Coastal Cliff Erosion in California and the Inaccuracies of Local weather Change Forecasts • Do you agree?
Anthony recently published an article on ClimateREALISM She refutes the silly claims in an article by Hannah Kanik published by Bay Area News Group (BANG) with the alarming claim that up to 70% of California’s coastline could be wiped out by the year 2100 due to climate change caused a stir.
Anthony pointed out that the article was misleading as it relied primarily on computer model projections of sea level rise.
The US States Geological Survey used two decades of satellite imagery of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach – combined with models of sea level rise from 1.6 to 10 feet due to global temperature rise – to estimate how the entire state’s shoreline will change over the next century .
This range is expected to vary over time depending on the pace and reduction in carbon emissions.
While it seems the reality is far in the future, sea levels on the west coast could rise by as much as 20 inches over the next 25 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
This claim is based on computer climate models predicting sea level rise (SLR) and not on trending actual sea level observations. As climate realism has repeatedly discussed, climate models are seriously flawed. The most extreme projections from computer model simulations, RCP 8.5, which most likely produce the highest SLR warned, 10ft by 2100, are not only extraordinarily improbable, they are probably impossible.
The article cites several locations along the California coast that are most at risk, including Humboldt Bay, Point Arena, Ocean Beach in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Newport Beach, and San Clemente.
Luckily, there is real data in the form of tide gauges on the US West Coast. Sea level rise data is publicly available on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website called Tides and Currents. Below in Figure 1 is a screenshot from this website showing tide gauges on the US West Coast:
Figure 1: Map from NOAA website showing relative sea level trends at West Coast stations, with arrows representing direction and color representing magnitude of SLR change.https://climaterealism.com/2023/06/no-bang -the-california-coastline-will-not-be-wiped-out-by-climate-change/
What Anthony didn’t point out though In this way, Kanik’s article ignores the long-standing problem of coastal cliff erosion, which has been well documented and studied for many decades, if not hundreds, of years. This blog post seeks to shed light on these additional flaws in the Kanik’s claims and provide a more nuanced perspective on the subject.
Coastal Cliff Erosion and Geographical Factors: Coastal cliff erosion is a long-standing problem in California and is primarily caused by natural factors such as tides, weather, and land compaction and subsidence.
Understand the erosion of coastal cliffs: Coastal cliff erosion refers to the gradual erosion of cliffs and cliffs along the coast due to various natural and man-made processes. While erosion can occur in a variety of ways, coastal cliffs are particularly vulnerable due to the combined effects of weather, wave action and tidal forces.
weathering: Over time, the relentless forces of wind, rain and temperature fluctuations erode the rocky material of coastal cliffs. This process is primarily driven by physical and chemical weathering, causing the cliffs to gradually weaken and collapse.
wave action: The strong and constant pounding of the waves against the base of the cliffs contributes significantly to their erosion. The sheer force of the waves, coupled with the abrasive action of the waterborne sediment and debris, gradually undermines and erodes the rock face.
tidal forces: Tides play a crucial role in the erosion of coastal cliffs. The ebb and flow of the tides exposes the base of the cliffs to constant wet and dry cycles. This cyclical action weakens the stability of the cliffs and accelerates their erosion.
Storm events and coastal damage: The article itself acknowledges that the damaged stretches of coastline mentioned are due to single storm events and not to long-term climate change. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that there is no evidence of increasing trends in severe weather events due to climate change. This further supports the argument that coastal damage in California is primarily caused by natural erosion, periodic extreme weather events, and unstable soil rather than climate change.
human factorsB. Coastal development, aquifer depletion, coastal defense structures and dams that can stress cliffs, alter water discharge pathways and affect natural sediment transport
Attributing erosion solely to climate change oversimplifies the complex dynamics involved.
It is important to be critical of the claims made in alarmist articles. The recent Bay Area News Group (BANG) article exaggerates the potential impact of climate change on the California coast while ignoring the long-standing problem of coastal erosion. By considering real data, including tide gauge observations and historical records, climate change alarmist skeptics offer a broader perspective on the problem. Distinguishing between natural erosion processes and the impact of climate change is crucial for the development of effective strategies for coastal management and protection.