At the top of Google News searches for “climate change” yesterday, the UK Guardian published an article titled, “Will Florida be lost forever to the climate crisis?” The article claims, “If scientists are right, the lower third of the state will be underwater by the end of the century.” Climate extremists have long targeted Floridians for over-the-top climate scares, but this one is particularly preposterous.

U.S. Geological Survey maps show the vast majority of the southern third of Florida sits more than 5 feet above sea level, most of the southern third sits at least 10 feet above sea level, and much of the southern third sits 15-to-50 feet above sea level.

NASA satellite instruments, in operation since 1993, show global sea level rising at a pace of 1.2 inches per decade. As shown in Climate at a Glance: Sea Level Rise, this is approximately the same pace of sea-level rise that has occurred since at least the mid-1800s. Moreover, there has been little or no acceleration in sea-level rise during recent years.

With 80 years left in the century, global sea level is on a pace to rise just 9.6 inches – less than 1 foot – through the end of the century.  Sea level rise would have to immediately accelerate to 50 times its current pace, and maintain that 50x pace for all of the next 80 years, for the Guardian’s preposterous claim to come true. Heck, sea level rise would have to immediately accelerate to 5 times its current pace, and maintain that 5x pace for all of the next 80 years, for the Guardian’s claim to hold true for even small portions of South Florida.

South Florida, moreover, shows no signs or particularly rapid acceleration. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains a tidal gauge just offshore from Miami on Virginia Key. The NOAA Virginia Key tidal gauge shows sea level at Miami is rising even more slowly than the global average of 1.2 inches per decade.

Shifting gears, alarmists might argue that the Guardian simply meant the third of Florida closest to shorelines rather than the southern third of the state. Such an assertion would be just as preposterous. U.S. Geological Survey maps show that outside of South Florida, very little of Florida sits below 30 feet of elevation.

So how, then, is it true that, “If scientists are right, the lower third of the state will be underwater by the end of the century”?

The answer is, it is simply not true. Indeed, the Guardian does not quote any scientists making such a ridiculous prediction. And even if the Guardian could find some scientists making such a prediction, they would simply be a small number of hacks with scientific credentials.

Climate activists and their media puppets are accustomed to simply making stuff up and counting on nobody fact-checking them and pointing out their lies in an accessible venue. But we are doing that here at Climate Realism. For your friends and neighbors who are undecided and have an open mind about the climate change debate, show them this article and ask them who are more trustworthy: climate alarmists or climate realists?

James Taylor is Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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