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Menopausal Mother Nature

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The Very Real Impact Of Land Reclamation On Sea-Level Rise

The Very Real Impact Of Land Reclamation On Sea-Level Rise

airport runway pacific

Who would believe that the whole world has just woken up to the fact that climate changes?

It changes constantly and wherever you are, it is still no reason for fear or panic.

I had a friend who was a ship’s Captain. They had a pet cat and this cat would do a forward somersault if it was going to be a sunny day, or a back somersault if it was going to be a rainy day. [emphasis, links added]

After three days in Melbourne, the cat died of exhaustion! Such is the speed of climate change in that city… Hence why many of its citizens, including me, moved to Queensland where the temperature change is not so erratic and it is generally warmer.

As an ex-merchant navy navigator, climate change, or weather, was a predominant factor in voyage planning.

Nowadays we have ‘weather routing services’ where for a fee, of course, clever internet companies can recommend the route best suited to your ship and advise a way to your intended destination that avoids adverse winds, waves, and currents.

But it doesn’t always work as well as predicted as the weather (aka climate) keeps changing.

Sit on any boat out off the coast for 3 to 4 hours in the morning and you will witness wind speed and direction changes, cloud changes, and of course changes in the resultant height and direction of the waves.

Not rocket science really, but a good example of climate or weather change on a small scale that happens on a big scale also.

I frequently fly into Singapore where they announce: ‘Welcome to Singapore where the temperature is 29 degrees.’ This has been the same message for the last four decades even though it might shift 1 or 2 degrees depending on local rain showers.

‘But the sea levels are rising!’ the fringe dwellers scream. I would be very happy about this if it were true as I could take my boat’s dinghy into my favorite coffee shop instead of constantly jostling for a car park.

Secondly, a spread of the ocean footprint would necessitate more boats and ships.

With nothing better to do than mess around with boats, I decided to check the sea-rising claims for the ship and ferry terminals in my work as a ship designer. After all, the distance between the bottom of the ship and the seabed is a key factor for all vessels, even back in Noah’s time.

My personal view is that a private boat should have a draft (the amount of water needed to float it) no greater than your height. So if you run aground, you can then walk ashore with a measure of dignity!

Many of my ex-seafaring friends, as harbourmasters, supplied me with mean sea-level records for the last 50 years.

Some places had gone up fractionally, some had gone down due to tectonic plate shifts, and some had remained static. The overall result in Australia was fractionally up, by around 11 mm (0.43 in).

In the South Pacific, my friends who operate ferries in Fiji and Samoa have noted that the high tides are slightly higher, and the low tides slightly lower, but the mean sea level is fractionally up, but again by a minuscule amount.

As most tides are recorded using the Lowest Astronomic Tide (LAT) as the benchmark, their concern would be a falling tide where vessels would run aground.

I would agree that the sea levels actually should be rising having seen the enormous amounts of reclamation in recent decades in the Middle East, China, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore, the latter reportedly increasing the size of its nation by 22 percent.

Wander around the waterfront streets in Wellington, New Zealand, and you will discover on local plaques that a significant part of the waterfront was actually reclaimed in 1848.

Lambton Quay was the waterfront then and now 357 acres of reclamation later, to cope with a burgeoning port.

With the water covering 70 percent of the Earth, and our burgeoning population perched precariously on the remaining small bit, it seems like a good idea to reclaim land from the sea.

Reclamation is very popular with governments as they can sell or lease this created real estate, and as the permitting authority, who would argue with them?

However, blaming melting glaciers is pure Greta nonsense that reclamation-addicted governments happily concur with.

Surely the Pacific nations who are claiming sea-level rises should actually do some reclamation of their own instead of bleating to the UN for hand-outs from the evil polluters (aka rich countries)?

Pouring billions of cubic meters of sand and aggregate fill into the sea surely must easily outweigh the volume of the reported melting icebergs.

As Archimedes pointed out, the weight of any body mass whether afloat or sinking, will displace its equivalent weight in water.

I see it everywhere, airports and container terminals being extended into the sea, keeping the noise and commercial activities away from urban encroachment.

Quantifying sea-level rises from reclamation would indeed be an excellent thesis for clever university students. Alas, they confuse clever with stupid and are too busy gluing themselves to pedestrian crossings or protesting moronically about climate change.

I doubt whether most nations engaged in land reclamation would actually ‘fess up’ to actual amounts, in case the protesters focused on them as possible culprits of sea level rises.

Are we confusing rising sea levels due to climate change with reclamation on a grand scale never seen before?

I think so, and as the sensible people are saying this should be debated, with all the facts on the table, and reclamation, past, present, and proposed, should be factored into the equation.

Read more at Spectator AU

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