Greater flooding in Miami is because of climate change. That’s a fact. So of course, congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) denies it.
Man-made climate change has caused sea level rise, which has now reached such heights that Miami can flood (as can Boston, and Charleston, and many many other coastal regions) just from high tide — even without storms or wind or rain. It’s another scientific fact that Lamar Smith doesn’t like. There are a lot of those.
A recent press release on the website of Texas congressman Lamar Smith, objects to president Obama saying what’s true: that the increase in Miami flooding is linked to climate change. Lamar Smith had this to say:
The president’s statement that Miami flooding is linked to climate change is entirely false and in fact disputed by meteorologists at the National Weather Service. The experts have reported that the lunar cycle and wind patterns are to blame for unusually high floods in Miami, not climate change. The fact is there is little evidence that climate change causes extreme weather events. The president is ignoring the facts and misleading the American people in order to advance his extreme climate change agenda.
Of course the lunar cycle (and solar as well) drives the tides. It always has. But all by itself that didn’t cause flooding, until now. It does now, because the sea itself has risen.
I’ve looked at this issue in detail, for the city of Boston. It’s happening there too. I’ve also seen it in the data for cities all up and down the east coast of the U.S. So have Spanger-Siegfried et al. (2014, Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years, Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists), Sweet et al. (2014, Sea Level Rise and Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes around the United States, NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 073), Sweet and Marra (2015, 2014 State of Nuisance Tidal Flooding, NOAA/NCEI, http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/special-reports/sweet-marra-nuisance-flooding-2015.pdf). We’ve all come to the same conclusion: because of sea level rise (which is because of climate change), you can now get flooding just from high tides.
No storm required, no wind required, no rain required. High tide alone is enough to cause flooding, because high tide now is higher than it used to be. Because of climate change.
I guess Lamar Smith doesn’t get that. A lot of people don’t, but most of them don’t run off at the mouth about it, because they’re smart enough not to pontificate about subjects on which they are astoundingly ignorant. Lamar Smith isn’t smart enough; he’s dumb enough to spout his ignorance for all to hear. Even on his own congressional website.
Way to go, Lamar!