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            When people ask, `Have we been able to measure, and prove, that sea-levels are actually rising?', one of the standard evasions, used by climate change deniers (I prefer to call them `paid disrupters') is to begin spewing out numbers, with the deliberate intent of making the numbers (and the issue itself) complicated, hard to follow, hard to understand, impossible to remember, and impossible to explain to anyone else. We need to simplify things, and the subheading above is an effort to do exactly that. Plus, if two straightforward facts are placed directly next to each other and compared, they should be enough to help at least some voters understand, a bit better, the dangers that are coming at us like a runaway train, with us trapped on the tracks.


            Fact 5.1:  Over the past 100 years, sea levels rose, at least 8 inches. Sources, for that? Well, the U.S. Navy, for starters. As patriots, and as people who have dedicated their lives to helping keep America strong, Republicans and conservatives can and should trust the Navy, more than they trust Democrats. Plus, the Navy is in a line of work where they NEED to know the actual hard facts, about sea level rise.

            However, the Navy apparently has carefully avoided releasing or endorsing any clear, direct, and uncluttered numbers which would help the public understand sea level rise -- presumably, because the Navy does NOT want to confront and antagonize the members of Congress who control their budgets, and who do not want to be confronted by facts set forth so clearly and directly that they would seem to be deliberately provoking, taunting, and needling those who do not want to know those facts. I have seen dozens of reports that dance all around the actual numbers, and only a very few which actually say them, and explain them -- and those few were in almost all cases written by reporters, consultants, and others, to help the Navy avoid having to actually sign and release such statistics. As just one example, see Kramer 2016, which can be found at For context, the set of roughly 20 military installations in and around Norfolk, Virginia (at the mouth of the James River, which also is at the inlet to Chesapeake Bay) is the largest military complex anywhere in the world. To prepare his article, Kramer spoke directly with, and directly quoted, two Navy officers (as well as a number of other people working in that field); however, when it came time for "the big reveal", he 

had to write it in his own words, rather than actually quote anyone who worked for the Navy. His words were,  "Sea level in Norfolk has risen 46 cm in the past 100 years. About 20 cm of that is attributable to the global rise in sea level." Not surprisingly, the number was given in centimeters, rather than inches, since the journal was Physics Today; so, "about 20 cm" is "about 7.9 inches".

            As a second brief note about PAST sea level rises, our coastlines are already suffering from major, MAJOR problems, because of that 8 inch rise, in the last 100 years. Think of what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and what Hurricane Sandy did to New Jersey and New York. Those are hard, undeniable facts. If sea levels continued to rise at just that OLD rate (8 inches/century), those problems would keep getting even WORSE. But, that’s not happening, as explained below.

          As a final note about sea level rises over the past 100 years, the "baseline" year that the U.S. Navy uses is 1917. Why that year? Because, in 1917, the Navy began a massive rebuilding of all of their naval bases, beginning with the super-huge complex in and around Norfolk. That rebuilding program began, partly because, by 1917, people in both Congress and the Navy were realizing that we might well be drawn into what later came to be called World War I; and, also, because that was when military ships all around the world, which had been using coal-fired steam engines, were being replaced by diesel engines, powered by liquid fuel instead of coal. The change from coal bins, to diesel piping and tanks, required major changes, and the Navy took close and careful measurements of sea levels, at every port, harbor, and base where it was making changes.

            Fact 5.2: The SECOND part of the REAL problem is, things are going to start getting a whole lot WORSE, a whole lot FASTER. The current best prediction, based on extensive and careful computer modeling – improved by continuous updating, to reflect new data that are being gathered all the time – is this: the known rates of sea-level rise are on pace to exceed A WORLDWIDE AVERAGE OF 14 INCHES, over JUST THE NEXT 40 YEARS.

            People need visual images, to help them get a better sense of what is really happening, so here is a single, straight-forward graph (with more explanation, below), comparing:

            (1) sea level rise over the PAST 40 years (from 1980, to 2020), as a 40% fraction (i.e., 3.2 inches) of the 8-inch rate of rise during the past 100 years; and,

            (2) the projected sea level rise over the NEXT 40 years (i.e., 14 inches, 2020-2060).




​            The “14 inches in the next 40 years” number also is consistent with the updated analyses issued in February 2022, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That analysis also predicts sea level rises of more than a foot, just within just THIRTY YEARS, starting in 2022. Over just the next 30 years, predicted sea level rises along the Atlantic are predicted to be 10 to 14 inches for the Atlantic coast, and 14 to 18 inches for the Gulf coast. Even though they don’t cover the exact same span of decades, the NOAA forecasts align so well with the Navy forecasts, that anyone and everyone should take the warnings, in both sets of projections and predictions, very, VERY seriously, rather than trying to create quibbles, clutter, confusion, and evasions over the minor differences between them.

             And, if THAT still isn’t enough, the so-called “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (IPCC), a scientific group put together by the United Nations, also came out with its most recent update, in February 2022, on just how dire the situation is becoming, and how rapidly. It says pretty much the same kinds of stuff set forth in the eight macro-facts described in this website. If anyone would like to see a case study in how `howling disasters, coming at us, hard and fast’ are summarized by mixtures of scientists and diplomats, the entire report can be downloaded, for free, from If anyone would like a summary, written at the length of an extended news article, they can be found easily, at websites such as world/un-ipcc-climate-report-adaptation-impacts/index.html (entitled, `Delay means death: We're running out of ways to adapt to the climate crisis, new report shows. Here are the key takeaways') and  (the link also repeats the title).

            The bottom line is, we’re no longer talking about just millimeters, or inches, of sea level rise. We now need to begin talking to the public – and, voters need to begin asking any and all candidates for Congress – about how many FEET of sea level rise we’re going to see, just in the next 2-3 decades.


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