NOAA climate report reveals record sea-level rise

| 02/08/2018 | 40 Comments
Cayman News Service

The Maldives, where the effects of climate change are already being felt

(CNS): Sea-level rise, greenhouse gas emissions, droughts and extreme precipitation all broke records again last year, according to information published this week in the ‘State of the Climate in 2017an annual report by NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate, with input from more than 500 scientists and experts from 65 countries. Once again, the findings of the researchers paint a bleak picture for the planet and the very clear trends and increasing numbers of extreme weather events. But one of the most important revelations in the report for the Cayman Islands is the continued sea-level rise.

2017 marks the sixth consecutive year of sea-level rise. Although there is some global fluctuation, the oceans are now more than three inches higher than they were in 1993. The experts found that along the east coast of North America, sea levels were all anomalously high last year and oceanic heat content also rose on a global scale in 2017.

“I think of the oceans like a freight train,” oceanographer Gregory Johnson from NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory told reporters during the press conference call on the release of the report on Wednesday morning. “If we were to freeze greenhouse gases at the level they are today, the oceans would continue to warm and seas would continue to rise for centuries to millennia.”

For Cayman and other low-level vulnerable islands, the sea-level rise trends are much more than worrying and a clear warning for governments to prepare for the inevitable serious coastal erosion and flooding. This will require significant changes to planning laws, in particular set backs, and much more strict rules regarding coastal development and the need to protect our shorelines.

While 2017 is not the hottest year on record, depending on the measurements and model it is the second or third. 2016 remains the hottest year on record, but the report reminds readers that the last four years are the hottest since the mid 1800’s when records began.

While not the hottest in terms of average temperature, 2017 still broke heat records because it is now the hottest year on record in the absence of El Niño, the ocean warming trend that pushes temperatures up. There were also contrasts of extreme precipitation in many places last year and drought events across the world.

Greenhouse gases also surged to new highs, with the top three most dangerous greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) all breaking new records. The average carbon dioxide concentration at the Earth’s surface climbed to 405 parts per million, the highest in modern atmospheric measurement as well as in ice core records that date back 800,000 years.

The unprecedented heat enveloped the Arctic last year, where land surface temperature hit 2.9°F above the 1981–2010 average, with the area recording the second highest temperatures since records began there in 1900.

“Today’s abnormally warm Arctic air and sea surface temperatures have not been observed in the last 2,000 years,” the report stated. Glaciers the world over also shrank for the 38th year in a row, and the situation was no better in the Antarctic, where sea ice remained below average all year.

Although the 300-page report makes no predictions, the word “abnormal” appeared at least a dozen times as it documents the statistics relating to temperatures, extreme weather events, droughts and record low ice cover.

See the full report here

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know how much our sea rose so far?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sky is always falling with these scientists just to get more funding.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    yeah…but can we cope with the extreme heat that will also accompany and extreme storms?????

  4. Anonymous says:

    floating islands? they rise y fall with tides?

  5. StopTheCrime says:

    Hey look on the bright side: this little island will make a great dive site someday…

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    • Ann says:

      StoptheCrime – If that was meant to be funny it wasn’t unless of course you have your country to return to.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isaiah 24 (King James Version)

    24 Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

    2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

    3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.

    #Truth

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    • I. B. Douten says:

      Don’t bet your shekels on it, Anonymous 2:40…… Isaiah may have been rooster-pootin’.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Funny, friend.
        Remember that Isaiah foretold the arrival of Messiah hundreds of years before the event.
        Read Isaiah 9 and 53 and you will see. The amazing thing is that the Torah is unchanged throughout thousands of years and is still written and read in the ORIGINAL language.
        Isaiah foretold of a virgin who would bring forth a Son, Emmanuel, God with us.
        He also spoke of a man rejected, beaten and bruised for the transgressions of humanity.
        Many of His own people rejected Him, but us rejects of society have embraced Him.
        The salvation He promised is manifesting in our hearts.
        It is a spiritual thing and marvellous.

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    • StopTheCrime says:

      #NotTruth

  7. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like a job for a super genius online PhD cadre.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Who cares, I get paid good here in Cayman.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    If the Dutch can do it so can we. But not to worry Trump says its all fake news

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Who cares, haven’t you heard the REAL news, Bush is supporting Manderson. Now that is news that will be worth something hundreds of years from now when we are all underwater gurgling at their underwater bronze statues.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Just let Jesus into your heart and our church connections can make sure you get a job. If you pray hard enough with your elders, he will make sure 99.9% of all scientist are wrong. Do not try to sell off your house as many elders have investments in property -praise be all.

    This and the 2020 opening of registry of beneficial ownership will mean your future here is the same as it ever was…same as it every was…same as it ever was…same as it every was…be a talking head for jesus and spread the bliss.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus came to talk to me and they said to sell your house.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus is the Living Word of God.
      Even “Je suis” in French means “I am”.
      Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”
      He has always existed as the Word of the Father. Since He is the Word, He is also a replica of the originating thought, a mini-me if you like.
      The only thing He lacks is a bride.
      The Father has The Spirit, The Son is patiently waiting.
      Jesus has already laid His life down for his bride and she has and is responding, much to the ridicule of haters the world over.
      Please laugh at us now, hate us now, politically ostracize us now, and decapitate us now, but one fine day, you will know the truth.
      Oh fine day that will be!

      Why don’t you open your eyes?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for being real. It is appreciated.

        @ 12:47 pm

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        • Anonymous says:

          Can I join your church and gang up on 10:59? Its the christian way. It could buy us some job security if the boss sees us poking a stick every now and then at our enemies. If we can get a couple more “keepn it reeeal” comments , we can finish 10:59 off for good. God Bless. We will inherit the earth if we just act meek, dont have to be it…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Give up all your riches for heaven, I’m not holding my breath…fool me once…

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        • Anonymous says:

          You first…said the “my faith is being tested” christian in their cozy job who like to preach at others.

    • Anonymous says:

      You need to repent.Do you know where you are? Only christians make money in Cayman and make all the important decisions affteding our ecology. They need to fill their sarcophagus with riches adn wealth when they enter heaven. =keepn it realzzz.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus doesn’t care. He can walk on water.

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      • Anonymous says:

        but he can’t walk on wine, so he has to be careful when water walking incase of an inadvertant miracle

  12. Anonymous says:

    Could the recent (4+ years) of sargasso sea weed “invasion” also be related to climate change and we don’t even realize it? Don’t rule it out!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    in 20 years i have never once heard any caymanian politician talk about sea levels….while miami has been tackling the issue for 30 years!
    their ignorance of the environment is astounding and makes a mockery of the caymankind mantra

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  14. Anonymous says:

    don’t worry we have dwayne seymour!………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  15. Anonymous says:

    and the silence from our pathetic mla’s is deafening…..

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Brac Bluff land is looking more and more appealing!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Two words: Plant Mangroves!

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