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Timeline of recent environmental concerns

Part 6: 2016-SEP:
Flooding on the U.S. East coast.
The world's greatest polluters, the
U.S. and China, ratify the 2015
Paris Climate Agreement.
Pres. Obama: trends are "terrifying."

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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Flooded road

A flooded county road

2016-SEP: East-coast flooding in the U.S. caused by climate change:

On SEP-03, Justin Gillis, wrote an article for the New York Times, subtitled:

"Scientists’ warnings that the rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline are no longer theoretical." 7

Hopefully, this subtitle will captivate many people's attention.

He cites four indicators:

  • Vertical rulers have been installed beside low-lying roads in Norfolk, VA so that when the tidal floods cover the roads, drivers will be able to determine if the water is too deep to drive through.

  • Access to the town of Tybee Island, GA, is now routinely cut off from the mainland several times a year by costal flooding.

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL is spending millions of dollars to fix battered roads and drains. They now have giant vacuum trucks to suck saltwater from the streets.

  • Miami Beach, FL has a $400 million plan to raise streets, install pumps, and elevate sea walls. 7

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Gillis concludes that past warnings by scientists:

"... that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline ... are no longer theoretical: The inundation of the coast has begun. The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes.

Federal scientists have documented a sharp jump in this nuisance flooding — often called 'sunny-day flooding' — along both the East Coast and the Gulf Coast in recent years. The sea is now so near the brim in many places that they believe the problem is likely to worsen quickly.

Shifts in the Pacific Ocean mean that the West Coast, partly spared over the past two decades, may be hit hard, too."

William V. Sweet is a research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, specializing in costal inundaion. He said:

"Once impacts become noticeable, they’re going to be upon you quickly. It’s not a hundred years off -- it’s now." 7

In an associated graphic titled "A Sharp Increase In ‘Sunny Day’ Flooding," by Jonathan Corum, data is listed for several cities on the U.S. East Coast. Between 1950 and 2015, the mean sea level rise, in inches, has been:

  • Slightly over 5 inches in Boston, MA. The number of days per year of nuisance flooding reached a peak of over 10 days after 2008.
  • Slightly over 5 inches at The Battery in New York City, NY; nuisance flooding reached a peak of over 10 days after 2008.
  • About 13 inches at Atlantic City, NJ; nuisance flooding reached a peak of about 30 days after 2008.
  • About 11 inches at Annapolis, MD; nuisance flooding reached a peak of about 66 days after 2008.
  • About 11 inches at Norfolk, VA; nuisance flooding reached a peak of about 12 days after 2008.
  • About 10 inches at Wilmington, NC; nuisance flooding reached a peak of about 80 days after 2008.
  • Slightly over 10 inches at Charleston, SC; nuisance flooding reached a peak of about 35 days after 2008.
  • About 6 inches at Miami Beach, FL; nuisance flooding reached a peak of about 18 days in 2015. 8

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2016-SEP-03: U.S. and China ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement:

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. President Barack Obama (R), and Chinese President Xi Jinping (C), met in advance of the G20 Summit. The U.S. and China formally ratified the 2015-DEC Paris Agreement to reduce the rate of emissions in their countries that are causing global climate warming. 180 nations have now signed the agreement to reduce their emission of greenhouse gasses in order to try to keep global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F). However, 55 nations whose combined emission of greenhouse gasses is in excess of 55% of the world's total emission must take the additional step of ratifying the agreement. With the U.S. and China on board, 25 nations have so far ratified the agreement. Their combined emmisions total about 38% of the total world emissions.

Senior Obama adviser Brian Deese said:

"The signal of the two large emitters taking this step together and taking it early, far earlier than people had anticipated a year ago, should give confidence to the global communities and to other countries that are working on their climate change plans, that they too can move quickly and will be part of a global effort." 13

Mattlan Zackhras, minister-in-assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands, said:

"Today's announcement is the strongest signal yet that what we agreed in Paris will soon be the law of the land. With the two biggest emitters ready to lead, the transition to a low-emissions, climate-resilient global economy is now irreversible." 13

The Paris Agreement has impacted the presidential elections in the U.S. The Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, strongly supports it, but the Republican Candidate, Donald Trump, has said that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese government. He promised to abandon the agreement if he is elected. However, his position appears to have flip-flopped more recently.

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2016-SEP-08: President Obama: "The trends are 'terrifying':

While visiting the Marine Corps Base in Paradise (a.k.a. Hawaii) President Obama was interviewed by reporters from the New York Times. 9 Referring to scientific data showing evidence of global warming, he said:

"... they're terrifying. What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event. It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see."

He described it as the greatest long-term threat to the world, that is already being seen in droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. He believes that the efforts that he has made to slow global warming will be credited as his most consequential legacy as president.

Julie Hirschfeld, et. al., writing for the New York Times, said:

"During his seven and a half years in office, a majority of Americans have come to believe 'that climate change is real, that it’s important and we should do something about it.' He enacted rules to cut planet-heating emissions across much of the United States economy, from cars to coal plants. He was a central broker of the Paris Climate Agreement, the first accord committing nearly every country to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 9

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More information from later in 2016 is in the next essay.

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Some more environment/climate change articles that may be of interest to you:

  • Part 1: 2013: Quotes. Background. Bay of Bengal incident. Decline in Canada's arctic ice cover.

  • Part 2: 2013/2014: Canada loses its seasons. 316 North American cities to be under water.

  • Part 3: 2013/2014: Christians, Republicans' & Democrats' beliefs differ. Volcanoes cause pauses in global warming. Americans' views on climate change.

  • Part 4: 2014/2015: How Americans viewed climate change. HFC limits. Groups abandoning ALEC. Paris Conference reaches agreement.

  • Part 5: 2016-FEB to AUG: Climate change concerns: Ocean levels rising. Displacement of animal species. Greenland glacier melting. "Third Pole" glaciers melting.

  • Part 7: 2016-SEP: Obama comments on warming (Con't). 31 countries ratify Paris agreement. Trump zigzags on Climate Change.

  • Part 8: 2016-Summer/Fall: Events showing that climate change is adversely affecting life on Earth

  • Part 9: 2016-OCT: Did God send Hurricane Matthew as an anti-LGBT message to humanity? Alternate opinions. Hurricane Matthew re-enters Atlantic Ocean.

  • Part 10: 2016-NOV: U.S. Costal real estate threatened. Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. Very large poll about climate change.

  • Part 11: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's climate change beliefs. New heads of federal government departments. Extinction of 11 species.

  • Part 12: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's 16 Promised Plans on Energy and the Environment.

  • Part 13: 2017-JAN: 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.

  • Part 14: star 2017-JAN: Recent Climate Change Measurements!

  • Part 15:2017-JAN to APR: Climate Change Debate is Changing. What if All the Earth's Glaciers Melted?

  • Part 16: 2017-JAN to APR: Donald Trump Becomes President. EPA Foe Installed as Head of EPA! Hundreds Die During Flood in Colombia. Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches New High.

  • Part 17: Studies of the Effects of Sea-level Rise in California between Now and the Year 2100.

  • Part 18: President Trump Decided that the U.S. Will Quit the Paris Agreement. Explosive Reactions to his Plan, nationally and globally.

  • Part 19: More Reactions to the U.S. Withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Record high temperatures in San Francisco and elsewhere.

  • Part 20:2017-AUG/SEP : Group of 20 summit meeting, Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas. Is climate change increasing the severity or frequency of hurricanes?

  • Part 21: 2017-SEP: 2017-SEP: Can government regulations help? U.S. record high temperatures. Did God send Hurricane Harvey to attack TX?. Hurricane Irma attacks Caribbean, FL, SC, GA. Hurricanes Jose & Maria.

  • Part 22: 2017-SEP/OCT: The most expensive recent hurricanes to attack the United States. Does God use Hurricanes to send a message? Conflicts, climate change cause rise in hunger.

  • Part 23: 2017-OCT to 2017-DEC: All UN states have signed the Paris Agreement. Government report contradicts the President. Comment by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

  • Part 24: 2018-JAN to MAY: New temperature records. President signs bill increasing research."Onion's" amusing fake news. Sea levels rising; cities under water. Climate change beliefs as function of age. Proposed Mount Trumpmore project. Volcano in Hawaii. How global warming is affecting California. Animal, Insect, & Bird Ranges Shrink. Nutrients in rice reduced. California Governor's comments.

  • Part 25: 2018-JUN & JUL: During 2018-JUN: A very few encouraging signs. Hurricanes slowing as winds increase. Changes in Antarctic ice and environment. Norway's growing season increased. A new world highest temperature. Future ocean levels.

  • Part 26: 2018-JUL: New York City reports to the UN. Impacts of humans burning up all our fossil energy. WWW.CLIMATECENTRAL.ORG's tools.
    Death Valley, CA, sets new record. Dissapearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern lands. Hurricane Florence.

  • Part 27: 2018-AUG & SEP: Dissapearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern countries. Hurricane Florence attacks the Carolinas. Pat Robinson's "Shield of Protection" doesn't work.

  • Part 28: 2018-SEP & OCT: Trump Admin. predicts: 7F temperature rise by the year 2099. Impact of climate change on women. Green Building Week & commitment. New IPCC report predicts a "Strong Risk of Crisis as early as 2040.

  • Part 29: 2018-OCT & NOV: Southern Baptist Convention downplays IPCC Report. Climate changing Fall season. Ozone layer continues to heal.
    Trump Confuses Weather & Climate.

  • Part 30: 2018-NOV: Hope for people who have no access to clean water. Trump Administration releases National Climate Assessment report. Reactions to the report.

  • Part 31: 2018-DEC: How to lie about climate change. UN head repeats warning. Major report on Arctic climate. Greenhouse gases soar. Can climate scientists be trusted?

  • Part 32: 2019-JAN: Collecting plastic trash from the Pacific Ocean. U.S. Public opinion on the environment. Status of climate change at the start of 2019.

  • Part 33: 2019-JAN-MAR: If Ocean Cleanup fails.... Public opinion on environment. Climate change in early 2019. Sea rise from Antarctic melting. Denmark fights cow flatulence. Disconnect between the EPA and climate scientists. Change is urgent NOW!

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Justin Gillis, "Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun. Scientists’ warnings that the rise of the sea would eventually
    imperil the United States’ coastline are no longer theoretical," New York Times, 2016-SEP-03, at:
  2. Jonathan Corum, "A Sharp Increase In ‘Sunny Day’ Flooding," New York Times, 2016-SEP-03, at:
  3. , "Here’s Where Species Will Flee Because of Global Warming," Wired, 2016-AUG-24, at:
  4. Julie Hirschfeld, et. al., "Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’," New York Times, 2016-SEP-08, at:

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Copyright 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2016-SEP-03
Latest update: 2016-SEP-27
Author: B.A. Robinson

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