Drain The Swamp?!

In the US when you hear “Drain the swamp,” you probably think about it as a political term. The meaning refers to abolishing corruption in Washington DC. It became a frequent chant heard at Trump rallies and popular hashtag on social media used by Trump’s supporters. The term originated from the practice of literally draining swamps to minimize the mosquito population and fight against malaria. If only this could refer to rising sea levels in certain areas around the world and some areas in NJ is one of them.

drain the swamp lock her up donal trump rally
Drain the Swamp

Sea level is increasing faster in the NJ shore than the global average because of land subsidence. Since the 1800s global sea level has risen at about 0.6 inches. According to Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Science by the 20th century, sea level rose by 12 inches by Bayonne, Trenton, and Camden. It rose additional four inches due to compacting sediments caused by natural effects and groundwater withdrawal along Sandy Hook to Cape May. There is 95% probability that the 20th century rate of sea level increase along the New Jersey shore is rising faster than it has in the past centuries for the past 4,000 years. This is obviously a swamp of some sort that will make land inhabitable. Unfortunately, we can not stop rising sea level by literally trying to drain the water. But, it is funny how we have a president that denies climate change and calls it a “Chinese Hoax.” Image result for trump says climate change a hoaxIt’s very funny how his supporters say to “drain the swamp,” because they believe he was the non-corrupt candidate running for president. There is a swamp upon us, it’s the rising sea level that is sinking land right before our eyes and it’s going ignored or not enough is being done about it.

Back bay flooding
PWeather Center

We can’t really lower the sea level, we can only slow down the pace because the problem is that it’s rising at a rapid pace. What’s the point of chanting “drain the swamp,” if we proceed to ignore the rapid rising sea level?  New Jersey is one of the most vulnerable states to rising sea levels. Rutgers researchers estimated that ocean levels could increase in NJ by 1 or 2 feet by 2050. According to an article by Zillow research by 2100 almost 200,000 NJ homes might be underwater by chronic flooding. Researchers estimate that 115 rail stations may flood on a regular basis, and that 60% of the region’s power generating capacity would be a floodplain. There is a video on Vox that explains the sea level rise in Meadowlands why chronic floods are coming to New Jersey. It discusses why the Meadowlands could experience this potential trend and the possible impacts could be. Hurricane Sandy slammed into the NJ coastline and left a path of destruction, including historic flooding. Flooding was worse in low-lying areas, such as the shore of New Jersey and New York city. Rising levels of the ocean and higher tides could cause floods like the ones in Sandy happen more frequently. By 2100, rising sea level could surround Keansburg Amusement Park, Asbury Park convention Hall, downtown brick and the entirety of the barrier islands according to research and analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Climate Central.

(Photo: Courtesy of Climate Central)

Atlantic City

For now it is unlikely a 12ft rise in sea levels only four states would have more impacted. The ocean would submerge land where 710,000 people now live in the Garden State, making $199 billion worth of property go to waste. A lost of land will equal a lost of money.

As it turns out, reducing our emissions would help slow sea level rise. The Nature Climate Change found that reducing emissions of climate pollutants, including methane and soot by 30 to 60 percent would slow down the rise by 18% by the year 2050. On the Washington PostThe National Center on Atmospheric Research estimated that progressive steps to cut emissions could reduce sea level by 6-20 inches by the year 2100. The NCAR paper estimates that if emissions go unchecked, we could warm the planet by 4C over pre-industrial levels by 2100 causing the level to rise between 2-5ft. So, taking action and cutting emissions, its possible for temperature to be maintained below 2C.




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