Why is Scott Simpson not calling bull**** on sea level rise claims?

Look, I get it. ?We have to plan ahead. ?And if the oceans are going to rise, then we need to make decisions that allow for that. ?Government, councils, insurance companies and property owners all can benefit from quality information.

But then there’s this:

In 2014, Commissioner Jan Wright found that New Zealand would be hit by more frequent coastal flooding in the future as sea levels rise.

Today, Dr Wright told the Local Government and Environment Select Committee that she would be releasing a follow-up report identifying infrastructure and property at high risk from rising seas.

Dr Wright said a 30 centimetre rise in sea levels by 2050 was inevitable due to climate change, and what happened after that depended on the global commitment to cutting carbon emissions.

A 30 centimeter rise in 35 years is “inevitable”. ?This from a Dr (of something), hired to report to the government.

Let’s just take a deep breath. ?30 centimeters in 35 years is close to a centimeter a year.

800px-Global_Mean_Sea_Level.svg

Current rates of sea level rise from satellite altimetry have been estimated in the range of 2.9?3.4 ? 0.4?0.6 mm per year for 1993?2010.* This exceeds those from tide gauges. ?The?trend is 3.2 mm per year. ?Multiply that by 35 and you get 11.2 cm.

So 30 cm is an exaggeration by a factor of nearly three.

My point is this: ?The planning still needs to be done. ?It’s a good thing to look ahead and prepare for what is to come. ?Industries such as insurance and councils that provide building permits also need to take these things into account.

But.

Why lose all credibility by overstating things to such a ridiculous degree?

And this is how our MPs are reacting to crap like predicting a 30cm rise in 35 years:

But committee chairman Scott Simpson was worried about the impact the report could have.

“My concern both as a member of this committee and as a local constituent MP is that the report has significant potential to have a detrimental financial impact on property owners of coastal property,” he said.

Dr Wright replied that rising seas levels would hit coastal property owners in the pocket regardless.

“People will find themselves unable to insure their properties and I think the idea is to protect as many people from that situation as possible.

“This is not easy for anyone but sometimes we have to have these hard conversations, and the insurance industry is right onto this – they’re not going to be soft about it,” she said.

Another committee member, Labour’s Megan Woods, found Mr Simpson’s fears hard to fathom.

“This isn’t about choosing or not to alter someone’s property value, this is about the reality of what climate change means and rising sea levels and we’re seeing that around the country.”

Nobody called the good Doctor out on her numbers. ?They simply assumed the way-over-the-top estimates were reasonable and correct. ? Yet a simple test – looking back 35 years, and seeing if the sea rose appreciably – hasn’t been done.

There is always money in the “sky is falling” industry. ?Global Warming, sorry, Climate Change has come to nothing, yet we are still working on the assumption that we are going to lose almost a vertical meter of coastline in a single person’s life time?

How about a reality check?

How about members of parliament turning their brains on?

 

*Nerem; R. S. et al. (2010). “Estimating Mean Sea Level Change from the TOPEX and Jason Altimeter Missions”. Marine Geodesy 33: 435?446. doi:10.1080/01490419.2010.491031.
CUSLRG (2011-07-19). “2011_rel2: Global Mean Sea Level Time Series (seasonal signals removed)”. CU Sea Level Research Group (CUSLRG). Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
CNES/CLS (2011). “AVISO Global Mean Sea Level Estimate”. Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales/Collecte Localisation Satellites (CNES/CLS): Archiving, Validation and Interpretation of Satellite Oceanographic data (AVISO). Retrieved 2011-07-29.
N. (2011-07-29). “CSIRO Global Mean Sea Level Estimate”. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) / Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC). Retrieved 2011-07-29.

 

– RNZ

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