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Menopausal Mother Nature

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Climate Misinformation, Factual Errors, And Censorship Pervade Seattle Times

fake news

Perhaps I should not read the Seattle Times anymore.  

During the past weeks, there have been several climate-related stories and opinion/cartoon pieces that are just plain wrong. Clear factual errors, or hyping/exaggerating the impacts of global warming. [emphasis, links added]

And there are dozens of additional examples of profound errors in Seattle Times’ climate pieces over the years, several discussed in this blog. Newspapers should be about communicating the truth, not advocacy of a certain politized viewpoint.

The citizens of a democracy must be well informed about important issues of the day, with newspapers playing an important role. As shown below, the Seattle Times is failing in its responsibilities.

Worse than that, the Times has suppressed information contradictory to their problematic information.

Let me provide some recent examples.

Is Climate Change Inundating the Quinault Nation on the Central Washington Coast?

It started with an article about how the Feds are providing funds to move a Quilayute Village away from the coast because of climate change: The ST claimed that rising sea level and stronger storms resulting from global warming was the cause.

The article is quite specific about this:

And the Seattle Times doesn’t stop there. The Seattle Times editorial cartoonist David Horsey has a “Climate Carol”. Nearly all of it is wrong.

And he makes the claim about the Quinault village; the ocean is rising and coastlines are sinking from climate change; and storms are getting bigger.

The problem? None of this is true. And it can be PROVEN not to be true.

Let’s start with the claims that storms on the Washington Coast have increased. This is not true.

To illustrate, below is the plot of the annual maximum sustained wind (blue color) and wind gusts (red line) on the Washington Coast for roughly the last 50 years. No long-term trend.

The same is true of other parameters (like the lowest pressure on the coast). Storms are not getting stronger. The UW Climate Impact Group examined regional climate models for the upcoming century (link here) and found no increase in storms in our region:

“The global model ensemble confirms the results from the regional climate models, with no consistent trend toward more extreme wind storms over western Washington in future climate projections”

What about the claims about the sea level going up on the Washington Coast due to global warming?

Well, it turns out that the sea level is not rising because the land is rising! Yes, the ocean water levels are going up slowly as the Earth warms up. But if the land rises, the actual water level on the coast can stay the same or go down.

The coastal terrain of Washington is RISING, with the sea level going DOWN or steady.

There are two reasons for this. One has to do with the deep glacial ice that covered the northern Olympic Peninsula, pushing down the land. When the glaciers melted out about 16,000 years ago, the land started to rebound upward. And it is still rebounding.

Along the coast, another geological feature is contributing to the coastal land being pushed up: the subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate under the North American plate (see figure).

As the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is pushed downward, coastal land is elevated.

In fact, using very sophisticated GPS-derived measurements, the Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array has found the area around the Quinault coastal village in question is rising around 2 mm per year (see below).

Based on satellite altimetry, sea level rise offshore has been about 2 mm per year (see results from 1993-2020 below). Again, global warming is contributing to this.

Based on this information, you would not expect much sea-level rise along our coast because the land is rising. But let’s check the data from NOAA.

Read rest at Climate Realism

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