Oops! ABC News reveals inconvenient fact.

In an online story dated 1 December 2018, ABC News reveals an inconvenient fact.

Here is the paragraph in which the fact appears:

“But McFarlane and other experts in Virginia said they don’t need predictive models to know that sea levels are rising and flooding has gotten worse in their area. Residents already experience more days of flooding every year due to outdated stormwater systems, gradually sinking land, and consequences of climate change like rising sea levels and more intense rain events.”

The inconvenient fact in that paragraph is “gradually sinking land”.

Yes, Virginia, land along the USA’s Atlantic Coast has been sinking, resulting in tides reaching further inland.

From Rutgers Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences:

“Sea level is rising faster at the New Jersey shore than the global average because of land subsidence (sinking).”

From Scientific American:

“Geological changes along the East Coast are causing land to sink along the seaboard. That’s exacerbating the flood-inducing effects of sea level rise, which has been occurring faster in the western Atlantic Ocean than elsewhere in recent years. New research using GPS and prehistoric data has shown that nearly the entire coast is affected, from Massachusetts to Florida and parts of Maine.”

From Forbes.com:

“The east coast of the United States is slowly but steadily sinking into the sea. This is the result of a recent study which took a variety of factors into account when determining the continuous sinking of the eastern seaboard.”

From the Texas Observer:

“Some parts of the coast — Galveston and Corpus Christi in particular — are also sinking, compounding the rising water levels.”

From Science Daily:

“Hazard maps use estimated sea level rise due to climate change to determine flooding risk for today’s shoreline, but don’t take into account that some land is sinking.”

From The U.S. Geological Survey:

“The southern Chesapeake Bay region is experiencing land subsidence and rising water levels due to global sea-level rise; land subsidence and rising water levels combine to cause relative sea-level rise. Land subsidence has been observed since the 1940s in the southern Chesapeake Bay region at rates of 1.1 to 4.8 millimeters per year (mm/yr), and subsidence continues today. This land subsidence helps explain why the region has the highest rates of sea-level rise on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Data indicate that land subsidence has been responsible for more than half the relative sea-level rise measured in the region. Land subsidence increases the risk of flooding in low-lying areas, which in turn has important economic, environmental, and human health consequences for the heavily populated and ecologically important southern Chesapeake Bay region.”

From Haaretz.com, 7 March 2018:

“Coastal flooding from sea level rise could be much worse than expected because models neglect to consider that the big coastal cities are sinking, scientists in the United States warned Wednesday.”

Although some land subsidence (sinking) is caused by the removal of ground water, geological forces are also at play.

From USA Today:

“Tide gauges in the Chesapeake Bay have shown for 60 years that sea level “is rising at twice the global average rate and faster than elsewhere on the East Coast.” The hypothesis: Land in the Chesapeake region that had been pushed up by the weight of a prehistoric ice sheet has been settling down again since the ice sheet melted some 20,000 years ago.”

No, Virginia, you can’t stop geological forces by eliminating all use of fossil fuels. So, prepare to spend money to relocate your coastal homes and businesses further inland.

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