A new study by an international team of researchers has determined that the pace of sea level rise is accelerating. In fact, their report says the world’s oceans are rising three times faster now than they did during the 20th century. That shouldn’t really surprise anyone. The polar ice caps are melting. The glaciers in Greenland are melting. The permafrost in Siberia is melting. All that water has to go someplace and where it is going is into the oceans of the world.
The study was published by the National Academy of Sciences on May 16. “We have a much stronger acceleration in sea level rise than formerly thought,” said Sönke Dangendorf, a researcher with the University of Siegen in Germany and co-author of the report. He was joined by scientists at institutions in Spain, France, Norway and the Netherlands. Three of the scientist involved work for the US Geological Survey, an arm of the US Interior Department.
USGS Press Release Altered
Following normal practice when any of its staff are involved in such studies, the USGS sent out a press release touting the achievements of its members. But first, it deleted the first line from the executive summary of the study: “Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding.”
That deletion has infuriated the USGS employees who participated in the study. “The suppression of this information is a scandal,” Neil Frazer, a geophysicist and co-author of the study told the Washington Post. “It’s a crime against the American people because scientists have known for at least 50 years that anthropogenic climate change is a reality.” The report warns that the frequency of coastal flooding will double in the next few decades because of rising sea levels.
Anne Wade, lead press officer for the USGS, told the Washington Post the deleted line “didn’t add anything to the overall findings.” Everyone knows climate change causes sea levels to rise so it is not a new finding and did not warrant inclusion in the news release, she suggested. Chip Fletcher, who is also a geophysicist, disagrees. “[The deletion] did not cause any direct inaccuracy, but it did eliminate an important connection to be made by the reader — that global warming is causing sea-level rise.”
Dumbing Down America
The deletion is in line with the dumbing down of official information presented to the public by Donald Trump. He and his minions of climate change denial are racing to expunge any mention of climate science from official government websites and slash funding for climate research. Destruction of coastal areas by higher tides and more powerful storms could destroy more than a trillion dollars worth of homes and buildings currently located in future flood plains. If so, it will force millions of Americans to relocate to cities further inland, which will have dramatic economic and social repercussions.
A Sink Hole Appears At Mar-A-Lago
Just this week, a sinkhole appeared on the front lawn of Donald Trump’s palatial Mar-A-Lago home in Florida, a phenomenon that is accelerating throughout the state and is exacerbated by rising sea levels. That property is in danger of becoming more mar and less lago as South Florida slips beneath the waves.
All The Donald has to do is look out his front door to see the effects of global warming, a phenomenon he describes as a “hoax.” Instead, he instructs his apparatchiks to expunge any mention of scientifically verified information in order to enforce the purity of his horribly skewed thinking. The damage he will cause is incalculable.
Beliefs Are Not Facts
There was a time when people believed the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. Those people were tortured and put to death for their heretical views. Hopefully, the US will not descend into such hysteria, but that may be too much to ask for while Trump has his tiny fingers on the tiller of the ship of state.