Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by Kriegsspiel »

jacob wrote:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/scien ... begun.html

Coastal impacts. Flooding of houses during high tides and inland winds due to rising sea levels and falling land levels (ground water mining, etc.). Another example of those 500 year things beginning to happen every other year in some places.

Mostly relevant if living next to the sea; if driving on roads next to the sea (ironically, of course); if paying taxes or insurance premiums to battle the sea now or to clean up later after ignoring it now; and if investing in companies/property next to the sea, especially port facilities and utilities.
"The huge county government for the region, Miami-Dade County, is developing its own resilience strategy, one likely to cost billions. It has committed to rebuilding some of its decaying infrastructure, like a sewage plant, in a way that safeguards against sea-level rise and storm surges.

“I don’t see doom and gloom here; I see opportunity,” said Harvey Ruvin, the clerk of courts for Miami-Dade County, who has been a leading voice on the environment in Florida for a half-century, and who recently led a county task force on sea-level rise. “We’re talking about the most robust possible jobs program you can think of, and one that can’t be outsourced.”

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jennypenny
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by jennypenny »

When we were down the shore Saturday prepping the house for the storm (Hermine), we heard there was a lot of talk about renters demanding refunds when they were forced to leave for a storm. No one has ever given refunds in the past and storms aren't happening more frequently, but the back bay flooding is bad even with smaller storms now which causes the need for some evacuations. It's not wide spread yet, but this is the first time that such suggestions weren't laughed off by owners who have always been able to rent their homes easily.

The flooding has been consistently worse after Sandy in other places down the shore where my siblings live. I think everyone assumed it would get better after bulkheads were rebuilt, but it's still bad. There is also worry that there will be another exodus soon because NJ homeowners who were affected by Sandy got some money to rebuild on the condition that they didn't sell for three years, and that lock-in period is about up.

Riggerjack
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by Riggerjack »

Am I the only one who read that NYT article, and was just irritated thru the whole thing?

The hand wringing over Congressional gridlock, the general condemnation of Federal government to fund a local problem. OMG, the congressman from Colorado doesn't want to pay for coastal flood control. Must be cuz he hates science.

Or, he's a congressman from Colorado, doing his job.

I'm not familiar with right coast cities, but I understand that they are more heavily taxed than we on the west coast, on average. In Marysville, WA, a suburb of Everett, a city outside Seattle, the city budget, nearly 10 years ago, (the last time I looked into it) was over $4000 per capita. So, if an emergency, capable of wiping out the town were threatening, in the next century, I imagine they could scrape together $5000 per capita over a century. That's more than bake sale money, but not much more. That doesn't take state funding, IR Federal funding. It takes these progressive leaders the NYT so adores, actually putting their money where their mouths are.

BTW, Marysville has a blue mayor and city council, in a blue state, and an average elevation of 34 feet.it didn't take any red meanies to block any kind of coordinated action.

Personally, I look around, and don't see alot of buildings over a hundred years old. So when I hear the astronomical figures necessary to save buildings that will be torn/burnt down in the same time frame, I just can't understand the urgency.

When sea level rises, build up higher. What is hard to understand about that? If you don't, you go with a Netherlands style plan of dykes and pumps. And inevitably, a New Orleans style end.

CC may be a global problem but the fixes are local, and should be funded locally.

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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by jacob »

Riggerjack wrote:CC may be a global problem but the fixes are local, and should be funded locally.
One interesting(*) kind of social vs private effect I noted in the article was the difficulty in resolving "who pays" when a neighbourhood begins to flood. Lets say we have a river that increasingly floods a dozen houses. Now suppose this problem can be solved if all 12 pay to install a seawall along their particular river front. However, obviously, if just one of them either won't or can't pay, the wall solution fails because the water just runs through the hole. The opens up a can of worms: Is that property owner now responsible for all houses if the neighbourhood floods because they didn't build the wall? Should they be forced to carry heavy insurance? Should the city step in and build the wall and in that case is it fair that taxpayers fund a bunch of people who were dumb enough to build right next to the river?

Where should the buck stop? The owner? The neighbourhood? The city? The state? I don't know.

(This also ties into the morals or business decisions of the sandbag defense. You can protect your house with 4 units of wall (one on each side of the house) of sandbags. However, if you collaborate with a neighbour, you only need 6 units of wall. Indeed, each additional neighbour only "costs" 2 more units. So clearly collaboration is beneficial. However, the sandbags have to bought in advance, so how many people should be included?)

(*) I find it interesting because we have a similar kind of problem around here with rainwater. Similar but different in that one person's failure doesn't cascade to all others but rather fully impacts that one person; whereas one person's solution actually does impact all others. Lemmesplain. The Chicago sewer system was designed for a smaller population. Since it was built, the city has expanded tremendously and lots of grass/forest has been paved over. As a result the water doesn't sink into the ground but runs into the sewers. The burb sewers feed into the Chicago system and so when it rains heavily, Chicago simply shuts off their sewers to the burbs and thus the burbs flood. What happens then is that rainwater backs into people's basements. In particular it backs into the lowest basements on the block which then act as a temporary reservoir. Much like climate change this is a slowly developing human problem. Each time someone builds a parking lot or a new house in Chicagoland the problem worsens by one iota. However, there's also a "solution" which is to install a standpipe or floodcontrol. This blocks water from your basement. That water, then, gets distributed to all the other basements and---I'm guessing---more or less starts flooding the next lowest basement... until they get tired of it and install flood control themselves. Interesting, the city policy is to actively sponsor flood control (you get a rebate). I presume this is either some kind of Chicago-politics kickback to the various plumbing companies or an attempt to prop up property values in the present for more tax dollars. Of course once practically everybody has flood control, what will happen is that the water will start flooding the streets which will become the reservoir of last resort. Then it won't be the houses with the lowest basement but the house with the lowest point in the landscape that floods. So we're converging on a LA situation, very slowly.

BRUTE
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by BRUTE »

Riggerjack wrote:OMG, the congressman from Colorado doesn't want to pay for coastal flood control. Must be cuz he hates science.

Or, he's a congressman from Colorado, doing his job.
wrong. clearly, everyone who disagrees with [opinion] is racist, anti-science, or worse.

George the original one
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by George the original one »

jacob wrote:
Riggerjack wrote:Now suppose this problem can be solved if all 12 pay to install a seawall along their particular river front.
Which also ignores the unintended consequences (e.g. like the Chicago sewer system). If you protect a section of riverbank from regularly flooding, then the water has to go somewhere else.

Usually the solution becomes one of reserving a series of undeveloped floodplains/swamps for the overflow. Which sucks if you're the farmer who owns that floodplain and don't have the political clout to deny the usage.

BRUTE
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by BRUTE »

so preventing climate change is egoistical because it just pushes the problem to the next guy? brute approves of this line of thinking :)

7Wannabe5
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

The basement of my decrepit house that was built in 1865 never flooded because the first settlers generally picked the highest ground for their houses. If you look at a survey map for your neighborhood, you can determine where you are likely to find water. Exploring the storm drains underneath the newly constructed suburban subdivision I lived in when I was 12 was one of the activities that made me a rogue player in the economy. In my current neighborhood the drains empty into a trench full of cattails and surrounded by mulberries behind a strip mall parking lot.

Riggerjack
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by Riggerjack »

Here, West of the Cascades, we have flatlands. They used to be underwater, and currently are not, generally.

But, since they are former riverbottoms, they have rich soils, that erode easily. My Marysville house, on flatland, at 34 feet above sea level, sits on sandy loam. It has never flooded, just because the soil will take so much water. There is a network of drainage ditches, that empty to a creek that runs through town. I've never seen water standing in the residential ditches. The main ditches are now called streams, and they are protected wetlands. The creek is about 20' below the main level of town. This is just erosion at work.

When I look at Chicago on terrain maps, the whole region seems unnaturally flat, with little in the way of natural drainage. I am not surprised that the basements flood, I am surprised that drains are common in your basements. I'm also surprised that you have basements.

There seem to be some odd choices being made by central planners...

How commonly does your sewage back up into your fresh water supply?

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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by jacob »

So here's my current Chicago-land understanding as it pertains to peak-resources and climate change.

Positives: It's at 600+ feet of elevation and has no concern wrt seawater, earthquakes, volcanoes, or wildfires (the great Chicago fire notwithstanding). Chicago also has sea access to the Atlantic (via the great lakes) and plenty of fresh water (a giant lake + river systems). The second city is also a trading point between the breakbasket/midwest and the industrial "foundry"-states to the east. It has a nice network of both rail and channels. Chicago is natural "middle-man" which also means that Chicago attitudes are "comfortably nice a*-holes" aka natural traders. We're surrounded by nukes as well. This means cheap electricity. Solar potential is "not bad" either.

Negatives: Central planners didn't really account for all this population growth. It's the epicenter of the "zombie apocalypse".---Also murder central, but that's mostly block by block. The city/area was built on a former swamp (hence the flatness and tendency to flood). The sanitary channel actually relies on technology (very big pumps) to reverse the flow of effluence to go towards the Mississippi river instead of its natural flow towards the lake---which incidentally is also where the city gets its filtered water from. If those pumps ever stop ... that's going to cause a stink since Lake Michigan will pretty much turn into a giant toilet. Yes, Chicago is in the continuous business of reversing the natural flow of an entire river :?

Neutrals: Because of all the crime, Chicago has a net emigration. Also, many problems can be solved by money and connections.

AFAIK, storm water + sewage is occasionally sent directly into the gnarly lake. But my env. sci. Dr. DW likes to tell me that "dilution is the solution to pollution" :-P As far as our basement went before we installed flood control it would happen 1-3 times per year. But that all dependent on the depth of our basement relative to neighbours. I think we were the low one. Since then/$5500 later, no problem.

Historically: I think basements are/were standard because it solves the problem of freezing water pipes in the winter unlike crawl spaces. When we went house-shopping, there was only 1 in 10 houses w crawlspace rather than full basement. With a basement, water pipes come in some 8 feet below ground level which fixes that problem with 1950s technology (much less heating) and population density. I think back when a lot of the housing stock was built, flooding wasn't as much of an issue due to lower population densities (more green grass, less pavement, so less runoff). Our house has a drain and a grease trap. Back then (1950) housewives likes to dump excess grease directly into the kitchen sink drain which would clog the 4" sewer mains back then. To prevent that, a grease trap was installed and once in a while the grease trap would be cleaned out of bacon stuff. With today's cooking habits, grease traps are pretty much irrelevant. However the legacy existence of a grease trap pretty much renders standpipes ineffective, a lesson we learned a few months after installing one. (It would have been nice if our plumber had told us that.) So we paid for flood control. Problem fixed.

Riggerjack
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by Riggerjack »

And flood control is a sump pump connected to the sewer with a check valve?

I have never run into these sewer backups before. You hear of them every once in a while, but they are on the order of urban legend.

Here, flooding is when the rivers rise. Totally unpredictable, and pretty much indefensible. When the river is 2" higher than your floor, no pump or sandbag wall is going to fix it.

Unfortunately, flooding has gotten worse, because planning now wants to force lots to drain as part of developing a lot. There are ways to fix this, retention tanks, etc. But the DOE is so busy trying to politicize water rights, it is actively shutting down solutions. We only recently, after big protest, were granted the right to rain barrels, under certain restrictions, of course.

So, since you live in flatlands, with flooding history, and you expect more severe rain in the future; what is your plan?

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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by jacob »

Yup, this is pretty much what we paid much-money for:

Image

Our immediate neighbours are standpipe/no-trap or higher-than-our-basement trap only (and they say that works for them from 10 year floods to infinite), but I guess thery're not as low as we are/were. In term of flood control, after we paid the piper, there's been no flooding at our particular address so far.

Before this technofix, we got hit a few times a year. Which sucked!

My plan/desire is ... to get out of here, selling near the peak of the echo-bubble, as part of this complete investment plan. Not so much because of flooding but because I think Ecotopia (see American nations) is more compatible with my eco/hippie/hipster values. However, DW likes it here (her values are more NY/industrial), so we might "compromise" and stay. Sum total: It's quite probable that we'll stay here for several years.

Interestingly, the local city started offering free rain barrels (4 of them per household) to curb the area-inundation starting this year. OTOH, they've also started demanding some contradictory ordinance regs. for people to clean out their front (curb appeal) drainage making drainage go underground (into gravel patches, not barrels). And most houses (also ours) have their down spouts going to the front of the house. So yeah ... apparently we got idiots in charge at the city, as always. The city goal is to maintain a good attitude/posture while slowly drowning.

In terms of street flooding I think the water will keep going into "the poorest basement" (last one to pay for flood control) for quite a while (10+ years). While I've seen puddles in the street, they haven't gone above curb level yet.

enigmaT120
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by enigmaT120 »

I don't have to click on his Ecotopia link because I've read the book. Riggerjack, he's coming our way.

My solution to flooding problems is to live on a ridge. But dang it rains a lot here sometimes.

johngalt
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by johngalt »

jacob wrote:So here's my current Chicago-land understanding as it pertains to peak-resources and climate change.
According to the IPCC, it's not possible to have peak-ressources AND climate change.
For example in 13 out of the 40 emissions scenarios which are inputs to the climate models, oil production in 2100 is still rising (and for about 20 of them it is higher than today). You can get the data from the IPCC website here.

So good news : you only have to prepare yourself to one of the two.

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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by jacob »

@johngalt - I see what you tried to do here. However, your post displays a profound level of domain-ignorance when it comes to understanding the most important factor of resource extraction and how it differs from understanding the most important factor of climate change. They're not the same! (Hint: the rate-problem of "resource enjoyment" is not same as the sum total-problem of "resource-use consequences".) Furthermore, your post not only indicates not understanding scenario-based modeling in general; but also what the goal of the IPCC is in terms of making statements about climate change (they do) and peak resources (they've never done this nor desired to do this).

Your post is, therefore, not just "bad", it's "not even wrong" from a perspective of basic scientific modeling nor from having paid even a modicum of attention to the AR reports or anything that followed since 2010.

Linking to deprecated data tables that everybody else stopped using some 5 years ago (was the link among the first results on google or did the link come out of some old blog post?!) instead of just referring to the commonly used representative concentration pathways (RCPs) does not lend any credibility either.

To wit,

The IPCC has always been very explicit about how no one should ever misconstrue their emission models as actual predictions of extraction rates.

As it is, the current representative (<- meaning not predictive!) concentration pathways do indeed account for peak emissions rates. RCP2.6 has a peak emission rate before 2020. RCP4.5 has a peak emission rate in 2040, RCP6 has a peak in 2080, and RCP8.5 doesn't peak within the 21st century. All four RCPs show material climate change impact.

Now, when I started this thread, I said that in order to keep the noise to signal level down in this thread. I would delete ignorant/irrelevant personal opinions about general/global climate science in this thread and reserve it for discussing regional impacts only. If anyone wants to talk about general climate science or applied geology or politics, start a new thread.

Case closed! For further arguing, send a PM or start a thread. I will delete related responses in this thread.

oldbeyond
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Re: Global warming: Regional climate change impacts

Post by oldbeyond »

Oddly enough, local responses around here focus on the global problem(strict emission standards, vegan meals in schools and nursing homes, massive investment in biogas infrastructure) while remaining hell-bent on "developing" every flood-prone square meter by the river. They're even going to build a new section of the city for tens of thousands of residents basically on the river, on some of the poorest land in this entire nation. Just need a few pumps to make flooding a non-issue :? The incentive structure of political leaders seems very much skewed towards the national and global level, with little accountability towards the local residents(largely because the latter don't give a crap about local issues anyways)

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