Thursday, March 23, 2017

DAMN OR BE DAMNED.

This is an article or the first of a small series of articles that US East Coast Cities must do to avoid being made dysfunctional or worse inundated by the rising sea level from the melting ice-caps.  The melting of the ice caps can only be stopped by a cessation of emissions of greenhouse gasses combined with a drastic reduction in energy output from the Sun.

So here goes: the example for this article is Miami, including Miami Beach and all of Miami-Dade County.

"Miami Beach is surrounded by seas accelerating at an astonishing 9mm a year – vastly more than the 3mm-a-year global average" - UK Guardian. At this rate, when global mean sea level rise reaches 2 feet above the 1988 level, the amount of rise in Miami Beach, Miami and Miami-Dade County will be six feet (6 ft). This vast metropolitan area is a blend of the traditional city (Miami Beach), the Radiant City (Miami and Miami Beach) and the lesser-known Broadacre City (Miami and Miami-Dade County) that was hawked by Frank Lloyd Wright.

First, the Broadacre City.


Original image source: UK Guardian.
Miami-Dade County which includes Miami proper and Miami Beach, is not all towers-in-a -park by the bayshore (Downtown Miami and Hotel Row), nor is it all Art Deco and Art Moderne takes on a traditional village (South Beach, Surfside). Most of it is sprawled out suburban development inter-connected by freeways and highways very much like Wright's Broadacre City. When or even before the global mean sea level rises by two feet (meaning six feet in Miami), most of the underground infrastructure---water, sewer, drains, will be rendered dysfunctional or even nonfunctional. The county water supply, the Biscayne Aquifer, will be destroyed: evicted from the surface by the intrusion of salt water through the porous limestone that holds it. As shown on the image to the left, the western low-lying parts of the county, most of which are not shown, will be flooded -- the northwest sections being impacted the worst. The higher portions, closer to the bayshore, will be subdivided into "keys" ( the island in the bottom centre of the image above is called Key Biscayne ). The islands and beach towns will be reduced to strands, submerged or eroded away.

Now the Radiant City.


Andrea Sandoval, Photomontage. Source: Miami Herald.

The image above depicts how Downtown Miami *might* cope with a six-foot sea-level rise -- with brand new canals and harbours carved out of the oolitic limestone, ostensibly to provide landfill or floodwall protection to the remaining low-lying shoreline areas and new land extensions and even flottants out in the bay.

But it is not very likely that greater Miami will cope as cleverly or even as well as this. Even befoire the local sea level rise meets six feet (6 ft), it is very possible that a breakthrough will occur at Hotel Row, causing the waters of Indian Creek to overflow onto Route A1A and cover parkland and the yards and parking areas of some of the large hotels developed in the 1950s, a scenario shown in the image to the right. It is also possible that this same breakthrough could continue to the Atlantic Ocean, as apparent in the lower right of the image.

Photo-Illustration by Darrow; © Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock (Mid-Beach).
Original image source: Vanity Fair via Pinterest.

Already there have been street and parking lot floodings throughout Miami Beach and Downtown Miami, such as this image below documented in WPBT TV-2's South Florida's Rising Seas - Sea Level Rise Documentary.

Flooding in Miami Beach in broad sunlight.
Image Source: WPB2 South Florida PBS's Youtube Channel:
South Florida's Rising Seas - Sea Level Rise Documentary.

And last, the Traditional City.


This last image shows oceanic surf coursing through the streets of South Beach, displacing and submerging the last holdouts' cars in the morning light even as deeper flooding occurs further up the street. What's peculiar about this image is that the flooding appears to be coming from the bay and not the sea---the actual flooding, should it occur in this direction as it is most likely to, probably would not be accompanied by the surf.

Photo-Illustration by Darrow; From ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images (Left car),
© Meuinerd/Shutterstock (Miami Beach),
By Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images (Right cars).
Original image source: Vanity Fair.
Vanity Fair says: "Despite dire predictions, visionary planners believe that Miami Beach can adapt—and show other cities the way." For the shores, it's Dam or Be Damned. For the inland parts, it's Fill and Damn or Be Damned.

Otherwise...,

"La m√©tropole 
Miami-Dade est condamnée."




(Updated 26 March 2017)

(To be updated -- DAMN OR BE DAMNED image surrounds coming soon.)

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