SF Civil Grand Jury Issues Report on Rising Sea Levels

San Francisco’s Civil Grand Jury issued a report this week on how rising sea levels will most likely affect San Francisco and what city agencies are doing to address the problem.

The Civil Grand Jury, a 19-member volunteer panel who serve for one year investigating various topics, found that there is no comprehensive response plan if major flooding occurs in San Francisco as a consequence of climate change.

The jury, whose members were selected by the San Francisco Superior Court through an application process, found there are serious risks to city buildings and infrastructure, such as the wastewater treatment system, which includes three plants.

Those plants are the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Bayview, which was built in 1952 and treats 80 percent of the city’s wastewater; the Oceanside Treatment Plant on the Great Highway near the San Francisco Zoo, which was built in 1993 and treats 20 percent of wastewater; and the North Point Weather Facility on Bay Street and the Embarcadero, which was built in 1951 and is only operated during wet weather to handle up to 150 million gallons per day of stormwater, according to jury findings.

At Ocean Beach, San Francisco International Airport and along the Embarcadero and other Port property and piers there are limited plans in place to protect those exposed areas.

Other vulnerable areas listed in the report are Crissy Field and Treasure Island.

The jury cited figures from the state Coastal Commission and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission that place sea levels rising to 16 inches by 2050 and 55 inches by 2100.

The gradual destruction of flooding is known throughout all city agencies the jury contacted and interviewed, the jury found.

However despite certain plans and suggestions for vulnerable areas, there is no citywide plan to adapt to rising sea levels or change the city’s planning and building codes to account for the impacts of sea level rise, according to the report.

The jury recommended an awareness campaign and a consistent city policy regarding rising water levels, especially in regard to future development.

The panel also recommended a surcharge by the Port of San Francisco on property leases to establish a reserve fund, along with other funding programs. The mayor and Board of Supervisors were urged to create a local working group to look into hazards and regional plans to mitigate
destruction.

The Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing on this report, and every agency named in the report must respond to the jury with their decisions on the proposed recommendations.

The full report is available online at http://civilgrandjury.sfgov.org/report.html.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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  • mememine

    Did Bush exaggerate science’s laughable 32 year old consensus of “could be” and goose step billions of innocent children to the greenhouse gas ovens of a false war?

    The denier and “former believer” voting majority will never allow climate action (to save the planet :) as long as science is only 95% certain that the end is near while the remaining “believers” are 100% certain that billions of innocent children are doomed to a crisis.

    And get up to date;
    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
    *Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).

    REAL libs are happy a crisis wasn’t real and REAL libs question, doubt and challenge ALL authority especially ones that threaten the lives of our children but it seems you “progressives” don’t mind acting like fear mongering neocons.

    • CB

      “Did Bush exaggerate science’s laughable 32 year old consensus of “could be” and goose step billions of innocent children to the greenhouse gas ovens of a false war?”

      That is meaningless word salad, not a proper question.

      Now, how certain are you there won’t be a crisis?

      If we haven’t set the world on a course toward total polar meltdown, 75 meters of sea level rise, the drowning of the homes of billions of people, and untold climate chaos just with the CO₂ we’ve already emitted, why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high?

      • S Graves

        Except that’s one of your lies, CB..oh, wait. Actually 2 of your lies. Cite a single…just one…peer reviewed work that actually predicts what you wildly claim here about SLR. I have asked you for one…just one…scores of times, but you just disappear and copy and past your nonsense on the next board, as you have done here. This would be a good place to provide something other than your opinion.

        Then there’s the ice cap nonsense. Here’s what you have said in your own words elsewhere about ice caps. YOU claimed ice caps formed 34mmy with CO2 at almost twice today’s lever. If you aren’t lying about this, you MUST first decide which contradictory position you want to take and then validate your position by answering these SIMPLE questions;

        1. The length of time these ice caps persisted.
        2. The peer-reviewed paper from which you get this information.

        Otherwise, go stand in the corner.

        • CB

          If what I said were not true, you should be able to prove it.

          Here is peer-reviewed evidence polar ice caps persisted for 800,000 years with CO₂ under 400PPM:

          ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/epica_domec/edc-co2-2008.txt

          If you think polar ice caps persisted with CO₂ over 400PPM, please provide the following 3 things:

          1. A point in time before 1750CE polar ice caps were able to withstand levels of CO₂ over 400PPM.
          2. The length of time these ice caps persisted.
          3. The peer-reviewed paper from which you get this information.

          Because you have a habit of spamming threads about climate science with non sequitur and unsupported claims, if you cannot provide all three of these things or admit my characterisation of the history is accurate, you will be ignored.

          I note in advance your failure to do so.

          • S Graves

            If what you said was true, you ought to be able to prove it.

            Now…where in the Dome C data do we find answers to the questions I challenged? You DO remember your nonsense questions that you have clearly demonstrated you spam from board to board…right?

            “If we haven’t set the world on a course toward total polar meltdown, 75 meters of sea level rise, the drowning of the homes of billions of people, and untold climate chaos just with the CO₂ we’ve already emitted, why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high?”

            Something? Anything? Of course not.

  • Voodude

    As part of the discussion where CB demands to know when polar ice caps have existed when CO2 was above the current levels…

    CB: “why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high?”

    – because there are MANY of them; that is why there isn’t a SINGLE example…

    CB: “If you think polar ice caps persisted with CO₂ over 400PPM, please provide the following 3 things:”

    “1. A point in time before 1750CE polar ice caps were able to withstand levels of CO₂ over 400PPM.”
    270-275 Million years ago (Ma), and again at 287Ma (reference 1)
    several times in the Late Ordovician, 440-450Ma
    240-480Ma (this paper covers several periods with high CO2 and polar ice caps)
    323-428Ma (another paper that covers several periods of high CO2 & polar ice caps)
    445Ma specifically, covering two periods of high CO2 and polar ice caps
    443 Ma, specifically Ashgillian (not Hinternian) part of the Late Ordovician

    “2. The length of time these ice caps persisted.”
    3 million years of glaciation, with pCO2 never lower than 2,500 ppmv, 270-275Ma

    seven million years, through to the mid-Artinskian stage, 287Ma

    many hundreds of thousands of years, but not a million years, apparently… the two high CO2 glaciations, polar ice caps with 5x-10x (or more) of the present CO2, in the Late Ordovician

    much of the research doesn’t specify the duration of the glaciation.

    “3. The peer-reviewed paper from which you get this information.”

    Reference 1: Montanez, Isabel P., et al. “CO2-forced climate and vegetation instability during Late Paleozoic deglaciation.” Science 315.5808 (2007): 87-91.
    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1103&context=geosciencefacpub
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/315/5808/87

    2: Montanez, Isabel P., et al. “CO2-forced climate and vegetation instability during Late Paleozoic deglaciation.” Science 315.5808 (2007): 87-91.
    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1103&context=geosciencefacpub
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/315/5808/87

    3: Lowry, D. P., et al. “Thresholds for Paleozoic ice sheet initiation.” Geology(2014): G35615-1.
    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2014/05/21/G35615.1.abstract

    4: Zhuang, K., G. R. North, and J. R. Giardino (2014), Hysteresis of glaciations in the Permo-Carboniferous, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119, 2147–2155, doi:10.1002/2013JD020524.

    5: Vandenbroucke, Thijs RA, et al. “Polar front shift and atmospheric CO2 during the glacial maximum of the Early Paleozoic Icehouse.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.34 (2010): 14983-14986.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2930542/

    6: Lefebvre, Vincent, et al. “The Late Ordovician crisis: the Large Igneous Province hypothesis tested by global carbon cycle modeling.” EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts. Vol. 12. 2010.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010EGUGA..12.6250L

    7: “Reconstructing Late Ordovician carbon cycle variations” Pancost et al
    DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.11.033
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016703712006862

    8: CROWLEY, TJ, and SK BAUM. “Toward reconciliation of late Ordovician (∼ 440 Ma) glaciation with very high CO2 levels.” JGR. Journal of geophysical research. Part D, Atmospheres 96.12 (1991): 22597-22610.
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=5192384
    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/CrowleyBaum1995.pdf

    9: Jones, David S., et al. “Terminal Ordovician carbon isotope stratigraphy and glacioeustatic sea-level change across Anticosti Island (Québec, Canada).”Geological Society of America Bulletin 123.7-8 (2011): 1645-1664.

    10: Spjeldnaes, Nils. “Ordovician climatic zones.” Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift

    11: Qing, Hairuo, and Jan Veizer. “Oxygen and carbon isotopic composition of Ordovician brachiopods: Implications for coeval seawater.” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 58.20 (1994): 4429-4442.

    12: Kaljo, Dimitri, et al. “Implications of Gondwana glaciations in the Baltic late Ordovician and Silurian and a carbon isotopic test of environmental cyclicity.”Bulletin de la Société géologique de France 174.1 (2003): 59-66.

    And, my favourite: 13: Young, Seth A., et al. “Did changes in atmospheric CO2 coincide with latest Ordovician glacial–interglacial cycles?.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 296.3 (2010): 376-388.
    http://www.geology.ohio-state.edu/~saltzman/youngetal_2010.pdf