The Flood Next Time

From the New York Times by Justin Gilles

The last house on Holland Island in Chesapeake Bay, which once had a population of almost 400,  finally toppled in October 2010. As the water rose and the island eroded, it had to be abandoned. Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post, via Getty Images

The last house on Holland Island in Chesapeake Bay, which once had a population of almost 400, finally toppled in October 2010. As the water rose and the island eroded, it had to be abandoned. Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post, via Getty Images

The little white shack at the water’s edge in Lower Manhattan is unobtrusive — so much so that the tourists strolling the promenade at Battery Park the other day did not give it a second glance.

Up close, though, the roof of the shed behind a Coast Guard building bristled with antennas and other gear. Though not much bigger than a closet, this facility is helping scientists confront one of the great environmental mysteries of the age.

The equipment inside is linked to probes in the water that keep track of the ebb and flow of the tides in New York Harbor, its readings beamed up to a satellite every six minutes.

While the gear today is of the latest type, some kind of tide gauge has been operating at the Battery since the 1850s, by a government office originally founded by Thomas Jefferson. That long data record has become invaluable to scientists grappling with this question: How much has the ocean already risen, and how much more will it go up?

Scientists have spent decades examining all the factors that can influence the rise of the seas, and their research is finally leading to answers. And the more the scientists learn, the more they perceive an enormous risk for the United States.

story continues here

By |2014-01-18T13:24:56-07:00January 13th, 2014|On the Water|0 Comments

Cherbourg, Normandy

May in Normandy, photo by Sylvain

Cherbourg, Normandy, photo by Sylvain

This is a picture of the wonderful summertime we have had the privilege to experience here in Cherbourg, Normandy, since the end of May. Just imagine how it will be next winter….Sylvain.

By |2012-07-13T13:22:41-07:00July 12th, 2012|On the Water|0 Comments

Gusts

University of Washington meteorology professor Cliff Mass talks about gusts on his blog and starts to explain why the westerlies are so exciting as you get closer to the town side of the Bay.

Last night I was sitting at my desk enjoying the sound of the winds..and it was quite an audio treat. I would hear the rumble in the distance. It would get closer and closer. Then the house and trees would shake.

As all of you know, the wind is almost never constant, with ebbs and flows. As a result, meteorologists often talk about sustained winds and wind gusts.

Sustained winds are the winds averaged over a period of time, typically two minutes. Gusts are the maximum winds (or actually maximum three-second winds for NWS sensors) during some period (often the same as the sustained winds).

Wind gusts can be a LOT stronger than the sustained winds…a typical value is 30-40% stronger, but on occasions it can be more. Here is an example at the UW for the last 24-h–look at the top row which shows both sustained winds and gusts. (more…)

By |2011-01-20T16:09:17-07:00January 20th, 2011|On the Water|0 Comments