“But in Britain and the United States, global records go back to the mid-1800s, and the two countries’ weather and science agencies are expected to concur that this summer has been a record breaker.”
Despite all the climate alarmist politically driven ignorance-based hype about “record” year summer 2023 temperatures the reality of the year 2023 summer temperatures in the U.S. and other global locations are, in fact, disputed by NOAA’s measured data.
NOAA’s year 2023 U.S. temperature data records covering the NOAA defined 3-month summer June through August period actually shows that U.S. 2023 summer temperatures were far below “record” summer maximum temperature levels regardless of whether one is looking at NOAA’s national, regional, state, county or city summer temperature data.
Looking first at NOAA’s National Contiguous U.S. Maximum Temperature for year 2023 (shown below) we see a maximum temperature of 85.72 F which represents the 109th highest maximum summer temperature of the 129 maximum summer temperatures identified. There are 20 years in which the Contiguous U.S. Maximum Temperature was higher than in 2023 with the highest ever being in 1936 at 87.92 F.
The year 2023 is not even close to being a “record” maximum highest summer temperature for the Contiguous U.S.
Looking next at NOAA’s West Regional Time Series for year 2023 (shown below for the West Region) we see a maximum temperature of 86.6 F which represents the 73rd highest maximum temperature of the 129 maximum summer temperatures identified. There are 56 years in which the West Regional Maximum Temperature was higher than 2023 with the highest ever being in 2021 at 91.2 F.
There are 7 other NOAA Regional Areas which are the Ohio Valley, Upper Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast, Southwest and Northern Rockies Plains of the U.S. with each of these showing that the year 2023 maximum summer temperature is not the “record” highest with these “record” highest maximum years being 1936, 1988, 1949, 2021, 2011, 2020 and 1936 respectively.
The year 2023 is not even close to a “record” maximum highest summer temperature for any of NOAA’s U.S. Regions.
Looking next at the NOAA’s Statewide Time Series Maximum Temperature for year 2023 (shown below California) we see a maximum temperature of 87.9 F which represents the 77th highest maximum temperature out of the 129 maximum summer temperatures identified. There are 52 years in which California’s Statewide Maximum Temperature was higher than in year 2023 with the highest ever being in 2021 at 91.9 F.
Of the 48 States in the Contiguous U.S. 47 did not see a “record” maximum highest summer temperature in 2023. Only Louisiana has a “record” maximum highest summer temperature in year 2023.
California’s year 2023 summer temperature was not even close to a “record” maximum summer temperature.
47 of the 48 Contiguous U.S. States did not have a “record” maximum summer temperature.
Looking next at NOAA’s County Time Series Maximum Temperature for year 2023 (shown below for Los Angeles County) we see a maximum temperature of 85.0 F which represents the 49th highest out of 129 maximum summer temperatures identified. There are 80 years in which the Los Angeles County Maximum Temperature was higher than in year 2023 with the highest ever being in 2006 at 89.7 F.
There are 58 California counties listed in NOAA’s County Time Series and none these counties had a “record” maximum highest summer temperature in 2023.
Looking next at NOAA’s City Time Series Maximum Temperature for year 2023 (shown below for Los Angeles) we see a maximum temperature of 72.8 F which represents the 47th highest summer temperature out of the 79 identified. There are 32 years in which the Los Angeles City Maximum Temperature was higher than in year 2023 with the highest being in 2006 at 76.8 F.
There are 9 California cities (including Death Valley) listed in NOAA’s City Time Series and none of these cities had a “record” maximum highest summer temperatures in 2023.
NOAA’s temperature data as identified and addressed in the above discussion for year 2023 clearly indicates that the U.S did not have “record” breaking summer temperatures in year 2023– not at the national level, not at the nations regional level, not at the nations state level, not at the level of California’s 58 counties, and not at the level of 9 major California cities.
Despite these outcomes in California and the U.S. climate incompetent alarmist politicians and news media will continue to falsely hype “record breaking heat” as being present across the nation and its states, regions, counties, and cities based on the grossly and completely invalid misapplication of a global wide temperature averaging outcome that cannot define temperature outcomes at specific global regional, national, country, state, county, or city locals.
Additionally, given the 2023 summer temperature outcomes of the U.S. addressed above it seems unlikely that the Global Region of North American had “record” summer temperature outcomes as hyped by the propaganda driven alarmist media. This outcome is further addressed below.
This data clearly supports that Canada did not have “record” high maximum summer temperatures in year 2023 which is consistent with the same outcome for Alaska whose territories occupy the same Northern Hemisphere global latitudes as Canada.
Given that neither the U.S., Alaska nor Canada had “record” high maximum summer temperatures in 2023 it seems extremely probable that neither did the entire North America Global Region.
But despite this reality in the inane ignorant based climate alarmist political propaganda world the alarmism hype will continue unabated.
The terrible fires around Lahaina, Maui have resulted in a death toll of 67 (which will certainly rise) and an economic loss of billions of dollars.
We can take steps to prevent this from happening again, including understanding why this event occurred and building the observation, warning, and action infrastructure as California.
Why did this event occur?
The origin of this disaster is now becoming clear: massive amounts of dry, dead fuel (mainly grass), strong downslope winds produced by strong trades interacting with local mountains, and human ignition, most probably from powerlines.
Western Maui is typically wet in the winter and quite dry (and warm) during summer (see plot for a station near and north of Lahaina). Grass grows during the winter and then dies/cures during the summer, leaving brown desiccated grass. This is not climate change…this is the normal situation.
This year the winter was particularly wet, enhancing Maui grass volume, followed by a dry summer. A huge supply of dead fuel was ready to burn.
There has been a lot of talk in the media about drought and even “flash drought” driven by climate change (see Seattle Times headline below). This is all silly and irrelevant. The opposite of drought last winter resulted in lots of grass and even a normal summer would have resulted in the grass ready to burn now.
Also important is that the grasses are 1-10hr fuels that dry within hours under the proper conditions (low relative humidity, winds, sun). The conditions earlier this week were optimal for drying with warm, dry, downslope flow. The grasses could have been drenched a few days before and burned under such conditions. Climate change is irrelevant in this situation.
Lahaina was hit by powerful winds, with gusts exceeding 60 mph.
Winds that provided oxygen to the fires, pushed the fire quickly forward, and downed powerlines, helping spark the fires.
There is a lot of talk about the winds coming from hurricane Dora, which passed 800 km to the south of Hawaii (see satellite image below).
The winds that hit Lahaina were NOT hurricane winds.
The winds that helped destroy Lahaina were caused by strong trade winds, produced mainly by enhanced high pressure to the north, interacting with Maui terrain to produce strong/dry downslope winds.
These were localized strong winds that amazingly were well predicted by the NOAA HRRR model and others.
Hurricane Dora was a small storm that passed well south of Hawaii. The strong winds of the hurricane did not significantly affect Hawaii as some claim.
During the last day UW Research Scientist David Ovens, a member of my research group, ran the WRF weather prediction model at high resolution for this case.
The results are stunning. Below is the 27h forecast of wind gusts at 8 PM PDT on Tuesday, Aug. 8th. Gusts to around 65 knots (75 mph) around Lahaina (color shading). Pressure is also shown as are the wind vectors. A life-threatening prediction.
Moderate winds approached the mountains of West Maui and then accelerated down the western slopes of the terrain. A stable near crest level assisted.
Strong winds were also observed over central Maui west of Haleakala volcano: more grassfires occurred there.
Let me repeat: these were NOT hurricane winds but local downslope wind accelerations, produced by the occurrence of perfect meteorological conditions, something I will review in a future blog.
An analog to such wind acceleration is the strong winds that can occur in Enumclaw, Black Diamond, and North Bend, Washington under strong easterly (from the east) flow.
Although little information has been forthcoming on this point, the ignition had to be human-caused, since there was no lightning in the area. Considering the massive wind damage to electric infrastructure, with reports of fallen and sparking powerlines, it is quite probable that the strong winds caused the ignitions that started the fires.
We Can Make Sure This Never Happens Again
First, it is essential the actual causes of the fire be understood (extensive dry grass, strong local winds), not climate change and “flash droughts.” Only a science-based, rigorous understanding of the wildfire’s origins can lead to a better outcome in the future. Incorrect, politized explanations work directly against solving the problem.
Second, many more wind observations are needed. The weather observing network on Maui and particularly western Maui is totally inadequate, as shown by the map below.
Virtually no wind observations around Lahaina. Unbelievable. Weather observations are critical for understanding the wind threat, to warn the population. Wind observations foster decisions to de-energize powerlines to prevent ignitions.
California has learned this lesson and has installed thousands of weather observation sites. Hawaii needs hundreds.
Third, much better use of weather forecast models for warning and decision-making is required. As shown above, current weather prediction technology is so good that most localized wind threats can be forecast well in advance.
The National Weather Service waited way too long to put out a Red Flag Warning (9:26 AM on August 8th). And with the intense winds predicted by the NOAA HRRR model, MUCH more severe warnings should have been made. NOAA and the State of Hawaii need to work out a comprehensive plan for better warning of such dire threats to life and property.
Hawaii electric utilities should immediately make plans to turn off the power to threatened areas when strong winds are either observed or predicted. California and Northwest utilities have already begun this life and pre
The combination of rigorous science, more observations, better use of models, stronger and more aggressive warnings, and powerline de-energization can ensure that a tragedy like this week will never occur again in the Hawaiian Islands.
There have been 200 humpback strandings and 98 strandings of right whales since 2017.
“It caused us concern enough to ask, ‘What is happening?’” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of the Long Branch-based nonprofit Clean Ocean Action (COA). “We looked into what was different about this December and early January.”
In the period since June 2022, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has bizarrely and cruelly given the wind industry 12 separate one-year IHAs that collectively permit the harassment of 190 critically endangered right whales.
Another ten applications for additional IHAs are currently pending.
According to NOAA, blunt and sharp force trauma killed the humpback whale found floating in Raritan Bay on May 31. Scientists found lacerations and broken bones across her body.
According to NOAA, blunt and sharp force trauma killed the humpback whale found floating in Raritan Bay on May 31. Scientists found lacerations and broken bones across her body.
Yesterday, there was this story: Biden says he has ‘practically’ declared a climate emergency. With this note from Bloomberg.com “President Joe Biden said he had basically declared a national climate emergency, stopping short of demands by progressive lawmakers and activists for a formal declaration.”
And, the UN now has a “climate emergency” page here.
Based on the chatter and data I see, it looks like the formal declaration of a “Climate Emergency” will come around Tuesday August 15. On that day, it is likely that NOAA will release new figures from GHCN and other temperature datasets, and these new record high numbers will be used as justification for the declaration. And then, all hell breaks loose.
What follows is a reformatted, grammar/spell corrected, and paraphrased email from WUWT reader Frits Buningh, who has been looking at news reports and data. I provide it for your interpretation without comment. – Anthony
Either the UN Secretary General will do it and/or Joe Biden. It is likely that on Thursday August 10th, the Global Sea Surface Temperature (SST) will be declared to have broken the all-time record and will come in at 21.1 C, more than at any other time since record keeping began as of 1850 and the Climate Hysteria will reach a fever pitch. As you can see below, it is already on its way.
What follows is some of what I found and some general observations and context about Antarctica Melting.
Reuters, AP, Forbes, the Weather Channel. USA Today and of course the New York Times are screaming ANTARCTICA is melting faster than ever, and it is concerning! Why all of a sudden, now?
It is kind of a low hanging fruit, hardly anyone can go there, no normal human being has been there, so they (The Reporters that is, based on the “Scientists” Studies) can tell you whatever they want, no personal experience can contradict the “SCIENCE”.
AP says this:
“Even in Antarctica — one of the most remote and desolate places on Earth — scientists say they are finding shattered temperature records and an increase in the size and number of wacky weather events.”
The Greater, Broader, Detail, way down below: The weather on the ground and the forecast for Antarctica (There are 16 Weather stations down there to validate what you are claiming, AP has access to them too, the same as everyone else writing about this)
Today’s Weather on Antarctica, kind of like Phoenix in Reverse (Minus -90 at the South Pole Today Feels Like -127F – See the South Pole Listing):
The South Pole is never the Coldest, that honor goes to Vostok usually, but still COLD enough:
The “Really Hot” facetious comment is all relative of course. 19.3F being -7 Celsius, below freezing.
My sources say this:
These sources say it is BITTER Cold right now, where AP says …………………………………..:??:
No quick fix to reverse Antarctic sea ice loss as warming intensifies – scientists (This Aug 8 story has been corrected to clarify that the quote was from Anna Hogg, not Caroline Holmes, in paragraphs 3 and 4) By David Stanway SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Sea ice in the Antarctic region has fallen to a record low this year as a result of rising global temperatures and there is no quick fix to reverse the damage done, scientists said on Tuesday in a new study of the impact of climate www.msn.com
Back to the Data on the Ground in Antarctica from Today and In History.
Bottom Lining it for All the 16 Weather Stations on Antarctica:
In 2018 the Avg Temperature on July 28 th was: 6.9 Fahrenheit (No Melting that day)
In 2023 the Avg Temperature on July 28 th was: Minus – 4.7 Fahrenheit (No Melting that day either)
(For reference Minus -4.7 C is Minus -20 Celsius. ICE melts at ZERO Celsius and 32 F)
Forecast for August 10th, Tomorrow: Minus -5.9 F, that is Colder than July 28th (Still no Melting in sight!)
(For Reference, it is still getting Colder in Antarctica, no Spring yet. But the good news is the Global Sea Surface Temperature is still going up, regardless of what happens in Antarctica, it does not Count, for that whole Region is below the 60 th South Parallel! The Climate Re-Analyzing People at the University of Maine’s Climate Crisis Institute only counts whatever is between 60 North and 60 South Parallel. Is that not convenient to help keep the Average SST Higher. The Sea is rather Cold around Antarctica. Some ARGO buoys come in at Minus – 1.791 Celsius in the South Pacific and Southern Atlantic. This reading is from July 21, 2023
In my opinion, the climate screaming will intensify dramatically as of tomorrow and will reach a fever pitch. The Global SST will likely break the record of 21.05 C and will clock in at 21.06 C (or higher) as of tomorrow. (under the Hood the record is 21.05, and today the Global SST clocked in at 21.03 C, so they (NOAA that is) need 0.03 to break the record).
So, tomorrow’s SST Chart will likely read 21.1C (they get to round it off) – A New World Record!
It is Late in the 4th Quarter and there is not a lot of time left in the Summer. In order to declare “The Climate Emergency”, which the Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez has been calling for since June 15th and many here in Australia too, there needs to be significant Public Buy-In. This New Record will Help!
August 15th is kind of the end of the summer heat buildup, so it is now or never, at least for this year.
That is what all the Climate articles about Antarctica are all about. The Global Ocean is getting warmer because the Antarctic is Melting and it is Hot up here in the Northern Hemisphere and it is Warmer than Usual in the Southern Hemisphere (at least that is what AP, Reuters, USA Today and the NYT are communicating with their Antarctica Climate Scare articles), so there you go.
Except it is VERY Cold in the Antarctic, but few people really know that, and nobody will be telling anyone that, not CNN’s Jake Tapper for sure.
The measured data shows no supporting upward trends regarding U.S. 2023 average summer temperature anomalies to date. This reality flies in the face of the out-of-control media climate alarmist incompetent and idiotically hyped “tipping point” climate change temperature propaganda this summer as illustrated by these prior WUWT articles exposing this purely bogus garbage.
What a bunch of alarmist politically contrived gibberish.
During the past weeks, profoundly flawed and error-filled stories on climate change have been headlined in the Seattle Times. Stories that can easily be demonstrated to have serious factual and interpretative errors.
Stories that grossly misinform Seattle Times readers and work against efforts to mitigate global warming.
Let me demonstrate the problem.
Saturday’s front-page story describes how because of urbanization “more than half of Seattle’s population resides in areas where daytime temperatures are over 8 degrees hotter than they would be naturally” and nearly 10% are in parts of the city recording an increase of over 12 degrees.”
The figure below was found in the Seattle Times story, and was based on a report from climate advocacy group, Climate Central. The “angle” of the story is how the growth of the city and loss of trees are greatly warming the environment.
This figure is obviously very wrong.
First, while temperatures should be in degrees, the colors say percent. But that is the least of the problem with this figure. The areas of warmth are all wrong. Tree-lined areas near Lake Washington are among the warmest. Downtown Seattle, near very cool Elliot Bay, is VERY hot. Tree-covered south Mercer Island is warm.
Anyone, who has studied local temperature variations knows this map is in error.
Let me explain how they got it wrong. Below is the same map from the Climate Central report used by the Seattle Times. It notes that hat 184 THOUSAND PEOPLE feel 8F or more warmer due to “urban heat spots.” Simply nonsense.
I looked at the map and was stunned….their warmest temperatures were centered over LAKE WASHINGTON. The Seattle Times did not show this obvious error in their source. Clearly, Climate Central used a problematic surface map that did not know about our lakes.
But is worse than that. I carefully reviewed the “Methodology” section and realized the approach was flawed. The “researchers” ran a simple model of the interaction of the surface with the atmosphere, BUT NEGLECTING ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE REGIONAL WIND CIRCULATIONS and other critical weather forcings (such as the effects of air blowing in over cold water). Actual surface temperatures were not used.
Seattle’s heat island is greatly mitigated by the presence of Puget Sound, the Strait, and the Pacific Ocean. There is a reason that Seattle’s summer temperatures are far milder than Portland’s.
To see how wrong the Seattle Times/Climate Central map is, consider the temperatures on the hottest day of the summer (July 5) in Seattle (see below).
Totally different than the Seattle Times map. Temperatures ranged from the 70s near the water to mid to upper 80s away from the water. No huge heating over Lake Washington. The warmest temperatures are in more rural areas (mid-90s). Downtown Seattle is NOT a huge hot spot as pushed by the Seattle Times. Their map is simply wrong. Urbanization is not making some Seattle locations 12F warmer than rural areas.
The truth is that a small reduction (or addition) in tree cover in Seattle will have a very modest influence on temperature because of Puget Sound, our mountains, and the local winds during summer. As an aside, I wish the Seattle Times would report on the effects of the construction of the third runway and urbanization around SeaTac Airport on the temperatures from the airport.
Ticks and Climate Change
Another deceptive Seattle Times story this week suggested that climate change could be making the tick problem worse in the Northwest.
This article is a study of hyping a threat that does not exist in order to get folks worried about climate change.
The article begins with the ominous note that “bloodsuckers are on the move in the Northwest” and notes that “warming trends, exacerbated by climate change, are creating a more hospitable environment for the parasites” in the Northwest.
However, the article provides no evidence that ticks have become more of a problem in the Northwest. And it certainly shows no evidence that climate change is causing a tick problem.
Hot, dry weather is bad for ticks, which would increase with all the heatwaves predicted by Seattle Times stories. The writer does not mention this important element, which would work against an invasion of the feared “bloodsuckers.”
So have winter temperatures in our region warmed substantially over the past? Below are the temperatures over the Puget Sound lowlands over the past 40 years, when global warming has been most noticeable (see below).
Little warming is evident, a situation promoted by the nearby, slow-to-warm, Pacific Ocean.
The threat of “bloodsuckers” is clearly not changing much over our region and may, in fact, decline. Scarester articles like this are not constructive.
Killing Older Women in Switzerland?
Many of the over-the-top, crazy climate stories in the Seattle Times are reprinted from the NY Times, Washington Post, and other media. Today this was a story about dying older women in Switzerland.
Amazingly, the article claims that the Swiss temperatures in July have warmed by 35F since the 1800s, with July 2023 temperatures being 60F. I repeat 35F increase (or about 19C), which means the mean temperature in July would have been 25F…..well below freezing in July.
This is nuts. But don’t believe me. Here are the official statistics from the Swiss government. A 2.12 C increase. That is about 3.8F. NOT 35F.
Irresponsible Climate Journalism at the Seattle Times
What is happening at the Seattle Times is both sad and disappointing.
I could have provided you will many more problematic, non-factual articles from the newspaper (for example, the bogus claims that global warming is causing a marine heatwave over the northeast Pacific). Stories that are intended to hype climate change and scare people.
Human-caused global warming is a slowly growing, modest problem. Our planet has warmed by around 2F during the past 50 years and human emissions are probably the dominant cause.
Hyping and exaggerating this problem may be popular in some “progressive” circles, but it is counterproductive.
A democratic society like ours can not function when the media is providing inaccurate information to citizens, and I am afraid that the Seattle Times has decided that advocacy is more important than providing factual information.
There was a time when the Seattle Times employed exemplary science reporters, such as Hill Williams and Dietra Henderson. Reporters dedicated to getting the science right, without any political or advocacy angle. Unfortunately, those days are over at the Seattle Times.
Unbelievably, there was ANOTHER front-page climate article in the Seattle Times today that was essentially wrong, one that confuses weather and climate:
The article claims that drier conditions this year reduced hydropower and is a sign of climate change (global warming). Strangely, the article suggests that wetter conditions in California, as observed this year, are also a sign of climate change. Earlier articles in the ST suggested drying in CA is a sign of climate change.
The truth is that there is no long-term trend in precipitation over our region. If anything, it is going up.
Want proof? Here are the NOAA precipitation totals over Washington since 1900. Lots of ups and downs (weather variability) but little long-term trend. Yes, this year is on the low side, but not a record-breaking low.
PLEASE: Do not leave me comments calling me names, like “denier” or accusing me of taking money from oil companies. If you think I got some fact wrong, let me know where you think my science is wrong, and provide the data/publications to support your claim.
To begin with these authors, including a whale expert, have the same problem we see repeatedly in the mainstream articles trying to defend offshore wind. They do not acknowledge the nature of the threat.
It is not the noise that kills the whales; it is what the noise causes the whales to do, especially get hit by ships. This then depends heavily on the location, duration and size of the noise. Here the offshore wind threat is enormous compared of oil and gas. But no mention is made of this stark fact, so let’s look at it a bit.
The proposed offshore wind megaproject is to line the Atlantic coast with dozens of huge wind “farms”. These monster wind facilities are directly adjacent to one of the world’s heaviest traffic shipping corridors. This corridor is named the M-95 because it parallels I-95, America’s heaviest traffic interstate highway.
The threat is that the extreme noise from developing and operating these huge facilities will force the whales into heavy ship traffic. NOAA predicts that thousands of whales and hundreds of thousands of other marine mammals will be harassed by this noise. The threat is obvious.
In contrast, offshore oil and gas development is scattered about in the Gulf of Mexico, where shipping is far less concentrated.
Moreover the excessive noise from an oil and gas development is very brief, typically a few months, while with offshore wind it goes on for decades. Oil development and wind both begin with loud seismic surveys, but then the similarity ends.
NOAA has issued only a few survey harassment permits for oil studies in the last decade, because development has been going on for a very long time. Wind permits are running a dozen a year.
After the survey a typical wind facility might then install a hundred or more incredibly tall towers. Each requires driving an enormous monopile into the seabed. These piles may be 300′ long and 30′ in diameter so the pile driving noise is horrendous. It can be heard underwater 50 miles away. Oil development just requires drilling, which makes very little noise, certainly nothing like pile driving.
Then when the oil rig is quietly pumping the wind towers are noisily generating electricity. These are huge, new generation generators which by some estimates each make as much operational noise underwater as a supertanker under full throttle. A single facility might have several hundred of these incredibly loud monstrosities.
As to size, an oil rig is maybe 350′ on a side, while a single wind facility can cover a whopping 150 square miles. Dozens of these monsters are now proposed along the Atlantic coast, right beside the M-95 ship traffic. In fact they are largely filling up the low traffic areas where the whales might be safe.
So in summary an oil rig is tiny and quite, just maybe making some seismic survey noise for a few months in the beginning. Wind facilities are enormous and incredibly noisy for their entire 20-30 year lives.
When it comes to redirecting whales into ship traffic there is simply no comparison. Oil is harmless; wind is deadly.
The Statue of Liberty standing at the southwestern entrance (New Jersey side) of New York Harbor (Hudson River side) is our Nations most recognized symbol of freedom and hope since its dedication in 1886, and a perfect for testing sea level rise acceleration.
The Statue is housed on Liberty Island (shown below) which is a small 14.7-acre island immediately south of Ellis Island which now houses the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.
Liberty Island has history going back to its Pre-1000 CE Native American inhabitants that called the island one of three “Oyster Islands” in New York Harbor with these islands representing a major food source.
The Dutch took position of the island in 1609 and in 1667 ownership was obtained by a Dutch colonist named Isaac Bedloe.
1673 Bedloe dies and the island is renamed Bedloe’s Island.
1732 Mary Bedloe Smith (Isaac’s widow) sells the island to New York merchants to resolve her bankruptcy issues.
1738 New York City takes possession of the island for inspecting incoming ships for contamination and disease.
1794 after the American Revolution the Federal Government appropriates funding to construct fortifications on Bedloe’s Island.
1808 to 1811 the U. S. Army administers the building of a military fort on the island. The facility is called Fort Wood with an 11-point star fortress that aides the protection of New York Harbor. See Figure 2.2 below.
1834 New York and New Jersey establish that all of Liberty Islands lands (then Bedloe’s Island) above the low-level water mark are designated as lying within New York and all submerged riparian rights to water and submerged lands surrounding the island are designated as being within New Jersey.
1842 to 1844 A building program was undertaken in the 1840s to significantly improve the deteriorating condition of Fort Wood which included the construction of a new granite seawall that still surrounds the southern end of Liberty Island today that was built in 1842-44 that replaced the prior seawall which was in place between 1811 -1842. Aside from protecting the island’s shoreline the new seawall also retained fill that supported an artificial slope leading up to an earthen parapet surmounted by an outer battery at that time as shown in the diagram of the work below. (Referenced link Pages 2-5 & 2-6 from Chapter 2B History of Liberty Island)
1874 to 1907 The existing portion of the eastern seawall was extended to the northern tip of the island between 1874 and 1879. In 1887 this seawall was further extended around the northern tip and partway down the western side sufficient to protect the newly created Lighthouse Board Reservation. The western seawall perimeter was fully completed between 1901 and 1907 by the U.S. Army, which led to additional filling to provide a basis for a new barracks building.
In summary, the existing seawall at Liberty Island (then called Bedloe’s Island) was established by 1844 for the southern, south eastern and south western end of the island that now protect the Statue of Liberty base, pedestal and statue, then extended along the eastern side of the island by 1879, then further extended along the northern tip and part of the western side of the island by 1887 and finally completed for the remaining western side of the island between 1901 and 1907.
1877 Bedloe’s Island is designated as the site for the Statue of Liberty. The U.S. begins fundraising for the construction of the pedestal. The Army administers the islands military post until 1937.
1881 Architect Richard Morris Hunt completes the initial designs of the pedestal which maintains the 11-point star outline of Fort Wood with significantly increased height and strength.
1884 Hunt finalizes the pedestal plan which requires up to 20-foot-thick concrete walls faced with granite block.
1886 The Statue’s pedestal is complete. The Statue of Liberty is reassembled on the pedestal and dedicated on October 28th, 1886.
1956 Bedloe’s Island is renamed Liberty Island by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower.
2003 to 2004 The National Park Service (NPS) signs a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair “340 linear feet of the 3,119 foot Granite-faced vertical concrete Liberty Island seawall that was originally constructed in the early 19th century and surrounds most of the island. The repairs took place at locations where granite stones had fallen out of the seawall.”
“Construction began in April 2004 and ended in June 2004. “We repaired the seawall on the north and south side of the Liberty Island NPS Shuttle Dock located in the Southeast section of the island,” said Ciorra. “We did this by first hydro blasting the exposed concrete on the seawall, in areas where seawall blocks have dislodged, in order to remove algae, moss and dirt, and then manually removed old grout and loose disintegrated concrete. We also replaced the disintegrated concrete with Sulphate-Resistant Air Entrained Concrete that is resistant to the marine environment. We took the 36 existing large granite blocks that dislodged, cleaned them, and grouted and reset them back into the wall with mortar.”
“In addition, the entire 340 linear feet of seawall was cleaned and repainted beyond where the actual stones were dislodged and reset,” said Brian Jackson, Project Engineer, USACE, New York District. “The stones that were dislodged and reset were actually only a small portion of the entire length of the wall.”
A photo of the seawall repair site is shown below. The Shuttle Dock is visible in the far-right hand side of the photo.
The photo below shows the ferry dock (far left side with a ferry positioned at this dock) and the Shuttle Dock (right side) used at Liberty Island. The Shuttle Dock is used for National Park Service employees, loading and offloading supplies and materials and other equipment needed to support National Park operations. Both these docks were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and then rebuilt. The 11-point star pedestal base remnant shape originally from Fort Wood that supports the Statue of Liberty is quite visible.
2012 to 2013 Hurricane Sandy struck New York Harbor on October 29, 2012, with a 14-foot storm surge that destroyed both the ferry dock and Shuttle Dock at Liberty Island along with the electrical and sewage systems and much of the walkways and railings surrounding the pedestal. The Statue of Liberty opened again on July 4, 2013, using the rebuilt Shuttle Dock with the ferry dock rebuilding still underway.
Photos below show some of the infrastructure damage and the start of demolition allowing the rebuilding of Shuttle Dock which was used to bring visitors and dignitaries to the re-opening ceremonies of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.
The NPS photo below shows the damaged Shuttle Dock demolition in progress because of the extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy.
The NPS summary of the impacts of Hurricane Sandy are noted below regarding Liberty Island.
“Hurricane Sandy caused a significant amount of damage to the infrastructure on Liberty Island. The Statue and its pedestal and base were unharmed, but all mechanical systems, docks, Promenade, and ancillary structures around the rest of the island experienced heavy damage.
The two dock systems for Liberty Island are critical infrastructure to the parks’ operations, as they provide access and egress for visitors and staff.”
A photo of the July 4, 2013, reopening of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty using the rebuilt Shuttle Dock (the ferry dock rebuild was still underway) to convey visitors and dignitaries to the re-opening ceremonies is shown below.
The seawall shown in photo above is the south eastern portion of Liberty Island that has been is existence since 1844 that has protected the base, pedestal and Statue of Liberty structures for about 179 years with work done in 2004 by the Army Corps of Engineers to repair a total length of 340 foot seawall section located on either side of the Shuttle Dock (the total seawall around the island comprises 3,119 feet) for various types of damaged, cleaning and painting of the granite wall as described in the Liberty Island history summary provided above.
The seawall that protects Liberty Island was constructed in the 19th century and remains intact without changes in the seawalls constructed position and height as described in the Liberty Island history key information summary.
Photographs taken of the Statue of Liberty going back as far as 1844 are comparable to photographs taken even today with the seawall that protects Liberty Island in these photos accurately representing and reflecting the time history of sea level rise since that time relative to the seawalls constructed height and location.
NOAA’s measurements of relative sea level rise in New York Harbor are available from its Battery Tide Gauge Station which is located in the Battery Park area just 1.6 miles from Liberty Island located on the eastern side of the harbors entrance compared to the Battery Station’s westerly location at the harbors entrance as shown in the diagram at the beginning of this article.
The Battery Station location relative sea level rise measurements and tide predictions for New York Harbor are reflective of relative sea level rise and tide prediction behavior at Liberty Island with both these areas lying close together on opposite sides of the New York Harbor entrance.
The NOAA Battery 166-yearlong tide gauge sea level rise measurements through year 2022 start in 1856 very close to the 1844 time when the Liberty Island (then called Bedloe’s Island) existing seawall position and height at the south end of the island was established. NOAA’s measured rate of sea level rise at the Battery location is 11.4 inches per century over this period or 1.14 inches per decade.
During this 166-year period since 1856 NOAA measurements have been taken of the relative sea level at the Battery Station showing a total increase of about 18.9 inches during this interval.
In addition, the NOAA Battery tide gauge station provides other measured information at these locations including tide predictions as noted in the “Products available at 8518750 The Battery, New York” shown on the lower left below.
The photo below of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty below was taken in 1893 as identified in the photos official data record. Note the riprap exposed at the base of the wall indicating a low tide condition.
The next photo shows Liberty Island and the Statue Liberty on June 23, 2023, at about 6:35 PM. The photo clearly shows the Liberty Island seawall that protects the southern portion of the Island that was completed in 1844 and the rebuilt Shuttle Dock that was constructed in 2013 after Hurricane Sandy.
Again, note the riprap in this photo at the base of the seawall again indicating a low tide condition.
The photograph below compares the Statue of Liberty in the year 1893 (as documented in the photo’s data record) with photos taken (by the author) of the Statue of Liberty at a low tide condition on June 23, 2023 (about 6:35 PM EDT) from a cruise ship passing Liberty Island with that ship having left New York Harbor Berth 90 on the Hudson River at 6 PM.
Additionally, note the sea level height on the islands seawall in both the 1893 photo and 2023 photo show exposed riprap at the base of the wall suggesting a low tide condition at the time of these photos were taken.
The period of 130 years that has passed between these two photos shows little impact from “rising sea levels”. Using NOAA’s Battery Station rate of relative sea level rise of 1.14 inches per decade discussed above results in an increased relative sea level rise at Liberty Island of 14.8 inches between these years which given the scale of the seawall height in relation to the small total sea level rise would not be particularly distinguishable in such photos.
Stated another way the height of the seawall clearly establishes that the small relative sea level rise increase that has occurred between these photos period is insignificant even though the period is 130 years long.
The low tide condition on June 23, 2023, at 6:35 PM is clearly noted in the closeup of the Liberty Island seawall shown below. The scale of the visitors’ size in the closeup photo further demonstrates the seawall height and further establishes the insignificance of the 14.8 inch of relative sea level rise increase even over a period of 130 years.
NOAA’s Battery Tide Gauge Station data provides access to specific tide condition predictions throughout the station’s history. As the tidal calendar below shows, a high tide condition existed at 1:11 PM on June 23, 2023, with a tide height predicted of 4.144 feet as specifically noted on the calendar below.
The height of the tide is measured using the MLLW as the base datum measurement reference point. The darkened area of the seawall above shows remnants of the prior high tide conditions.
The NOAA tide prediction chart below specifically shows the low tide condition for June 23, 2023, at 6:35 PM being at 1.324 feet above the MLLW measurement datum.
A review of the entire year 2023 NOAA tide predictions for the Battery Station shows that the highest tide predicted for the year will occur on August 30, 2023, at 6.25 feet above the MLLW datum as shown below or 4.9 feet above the tide level depicted in the above closeup photo with this increase easily accommodated by the height of the seawall that was constructed 130 years ago.
Given the long term 166 year increasing trend of 1.14 inches per decade of relative sea level rise measured at the Battery Station the existing 130-year-old seawall will be useful for many dozens of decades into the future.
“Global mean temperature will likely rise at about 0.6 degrees F per decade and sea level at about 2.5 inches per decade.”
“These rates are about six times recent history.”
“Furthermore, as long as greenhouse gases continue to grow in the atmosphere, there is no known natural limit to the warming short of catastrophic change.”
“Because the oceans are slow to heat, there is a lag between emissions and full manifestation of corresponding warming, a lag which some estimate at 40 years.”
“The world is now 1 degree F warmer than century ago and may become another 1 degree warmer even if conditions are curtailed today.”
“Every decade of delay and implementation of greenhouse gas abatement policies ultimately adds perhaps a degree F of warming, and no policy can be fully implemented immediately in any event.”
“Slowing warming to an acceptable rate and ultimately stabilizing the atmosphere would require reductions in fossil emissions by 60% from present levels, along with similar reductions of other greenhouse gases.”
We are now 3 and 1/2 decades beyond Dr. Oppenheimer’s incredibly flawed and failed alarmists sea level rise acceleration hyped claims with global CO2 emissions having never declined from 1988 levels of 20.82 billion metric tons but instead having now reached 34.37 billion metric tons in 2022 with the rate of relative sea level rise at NOAA’s Battery Station showing little if any change from its 1988 rate of about 11.4 inches per century.
The Battery Station Datum (STND) which is also called the “datum of tabulation” is a permanent fixed elevation location from which all other tidal measures are referenced. These permanent fixed tidal reference values are evaluated over 19-year periods called National Tidal Datum Epochs (NTDE) as the official time segment over which tidal observations are taken and reduced to obtain mean values (e.g., mean lower low water, etc.) for tidal datums. It is necessary for standardization because of period and apparent secular trends (rising and falling levels of relative sea level) over time. The present NTDE includes years 1983 through 2001.
The NTDE needs to be regularly revised for a fixed period sufficient to account for all significant tidal periods, long enough to average out local meteorological effects on sea level, long-term effects of land movement, sea level rise measurement changes, and changes in tidal constituents reflecting harmonic behavior over long time periods between the Moon, Sun and Earth.
The present fixed elevation for the Battery Station Datum is minus 3.29 feet below the MLLW datum for the present NTDE tidal epoch (the interval inclusive of 1983 through 2001) as shown below.
The prior NTDE period occurred from 1960 through 1978 as shown below for the Battery Station.
As shown in this prior NTDE the Battery Station Datum elevation value is minus 3.07 feet below the MLLW datum.
In the interval between these two NTDE periods the relative sea level at the Battery Station increased resulting in the Station Datum elevation (which is a fixed datum) becoming -3.29 feet below the MLLW from the prior -3.07 feet below the MLLW or an increase sea level rise of 0.22 feet or 2.64 inches over the 23-year inclusive interval from 1979 to 2001. This amounts to an increasing relative sea level rise of 0.1148 inches per year consistent with the NOAA Battery Station long term rate of relative sea level rise of 11.4 inches per century (0.95 feet in 100 years) since 1856 as shown in NOAA’s data trend below.
This articles analysis clearly shows that the photos taken of the Statue of Liberty and its seawall over century long time periods (as provided by this articles photo comparing a period of 130 years) that display the lack of significance of relative sea level rise during these long periods are in fact analytically valid visual evidence demonstrating that claims of exaggerated accelerating sea level rise (as presented, for example, in the Democrats failed 1988 Senate hearing described above) hyped by climate alarmists and their “models” have failed.
The photos taken over long time periods that compare the Statue of Liberty and the sea level position on the Liberty Island long established seawall are in fact a symbol and a beacon of truth regarding the flawed climate alarmist decades long failed “model” driven claims of sea level rise acceleration.
Global warming, climate change, all these things are just a dream come true for politicians. I deal with evidence and not with frightening computer models because the seeker after truth does not put his faith in any consensus. The road to the truth is long and hard, but this is the road we must follow. People who describe the unprecedented comfort and ease of modern life as a climate disaster, in my opinion have no idea what a real problem is.