The ship was stationed in a harbor on a recent Carnival cruise of the Caribbean Sea. As I peered over our balcony, I sensed the ship moving. My wife corrected my thinking: the ship was not moving; the waves created an illusion of ship movement.
Climate Change, better described as climate alarmism, is all the rage. Climate alarmists gleefully connect with anything to support their hypothesis of anthropogenic causes of climate change. Hyde County, North Carolina, for example.
I quote Kris Noble, Hyde County’s Planning and Economic Development Director: “The citizens of Hyde County have dealt with flooding issues since the incorporation of Hyde County in 1712. It’s just one of the things we deal with.”
Sea level rise: actual or apparent?
My sense of cruise ship movement was due to my sense of apparent motion, not actual motion.
Natural forces account for the apparent sea level rise on the eastern seaboard: land subsidence and the Gulf Stream pushing Atlantic water toward the shoreline. A Scientific American article of April 14, 2016, titled Sinking Atlantic Coastline Meets Rapidly Rising Seas, states, “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.”
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, groundwater pumping is the most significant factor causing land subsidence. Probably the most extreme example of land subsidence due to groundwater pumping is the San Joaquin Valley, California. “The land surface subsided roughly 9 meters from 1925 to 1977 due to aquifer-system groundwater withdrawals.” 9 meters converts to 29.5 feet.
What about that higher sea level of the western Atlantic? The world is a very big place, so big that few humans can get their heads around it. The west-to-east rotation of the earth, the twice-daily lunar tides, meridional overturning circulation, and the natural flow of the Gulf Stream affect the coastal tides of the eastern seaboard. Fill a bucket with water and walk briskly while swinging your arms to gain a sense of the forces affecting the sea levels of the Atlantic Ocean.
Sleep well tonight.