug.pdf

  24. Ah. Yet again, New York humiliates New Jersey…

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  27. “New Jersey has a sea level rise problem. How should this be managed?”

    Well New Jersey can get waves 30 feet tall. You could stop New Jersey from having waves.
    The New Jersey shoreline is about 130 miles long.
    So, make breakwater 130 miles long. You need about 5000 tons per mile, 650,000 tons of structural material.
    To make up for loss of surfing opportunity, you also make few miles of area at the breakwater distance where people can go to have surfing waves.
    And with breakwater, one can live and do things on the calm ocean waters. It even allows one to make a freshwater lake on the ocean.
    I think making low cost housing available behind the breakwater as a good idea- thereby providing anyone with opportunity to have beach property.

    • My gut engineering feeling is that you have underestimated stone weight per mile.

      • Bulk density of piled up rocks is on the order of 1.5 tonnes/m^3.

        5000 tons is about 4500 tonnes.

        A mile is 1609 metres.

        That’s about 3 tonnes/metre, or 2 cubic metres of stone per metre of shoreline length.

        Seems like you’d need more stone than that … but I was born yesterday, what do I know?

        w.

      • The cross sectional area of a seawall would typically be in excess of 2 m2

      • Oh, I mean a floating breakwater.
        Doing this will stone {fill} would very expensive and possibly have various ecological issues.
        One could say, it would use more than 7 times as much steel as the Golden Gate bridge. Put that on a sign and called it a “tourist attraction”.

        But I was thinking about it, and decided instead one could start with halving largest of oceanic waves sizes with the 130 mile breakwater {and use less steel}. And then, make smaller areas {a few square km} where other floating breakwaters get rid of all waves.
        Or a small lake will develop modest waves on windy day. Or even if the 130 mile breakwater stopped all waves, the body of water behind it would develop waves within it.

        Also one is going to use pile anchors {as they do with floating oceanic platforms}. The breakwater also are low in water, as wave energy is below the surface of water.
        And you have put enough spaces in between them to allow shipping transportation.
        Though if had breakwater, you are making harbor and might have docks just within the 130 mile breakwater. And that dock area would have added breakwater so as to shield from all waves.

  28. A few millimetres a year sea level rise doesn’t figure much in sea defenses. Did someone say 30′ waves?


    https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/water-level-components-contribute-coastal-flooding

  29. “That’s about 3 tonnes/metre, or 2 cubic metres of stone per metre of shoreline length.

    Seems like you’d need more stone than that … but I was born yesterday, what do I know?”

    Ok the approach I would use is using steel and water.
    But first history:
    D-day:
    “…for an expenditure of about 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 tons of steel per foot of breakwater frontage. That represented an expenditure of less than one-tenth of that required for any other possible method.”

    Click to access The-Bombardon-Floating-Breakwater-by-R-Lochner-O-Faber-and-W-G-Penney.pdf


    It was mobile- transported from England to France. Though it failed in the 40 year gale. But worked long enough to make the landing be successful.
    But you could say it wasn’t designed to last for decades.
    In 21 century, I think it could done better.
    One significant element is using pile anchors. And even if they had known about it, one couldn’t really do it in war zone.
    What other people say:
    “1.1 Overview
    Past research has shown that moored cylinders have the potential to be effective breakwaters used to protect shorelines and offshore structures from destructive water waves. Recently, there has been an interest in inflatable, cylindrical breakwaters. Some of the advantages of using inflatable breakwaters include the flexibility for either temporary or permanent use,
    transportability, cost effectiveness, and ease of construction and installation.”

    https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/31653/chapter1.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y
    I am not talking about inflatables, though it is related to “balloon tanks” used in rockets which are solid wall stainless steel but mainly they are really thin steel, and though SpaceX Starship hull aren’t really a balloon tank but they are about 4 mm thick walls and 9 meter in diameter, and that is roughly in the ballpark. – corrosive resistant stainless steel and large diameter. And I like it’s fast construction methods.
    Other discussion on floating breakwater waters:
    https://www.seasteading.org/costs-floating-breakwaters/
    {it seems they think it could not be inexpensive but there some arguments given in the comments {not involving me}.

    Anyhow, basically lots water and less steel per foot or meter.

  30. Great post and insightful words from a government agency (what if it is ideologically driven?) Thanks. Look forward to Part 2.

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  34. Russell Seitz

    “How did the state of New Jersey come to adopt sea level rise projections for their adaptation planning that are more than twice as high as the IPCC’s values?”

    It may be twice as high because the state consumes twice as much cannabis as the national average:

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2021/03/we-all-emit-like-yellow-submarine.html

    • Russell

      I note this from your link

      “In Colorado, the emissions add up to around 2.6 megatonnes of CO2e, which is more than that from the state’s coal mining at 1.8 megatonnes of CO2e.

      “The emissions that come from growing 1 ounce, depending on where it’s grown in the US, is about the same as burning 7 to 16 gallons of gasoline,” says Summers.”

      Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2270366-colorados-legal-cannabis-farms-emit-more-carbon-than-its-coal-mines/#ixzz6ouxtFdr3

      When you take into account laptops, smart phones, servers etc the co2 habits of a certain group of people wanting to save the planet look like they are destroying it.

      tonyb

      • Those who seek to destroy the planet are are least being consistent whey they spread inactivism online.

        But then are they really inactivist if they spread inactivim online?

      • Those who unscientificly claim that additional CO2 will destroy the planet are the real danger.

        PEW research would seem to indicate that these people are unscientific democrats.

      • “But CAGW” is another door, Rob. Tony was more into “but hypocrisy.”

        Easy to spot troglodytes who pretend they’re the real truth bearers when one lives outside Newscorp’s sphere of influence.

  35. Pingback: Climate adaptation follies. Part I: The New Jersey challenge – Climate- Science.press

  36. Pingback: Climate adaptation follies. Part II: scenarios of future sea level rise |

  37. Pingback: Climate adaptation follies. Part II: scenarios of future sea level rise – Climate- Science.press

  38. Question for Judith: Would you happen to know or be able to find out why the NOAA Relative Sea Level Trend data ends in early 2020? I checked a number of other stations on their website and found the same thing. Did NOAA stop tracking sea level trends in early 2020 or is it just that their website is 12 months out of date? It would be great to have up-to-date sea level trends because the trends to early 2020 are all essentially linear and none show the acceleration in sea level rise that has been so widely predicted.

    • The satellite-altimeter derived sea level data takes a while to process, seems like these websites (also CSU) get updated once or twice per year.

  39. Pingback: Climate adaptation follies. Part I: The New Jersey challenge

  40. Pingback: Climate adaptation sense. Part III: Dynamic Adaptation Policy Pathways | Climate Etc.

  41. Pingback: Climate adaptation sense. Part III: Dynamic Adaptation Policy Pathways – Climate- Science.press

  42. ‘Ground water withdrawal and sediment compaction are additional factors influencing the local rate of sinking.’

    If that is true, should hydrologists, engineers and State planners not be considering how best to ensure an acceleration in return of rainwater runoff to groundwater, rather than to the ‘rising’ sea levels?

    There are a myriad of ways of doing this, mostly involving controlled diversion of water into places where it remains static for long enough to drain into the ground rather than run off into rivers etc.

    The important question is whether that action would have significant enough impacts if successful to be worth pursuing or not. After all, if the restoration of groundwater would only counteract the current situation by 1%, it’s probably not worth proceeding on narrow grounds of ‘countering sea level rise’.

    It might be worth pursuing in regard to water sustainability policy, but that is another discussion…

  43. Pingback: Climate adaptation follies. Part II: scenarios of future sea level rise – Watts Up With That?

  44. Pingback: Sea Level and the Jersey Shore – Watts Up With That?

  45. Pingback: Sea Level and the Jersey Shore |

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  47. https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=8518750
    “Variation of 50-Year Relative Sea Level Trends
    8518750 The Battery, New York”

    50 year trend plot
    1950 trend was slightly faster than 1995

    Here CO2 level surges ahead go sea level trend after 1940-50:
    http://sealevel.info/MSL_graph.php?id=8518750

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