Saturday, November 28, 2015

Want to see what rapid sea level rise looks like? by gimleteye

People read stories like today's in the Miami Herald about real estate values at risk in Miami -- hundreds of billions of dollars -- from sea level rise. For the most part, if and when people read these stories, they believe that sea level rise is "out there" fifteen, twenty or twenty five years from now: ie. someone else's problem.

There is a little place I go to see rapid sea level rise. It is a county trail at Matheson Hammock park, accessed by the parking adjacent to Fairchild Garden's north entrance. Walk down to the salt water pond and along its edge to the right to access a trail carved many years ago at the mangrove fringe that meets up, half a mile or more, at the road into Matheson Hammock Park. Few people use the trail.

The way I observe rapid sea level rise here is the recent erosion and movement of mangroves across the trail to the upland side. This is a subtle place to observe sea level rise. On the Atlantic or Gulf beaches, people see erosion and think to themselves; it is just storms or waves. But here, on this quiet and unused trail, there is no wave action at all because of dense mangroves on the south side of the trail.

The only erosion occurs as a result of repetitive higher, high tides. Here, I observed trail erosion accelerating about three years ago. Sure it is imperceptible, but there is no interpretation other than sea levels are visibly rising.

About a year ago, someone at the county or perhaps an educational institution -- maybe it was Mayor Carlos Gimenez on a global warming fishing expedition -- dug some pitiful trenches on the upland side of the trail and surrounded the trenches with barrier fencing attached by rebar stakes driven into the ground. There were no gauges or anything else. It really looked like someone's less-than-scientific experiment to measure sea level rise: ie. if the trenches filled, sea level rise. If empty, no sea level rise.

Well, ladies and gentlemen of the jury: after some very high Fall king tides I took these photos yesterday. Someone gave up on maintaining the trenches (and someone is going to get hurt falling into one of them).

I'm not suggesting that next year, 20 percent of Miami-Dade homes and businesses will have sea water in their basements. What I am saying is that climate change is here and now if only you take a close look around you. If you care at all about future generations -- fact is, based on our inadequate response to global warming, we don't -- you will vote out of elected office any candidate who refuses to accept the costs of climate change and the imperative to act now while we are still a wealthy civilization. That's a bold conclusion to draw from a couple of trenches and plastic barrier fencing all fallen down, but it is a sober one.

P.S. I added this to your post Gimleteye, Sanibel Island's Red Tide. Now you can collect shells and dead fish. Nice surprise for the height of the season:

More Environmental Failure


Anonymous said...

You can also see the impact on the trail along the atoll. The tides have pushed debris and rocks, even garbage cans into the path. It's impossible to ride your bike. Wonder if workers will bother to clear the path knowing it will become filled with debris again with next high tide. Throughout the park seawater is permanent, roads and parking lots where the sea is not receding with the tides. I fear we'll lose the park altogether within a decade.

Gimleteye said...

We'll lose the park but gain a place to launch boats closer to Old Main Highway.

Geniusofdespair said...

Friends in the Keys who have homes now admit that the roads to their houses are regularly flooding when they were once bone dry.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mine the county just spent millions to elevate the road leading to the park by 4'. So now you can stay dry while getting to the to the flooded parking lots at the wading beach, the atoll and the marina..

On the up side it is cool to watch nature reclaim her domain..

Geniusofdespair said...

I am at A D Barnes Park in Fort Lauderdale, the same thing is happening here they have closed off Entire Loop, Road to cars it is flooded with brackish or salt water but not from sea tide.

Geniusofdespair said...

Sorry Birch Park on Sunrise.

CATO said...

Fishing made easy?

I agree there's some sort of climatic change going on and that practical things that can be done to offset changes and won't set us back to the middle ages should be done.

Beyond that if I am going to go run around like chicken little and insist everyone choose bicycles as a main mode of transportation, or give up electricity and by candles etc etc etc. (Welcome to Berne's America!)

The earth is over 4 Billion years old (I don't care what Huckabee or Carson say) and has gone through cooling and warming stages long before we pesky humans showed up.

Our biggest problem is the demographic/population explosion, the earth's population has tripled during my father's lifetime (75). Sure in countries where women have access to more choices and education things are slowing down but in poorer countries it's still growing exponentially.

I'm no Thomas Malthus but one day the earth will have had enough us and sneeze and we will be done. Some other civilization may show up thousands of years later and wonder if there was ever any intelligent life on this planet (Then they'll find a plastic shopping bag and an IPhone playing Kim Kardashians sex video and a Trump stump speech and conclude NO!)


Geniusofdespair said...

Very funny Cato.

Malagodi said...

Someone apparently thinks that extinction is preferable to life in the middle ages. Ride a bicycle? Never! What do you think this is, Pakistan?

But ok, it was not meant to be taken seriously.

Unknown said...

شات مزز الصوتي
موقع سايت اب
شات سعودي توب
شات روقان الصوتي
سوق السعوديه الالكتروني
سوق عرب كوم
موقع معلومات قوقل
شات الرياض الصوتي
شات ستايل الصوتي
شات ستايل كام
اخبار اليوم العربي
مدونة تقنية الووردبريس
سوق اي حاجه
موقع خمسات نصاب

RealTruthofMiami said...

Can't you devote one article, just one, to possible climate change solutions for South Florida. Yes, I believe in climate change. Yes, I believe in lowering emissions. Now what? Keep shouting in the room until everyone else agrees then come up with a solution 15 years from now? We should have engineers working NOW to get cost analysis and scenarios run. Viable ones, even at large amounts. The federal government is on the hook not just the state, county and cities. Which one's aren't viable? Abandoning the area.

Just about everyone who reads this blog concurs with you both on climate change. Can't we start debating solutions while still shouting the message.

Anonymous said...

The solution to this problem is to build more condominiums (property taxes) and elevate the roads and public sidewalks. Once the sidewalks are elevated the cities can rent the raised sidewalks to anybody who desires to block them. Since the private property is now below the street level it is a private flooding issue and the cities don't have to do anything about private flooding (see Miami Beach). This issue has already been solved.

Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself.. Many believe in climate change and it's cyclical nature in geologic time. Whether it is man-made is not that important and it is a suckers bet.. Bet it's NOT man made and if your wrong so what? We have to build higher and drier either way and blaming it on nature, we don't go broke doing it.
and if you do bet mother nature finds ours is the Goldilocks global weather model and is never going to warm/cool the earth again, you are ignorant, a fool or both.