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Florida warned: take action against future flooding

17th c. Castillo de San Marcos, guarding America's oldest city, may be endangered by rising waters.


With all the jokes about earthquakes in California creating ocean-front lots in Nevada, it's easy to forget that things are changing in numbers of areas around the country. New York City's plan for Hurricane Sandy recovery, for instance, focuses not just on repairing damage, but planning for increasing high-water levels and more.


But according to an Associated Press article in the Jacksonville, FL Times Union, Florida isn't doing the thinking it should be, even though the effects of climate change are starting to become more obvious. The article focuses heavily on Saint Augustine, where the ancient fortifications are closer to the shore than they were even recently and where flooding has increased to 10 times a year.


But it also cites problems in other parts of the state, north to south, where flood control schemes seem no longer sufficient, and to increasing saltwater intrusion into drinking-water wells. Hallandale has been forced to abandon 6 of its 8 wells for this reason.


In St. Augustine, the city's civil engineer says that the city will need a pumping system in a few years to keep the water out, and complains that the state, which has cut back on spending on environmental agencies, has not been helpful. The engineer, Reuben Franklin, says "There's no guidance...everything I've found to help I've gotten by searching the Internet."

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Climate change "experts" are saying that:
 "Antarctica’s  massive stores of ice are likely to melt as the planet warms and contribute ever greater amounts of water to the world’s oceans."
But the facts are: 
"The winter ice around the southern continent has been growing relatively constantly since records began in 1979. The US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, which monitors sea ice using satellite data, say that the year’s maximum was 1.54m sq km (595,000 sq miles) above the 1981-2010 average. The past three winters have all produced record levels of ice."
A positive reaction from climate change is that the rains have returned to the "Horn of Africa".
Remember when 10 million people in Ethiopia were starving due to a relentless drought year after year ?
Well, the rains have returned and Ethiopians are now feeding themselves.
And they are selling the surplus!
Ethiopia alone has over 900,000 sq. miles to take the rain water that climate change produces. That's 3 million lives saved already.
Last edited by GarryRF

Garry, aside from the fact that climate change involves far more than the question of polar ice caps, we're not in huge disagreement, I think.


1. Climate change is a more accurate term than global warming, because it's not all about warming, and in some cases the change brings colder rather than warmer.

2. The effects are not the same everywhere, nor are they always immediately harmful. It is possible for one area to be threatened with inundation while another benefits from a return of rainfall.

3. The overall point is that there is a variety of forces shaping this change, and unlike some in the past (the great and little Ice Ages, for instance), the causes are not entirely natural. There are some things humans can do (control of greenhouse-gas emission, etc.) that can mitigate, not reverse the process.

4. Each area needs to prepare for what is happening—in Florida they need to prepare for higher water, in East Africa for changing agriculture conditions.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Not in disagreement at all Paul. Just a mention that climate change is not all bad news.

And an option to some folks that wonder where all that melted ice is going to.

It's been another winter when the Jet Stream has kept the UK warm and the Eastern States frozen. So there's a lot more water to come down from the Ice Cap yet !


Last edited by GarryRF

The issue of what we can do about the "world's changing climate" aside, when I look at a massive stone structure like the one in the photo and realize it's sitting essentially on a sand bar (which is what most of Florida is), I'm not surprised that it might actually be slowly settling and sinking.  Just like Venice is.  Venice has serious problems but these are mostly due to the fact that the entire city is sinking.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

50 years ago this area of Liverpool UK was underwater twice a day. Every tide.

And storms would cause the land to flood half a mile inland.

So this area is now a man made construction. Sand hills cover the solid foundation.

Marrem grass has roots that bind the sand together. And it works.

Copied off the Netherlands where much of the land is below sea level all year.






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