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Rising sea levels emerge as issue for proposed condo project on Dorchester waterfront

The Dorchester Reporter reports that in addition to the usual concerns about traffic and rootless condo dwellers, opponents of developer's plan to put 96 condos on the very tip of Port Norfolk have a new issue: Ever higher tides caused by climate change. A BPDA planner told a recent meeting that "over the next 50 years or so, the 2018 village will shrink to a sliver in the center as tidal waters eat away at the edges."



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Boston needs more housing, but this development struck me as a folly.

Building housing is still possible, but there needs to be some understanding about the next 50 years of sea level rise baked in.

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What happens in Port Norfolk may be a good harbinger of what’s coming for the rest of the city. The multi-trillion dollar question is when does the major underground infrastructure of coastal cities (tunnels for trains, highways, utilities etc) become useless, or at least no longer worth investing into because we won't be able to keep the water out of it for much longer? At what point do cities like Boston become places where everybody wants to sell and nobody wants to buy?

My net worth (it wouldn't buy me two parking spaces in the Back Bay) is largely tied up to local real estate. I am already starting to think that it may be wise to start divesting from coastal real estate before everybody starts running for the hills.

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Sorry, earlier comment came out as duplicate, and I can't figure out how to delete the second comment box :)

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I think we can all rest easy with Al Gore purchasing an $11 million dollar waterfront home.

As the Arctic Ice expands, I would be happy to make a discount offer in Port Norfolk before the floods.

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and no point getting insurance against something you don't believe in, right?

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I won't even call it fake science because it isn't even scientific!

Try this, REAL SCIENCE fat for brains: https://www.globalchange.gov/nca4

Compiled, audited, and reviewed by REAL SCIENTISTS

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You can believe what you want but Id hazard a bet that new shipping lanes are going to open up from larger and larger ice melts.

Then again, if you know something everyone else isn't pricing right, I'd advise you to capitalize on it. :)

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… algebra must have been hard for you.

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I mean, wow. realclimatescience.com? Totally sold me, that gotta be legit - it even has REAL in its domain. So legit that the author of the blog uses a fake name! Must be a great scientist, eh fishy?


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Just sayin that 20 years ago a lot of people were told to invest in GE

How could you go wrong with that prediction -- well in 30 more years it might return to being the most valuable company by market capitalization.. but I wouldn't hold my breath

I'll bet that there are a lot of people today making the same projections about Apple, Microsoft -- currently neck and neck for most valuable company

Give it a rest!! -- Yes Sea Level is slowly rising in many places -- this is mostly due to the land sinking for various reasons

In some places we have restructured our hydrology by taking a whole lot of water that would have ended up being absorbed into the ground in the suburbs and fast tracking it into Massachusetts Bay through the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant and the Discharge Tunnel

None of the predictions over a 50 year period of a system as complex as the Climate or the Economy are worth half of their bits let alone the paper that it takes to print them out

Overall --Let's just remember that as long as the moon stays where it is and the bottom of Massachusetts Bay stays relatively benign tectonically -- well the tides in these parts will vary by 10 feet every day

That's a prediction you can put in to the vault @ First National Bank of Boston

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I don't think so.

You might try keeping up with the science if you are able to understand all that tricky stuff. Your framing of the problem is ... well ... really quite off.

Start with Part 1 of the 4th National Climate Assessment - it has the best and most recent North American downscale of the ensemble models from the 5th IPCC assessment.

All peer reviewed, referenced, explained and everything! https://science2017.globalchange.gov/

The complete edition of Part 2 of the 4th NCA hasn't yet been made available, unless you know the trick with the links. I think you may be limited to the executive summary anyway.

I would suggest reading and understanding these basic, fundamental, massively sourced and peer reviewed works before making any further daft comments. This ensemble modeling has been going on long enough for it to be self validating at this point. You don't understand that. You should read up on it rather than dismiss it - vastly more scientific prognostication than stock market and election cycles!

For Boston Specific info go here: https://www.boston.gov/departments/environment/climate-ready-boston

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I've done both the reviewing and editing of real science for journals and conferences. I've also had papers submitted, edited and published in journals and conference proceedings

To paraphrase a famous political quote about the a Kennedy -- I've done science*1 -- I know Real Science -- IPCC Climate reports [especially the Summary for Policy Makers] are not Real Science

They can best be described as Garbage In ==== Garbage Out -- the Models are all being compared against each other -- not against real observations [which have their own problems]*2

The fundamental problem with comparing models versus models -- is that Nothing can be predicted that is not included intrinsically in that model -- in other words -- the "Physics of the Model needs to be complete" For a concrete example shoot a wad of paper with a slingshot and try using a ballistic trajectory to predict where it will a land -- Make as many ballistic models as you wish -- but no model can be allowed to include the perverse aerodynamics of the "paper wad"

I wish you luck in predicting where the wad will land -- one, three or a hundred times

Back to Climate Forecasting -- Why doesn't someone compare the model outputs generated in say 2010 against the current measurements as a Ph.D.. Thesis at a Prestigious U

or better yet how about an X Prize in 5 parts:

  1. 1) Prize one -- best instruments and data collection compared against the best that there is currently in use -- 5 years
  2. 2) Collect data for a baseline -- 5 years
  3. 3) Yr. 10 -- Make predictions using the baseline data and best models -- with no more adjustments
  4. 4) Collect more data with our new suite of instruments and processing tools -- and then look at the predictions after a further 15 years of more data*3
  5. 5) 1B$ [Dr Evil Gesture] for the model that best predicts what is the current state of the atmosphere

We've got plenty of newly minted Billionaires [and presumably in the next few years our first Trillionaire or two] to fund such an novel concept -- Note no government flunkies need apply

For and introduction to the problems of the IPCC predictions
try the following video from Richard Lindzen recently retired after a stellar career in Meteorology and Climatology at MIT*4

2018 Annual GWPF Lecture - Prof Richard Lindzen - Global Warming For The Two Cultures

GWPF [Global Warming Policy Foundation]
Published on Oct 15, 2018
2018 Annual GWPF Lecture

Prof Richard Lindzen

Global Warming For The Two Cultures
London 8 October 2018
Institution of Mechanical Engineers


*1 including some work with the contents of the National Climatological Database when I was studying experimentally and theoretically an electromagnetic phenomena known as the "Evaporation Duct"

*2 I had a lot of problems with the archived sea surface temperature data needed to predict the height of the duct and hence its ability to "duct" radio waves

*3 to allow for at least one "11 year" Solar Activity [aka Sunspot Cycle]


From 1983 until his retirement in 2013, he was Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology He was a lead author of Chapter 7, "Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks," of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Third Assessment Report on climate change.

Lindzen is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Meisinger and Charney Awards[citation needed], American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Medal[citation needed], and the Leo Prize from the Wallin Foundation in Goteborg, Sweden[citation needed]. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and was named Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and a member of the United States National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He was a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Lindzen is an ISI highly cited researcher, and his biography has been included in American Men and Women of Science.

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Next time just put Lindzen's name at or near the top of the post and save everyone a lot of time.

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Obviously not.

None of this is science. Lindzen is a joke - "American Women and Men of Science"? I think my college student got an offer to be in that for $250.

Give me a call when he's inducted to the national academies.

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She's a climate and air pollution scientist.

Let me guess: You also played a little high school football?

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If you don't understand how these models work and how they are validated by predicting climate decades in the past and comparing predictions to the measured data, perhaps you should read one of the many scientific journal articles and reports that explain this.

The methods are completely described and transparent. The data is validated. Note how the current series rejected some stuff from Jim Hanson because it wasn't peer reviewed?

Your folksy "ah shucks nobody can forecast anything derp" opinions are irrelevant.

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See the fundamental problem is that whenever you hear something from someone who offers a different view you dismiss it -- not scientifically but emotionally

Fine -- challenge it by making an alternative "guess on how the universe works" [aka Theory] -- publish your ideas -- make testable predictions

Or build the apparatus -- take the data, analyze the the data and challenge the predictions someone has made if they don't agree with your data

That is how science evolves -- not by trashing the people with alternative ideas

What you can not do is claim that models prove anything -- they not only never do -- they can not

Models are just sophisticated ways of summarizing a known set of rules -- you can make all of the models you want -- what you have to do is know everything that can occur when you build the model

Leave out one bit of the underlying behavior and your model will predict stuff -- but it will not be a test of nature -- soley a test of the incorporated understanding in the model

Most instructively:
Take a marble and a rubber band -- shoot the marble at a trash can across the room -- the trajectory of the marble is well described by a simple ballistic model based on: the weight of the marble, the strength of the rubber band, how much you pull it, and the angle above the horizon of the release
Do the same with a wad of paper with about the same weight -- you will be so off in your predicted trajectory -- the difference -- air resistance which will give the paper wad [assuming it stays compressed] both a random degree of lift and drag and a general unpredictability

The latter is essentially why baseball pitchers legitimately throw knuckle balls or illegally try to throw balls which have been scuffed, ripped, wet, etc.

The origins of this understanding -- which should be required reading for any budding climate modeler is:

About 60 years ago now s Prof. at MIT made an observation about non-linear systems -- and coined the term "The Butterfly effect" -- aka Futurecast is nearly always wrong in the details

Edward Norton Lorenz an American mathematician, meteorologist, and a pioneer of chaos theory. He introduced the strange attractor notion and coined the term butterfly effect.
Lorenz was born in West Hartford, Connecticut.[4] He studied mathematics at both Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 1942 until 1946, he served as a meteorologist for the United States Army Air Corps. After his return from World War II, he decided to study meteorology.[2] Lorenz earned two degrees in the area from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he later was a professor for many years. He was a Professor Emeritus at MIT from 1987 until his death.[2]

During the 1950s, Lorenz became skeptical of the appropriateness of the linear statistical models in meteorology, as most atmospheric phenomena involved in weather forecasting are non-linear.[2] His work on the topic culminated in the publication of his 1963 paper "Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow" in Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, and with it, the foundation of chaos theory.[2][5][6]
He states in that paper:
Two states differing by imperceptible amounts may eventually evolve into two considerably different states ... If, then, there is any error whatever in observing the present state—and in any real system such errors seem inevitable—an acceptable prediction of an instantaneous state in the distant future may well be impossible....In view of the inevitable inaccuracy and incompleteness of weather observations, precise very-long-range forecasting would seem to be nonexistent.

His description of the butterfly effect followed in 1969.[2][7][8] He was awarded the Kyoto Prize for basic sciences, in the field of earth and planetary sciences, in 1991,[9] the Buys Ballot Award in 2004, and the Tomassoni Award in 2008.[10]

1969 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, American Meteorological Society.
1973 Symons Gold Medal, Royal Meteorological Society.
1975 Fellow, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.).
1981 Member, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
1983 Crafoord Prize, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
1984 Honorary Member, Royal Meteorological Society.
1989 Elliott Cresson Medal, The Franklin Institute
1991 Kyoto Prize for ‘… his boldest scientific achievement in discovering "deterministic chaos"
2000 International Meteorological Organization Prize from World Meteorological Organization
2004 Buys Ballot Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
2004 Lomonosov Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Lorenz built a mathematical model of the way air moves around in the atmosphere. As Lorenz studied weather patterns he began to realize that the weather patterns did not always behave as predicted. Minute variations in the initial values of variables in his twelve-variable computer weather model (c. 1960, running on an LGP-30 desk computer) would result in grossly divergent weather patterns.[2] This sensitive dependence on initial conditions, which came to be known as the butterfly effect, meant that weather predictions from more than about a week out are generally fairly inaccurate.[13]

Lorenz went on to explore the underlying mathematics and published his conclusions in a seminal work titled Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow, in which he described a relatively simple system of equations that resulted in a very complicated dynamical object now known as the Lorenz attractor.[6]


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"actually it's the land sinking" is a fresh new stupid, at least.

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