New Orleans Official Blamed Flooding On ‘Climate Change,’ But Broken Pumps Were To Blame

Neighborhoods are flooded with oil and water two weeks after Hurricane Katrina went though New Orleans, September 12, 2005. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Michael Bastasch

New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board director Cedric Grant blamed widespread flooding over the weekend on “climate change,” but it wasn’t long before news broke that broken water pumps were actually to blame.

Throughout the week, media reports have shown that New Orleans’s antiquated water pumping system failed to keep flooding at bay, and the problem hasn’t been resolved.

The mayor’s office warned Thursday morning a fire had taken out a turbine that powers most water pumping stations in the East Bank of New Orleans.

With more heavy rain forecast for this week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is asking residents to prepare for flooding. August is also hurricane season, a time when pumping stations are vital to keeping storm drains from being overwhelmed.

That’s a very different message from city officials earlier in the week when Grant blamed flooding over the weekend on climate change.

“The frustration is that we are now in a different era,” Grant said Sunday, the day after the city was inundated by about nine inches of rain in three hours.

“We are in an era of climate change, where we have these rains every week, every month,” Grant said. “And it’s not just us. It’s the rest of the country that’s experiencing the same weather patterns.”

City officials reassured residents that all water pump stations were working at full capacity, but subsequent media reports indicated this was not the case.

Some of the pumps “were offline due to maintenance” and another “pump station operated at just 52 percent capacity,” CBS News reported. “Pumping stations in two of the hardest-hit areas went down to half- to two-thirds capacity on Saturday,” the Associated Press noted.

So, why did the water pumping system fail so badly? Some of New Orleans’s pump stations rely on a turn-of-the-20th-Century power plant that’s not able to power every pump during a heavy downpour.

NOLA.com reporter Chelsea Brasted has the details:

Only one of the five pumps uses a modern 60-cycle electricity, and city officials say it could “power 38 of the 58 pumps on the west side of the Industrial Canal on the east bank,” WWLTV reported.

Grant told New Orleans city council members he would retire after hurricane season ends. Public Works Director Mark Jernigan will resign as well.

Ref.: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/11/new-orleans-official-blamed-flooding-on-climate-change-but-broken-pumps-were-to-blame/

Related

People in this town are likely to become America’s first climate change refugees. But residents don’t believe in global warming – and want Donald J. Trump to build a sea wall to keep the water away.

Another example of how stupid the climate fraud congregation is, sea level rise, locally??
 
1 billion chinese live in an area where the temperature trend has been a cooling trend for 2 decades, – ahh .. but that is just in parts of China, is their response.
 
Yeah right, but doesn’t “global” mean GLOBAL??
 
Or does it mean almost global?
 
Btw. Antarctica is also in a cooling trend, actually since 1979.
 
Back to the sea level rise, when you fill up your bath tub, does the water gather in one area of the tub, or does it spread evenly out?
 

NASA confirms: Sea levels have been FALLING across the planet for two years … media SILENT

Record Low Temperatures Outweigh Record High’s by 18:1 Ratio

An interesting idea was to use google and enter record high temperature / record low temperature and see the number of results that appeared for each entry by each area on the planet. The results shocked me and I think they will more than surprise you as well. Continent by continent, Oceania, Middle East Tropics, and both hemispheres. Try not to spill your drink while watching.

Dr. Judith Curry Explains The Reality Of Bad Climate Science And Bad Politics

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Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

Dr. Judith Curry conducted an interview with YouTube which was published on August 9, 2017 where she clearly lays out the many flaws and failures of “consensus” climate science and how this highly politicalized scheme tremendously misleads policy makers regarding the need for government directed climate actions.

Regarding the role that human greenhouse gas emissions play in driving the earth’s climate Dr. Curry concludes that:

“On balance, I don’t see any particular dangers from greenhouse warming. {Humans do} influence climate to some extent, what we do with land-use changes and what we put into the atmosphere. But I don’t think it’s a large enough impact to dominate over natural climate variability.”

Regarding the politically contrived climate “consensus” arguments put forth by climate alarmists she concludes:

“The collapse of the consensus on cholesterol and heart disease – that one collapsed overnight. I can only hope that sanity will eventually prevail with the climate problem as well.”

Dr. Curry a world renowned and academically honored climatologist and former chair of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology discussed political attacks she has been subjected to that started when she began to question the tactics of climate alarmist “consensus” following the revelations brought into the light by Climategate which clearly displayed the lack of transparency and openness present in mainstream climate science.

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The political attacks she has endured were the result of what she characterized as the politicalization of climate science as a deliberate strategy by climate alarmists to influence public policy which could not tolerate valid questions concerning legitimate climate science shortcomings.

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Dr. Curry discussed how she was “thrown out of the tribe” for suggesting that the conduct of climate science needed greater transparency, should be inclusive instead of dismissing of climate skeptic views, that climate science is a relatively new field where the “debate is not over”, that there “is no way the science issues are settled” and that there is” a whole lot more we don’t know”.

She noted how the “consensus” scheme has put climate science on the “wrong track” by “shinning a light” on only one small part of climate science, that being greenhouse gas emissions, while ignoring the huge role played by natural climate variation. This political approach has been a great disservice to efforts needed to truly understand our complex climate system and also greatly mislead policy makers.

Dr. Curry noted the ineffectual provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement where even if all countries meet their proclaimed emission reductions targets the result is only about a 0.2 Degrees C global temperature lowering by year 2100. She further noted that since the climate models run “hot” the actual likely global temperature reduction would be much less.

Regarding claims of accelerating sea level rise allegedly caused by human greenhouse gas emissions Dr. Curry noted that sea level has been rising for the last 10,000 years as a result of the end of the last ice age, that the UN ICC AR5 report data shows that sea level rise in the period of the 1940 to 1950’s was consistent with recent sea level rise levels, that large continental ice mass melting might drive future large sea level rise but that Antarctica ice mass is growing while Greenland ice mass is variable in behavior.

She concluded that “there is no evidence, so far, that human activities are influencing sea level rise”.

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Dr. Curry noted that wind and solar “won’t work” in addressing future energy and emissions desires and that instead of trying to rely upon renewables new research is needed on better energy options.

As far as trying to help society in the “here and now” regarding future climate issues she believes that extreme weather events will continue to happen in the future and that efforts to lesson the vulnerability of society to these events should be considered. Dr. Curry cautioned, however, that society faces many serious and complex issues in addition to climate issues and that resources available to deal with these many issues have to be balanced.

The recent examples of climate alarmism shenanigans provided by the New York Times regarding the CSSR report further demonstrate the problems noted by Dr. Curry in her YouTube interview concerning the misguided politicalization and distortion of climate science by climate alarmists.

Ref.: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/11/dr-judith-curry-explains-the-reality-of-bad-climate-science-and-bad-politics/

From 2010

NYT’s sort-of-clarity on Norfolk sinking aka “sea level rise” and an inconvenient map

This is a map and photo of Sharp’s Island and its sinking lighthouse in Chesapeake Bay, we’ll get back to that after the main article about Norfolk.

Image: Map of Sharps Island, Chesapeake Bay, showing extent of land mass in 1848 (U.S. Coast Survey, 1848).USGS (photograph from Vojtech (1997); used with permission from Tidewater Publishers).

GreenHell Blog writes: In an above-the-fold, front-page story, the Times’ Leslie Kaufman tried to tell a sad tale about global warming-induced sea-level rise wreaking havoc in Norfolk, VA.

If the moon is going to be full the night before Hazel Peck needs her car, for example, she parks it on a parallel block, away from the river. The next morning, she walks through a neighbor’s backyard to avoid the two-to-three-foot-deep puddle that routinely accumulates on her street after high tides.

For Ms. Peck and her neighbors, it is the only way to live with the encroaching sea.

As sea levels rise, tidal flooding is increasingly disrupting life here and all along the East Coast, a development many climate scientists link to global warming.

And of course, what tale of global warming would be complete without an “expert”?

Many Norfolk residents hope their problems will serve as a warning.

“We are the front lines of climate change,” said Jim Schultz, a science and technology writer who lives on Richmond Crescent near Ms. Peck. “No one who has a house here is a skeptic.”

As sea levels rise, tidal flooding is increasingly disrupting life here and all along the East Coast, a development many climate scientists link to global warming.

The article continues, bold emphasis mine

But Norfolk is worse off. Situated just west of the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, it is bordered on three sides by water, including several rivers, like the Lafayette, that are actually long tidal streams that feed into the bay and eventually the ocean.

Like many other cities, Norfolk was built on filled-in marsh. Now that fill is settling and compacting. In addition, the city is in an area where significant natural sinking of land is occurring. The result is that Norfolk has experienced the highest relative increase in sea level on the East Coast — 14.5 inches since 1930, according to readings by the Sewells Point naval station here.

But, that is just part of the story. While Norfolk has fill subsidence issues, other areas of Chesapeake Bay have disappearing islands.

Take for example Sharp’s Island, well up into Chesapeake Bay, and now a historical footnote on Google Earth at 38.621218° -76.363095°:

Here is the Sharps Island Light in 2009, no land is visible at all now:

It has been assumed that it is a victim of “global warming induced sea level rise” also. For example from the book: Slow Motion: The Log of a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack By M. Kei:

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Sharps Island Light, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA. Photo taken on October 23, 2009. Photo: Constantine M. Frangos – via Wikimedia

It has been assumed that it is a victim of “global warming induced sea level rise” also. For example from the book: Slow Motion: The Log of a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack By M. Kei:

Sharp’s Island Light was nudged into a lean by a heavy blow in 1970 and has remained that way ever since.

It is one of several vanishing islands in the Chesapeake, a natural process that has been going on for millennia, but which is getting worse with global warming.

But, have a look at this before and after map of Sharp’s Island, from a NOAA/University of Maryland Newsletter in 1990:

Source: “Disappearing Shores: The Bay’s Rising Waters” Maryland Marine Notes, NOAA and the University of Maryland, 1990 – click for article

And, note the dates of the map comparison, 1848-1942. This is well before our “hottest decade ever”. This undated historical photograph, shows there wasn’t much left when it was taken, perhaps at high tide:

While “climate change” gets some blame in the article:

Over this last century, once inhabited Chesapeake Bay shorelines have been disappearing rapidly, transformed by rising waters into shoals and marshes. The loss of land, says Michael Kearney, a geographer at the University of Maryland College Park, has been accelerating much faster than sea level rise from global warming can account for.

He and Court Stevenson of the University’s Horn Point Environmental Laboratories believe that accelerated sea level rise is the result of massive upland and shore erosion and depletion of underground waters.

Though it has been generally accepted that water levels have risen steadily since the 1800s, Kearney and Stevenson believe the rates have increased more rapidly along the Eastern Shore since the mid-19th century. From core dating and tide gauge records which date back to the early 1800s in Baltimore, there is evidence of acceleration in rising waters,” Stevenson says. “The problem is that we could not trust existing data.”

He found a way to get more accurate data, and this is what he found, bold emphasis mine:

He found that the rate of change in land area loss during the 1600s and 1700s was fairly low, possibly because sea level rise is slow. “That overlaps the marsh record,” Kearney says, and “it is what we would expect given the several hundred year cooling between 1450 and 1850, known as the Little Ice Age.”

Between 1850 and 1900, however, he found a dramatic increase in land area lost to marsh or erosion: Sharps island near the Choptank River, for instance, lost more than 80% of its remaining area, Poplar Island 38%, James Island 50%.

Then, between 1900 and 1950, another decline in land area occurred. “it must have been eroding very quickly and unexpectedly,” Kearney says. “People were building on a lot of these islands – then all of a sudden they had to move off.”

[Oh no, “Climate refugees” ! Maybe the U.N. IPCC can scare up some reparations money to families /sarc]

“When I saw that island data,” says Stevenson, “that’s when I really got excited: we knew we were seeing accelerated sea level rise in the tide gauge record, but this shoreline data just reinforced that belief.”

Worldwide estimates of sea level rise due to climatic warming range between 1.2 and 2.4 millimeters per year. “The increases in sea level rise we are seeing in the Bay are some 3.4 millimeters a year,” Stevenson says. “There have to be other things going on – global warming alone cannot account for it.” Both he and Kearney believe those other things are land erosion and subsidence, or sinking, due to underground water withdrawal.

The sediment load Chesapeake Bay receives, the result of land clearance and development, is massive – some 2 million metric tons a year. Under this weight, Kearney and Stevenson argue, the Bay crust is sinking, literally “downwarping” the bottom and displacing upper mantle material. At the same time, they hypothesize, groundwater withdrawal from surficial aquifers has been increasing for more than a hundred years.

Of course these are hypotheses, Kearney says. “We haven’t shown that groundwater withdrawal is the problem, but it is curious,” he adds, “that the timing of initial canning operations on the Eastern Shore in the 19th century corresponds to the rapid acceleration in shore erosion of Bay islands as well as increased rates of local marsh loss.”

Just what are the relative contributions of climatic warming, sediment loading and groundwater withdrawal to accelerating sea level rise? That is an unknown, Stevenson says, though he thinks warming is only a quarter of the problem. “But there’s not a lot of data.” The poultry industry, for instance, uses a great deal of groundwater; so do the power plants. With the prospects of increasing development throughout the Eastern Shore, the demand on underground water will continue to increase.

In 1998, the USGS had this to say about the area:

Tide gauges for the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic coast show rates of sea-level rise twice that of the worldwide average.

And here’ s one tide gauge that shows what was going on between 1937 and 1997:

Figure 6

Annual mean relative sea level recorded at the Solomons Island, Md., tide gauge 1937­97 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, written commun., 1998). Via USGS

So, it sure seems like land use change, sediment load, groundwater withdrawal, and subsidence, are all factors in the area. Sea level rise is surely a contributor, but only one of many factors. Kudos to whoever the NYT editor was that added the part about subsidence in Norfolk.

Ref.: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/26/nyts-sort-of-clarity-on-norfolk-sinking-aka-sea-level-rise-and-an-inconvenient-map/

Unusual Hot & Cold Temperatures Mixing Across the Northern Hemisphere

Government Climate Scientists Attempting To Extort Money From President Trump