The San Francisco Bay area’s Silicon Valley is home to a plethora of wealthy tech companies, but the sinking land beneath risks leading to far worse floods in the years to come, researchers said Wednesday.
This sinking, or subsidence, coupled with sea level rise, doubles the territory in the area known as Silicon Valley at risk of flooding by 2100, said the report in the journal Science Advances.
Until now, official government flood maps and projections have been based solely on estimates of sea level rise.
“The ground goes down, sea level comes up, and flood waters go much farther inland than either change would produce by itself,” said lead author Manoochehr Shirzaei, assistant professor in Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.
Most of the San Francisco Bay shoreline is sinking by less than two millimeters a year, but “in several areas we discovered subsidence rates of 10 millimeters (half an inch) a year and more,” said the study.
At particular risk are structures built mostly on landfill, such as the San Francisco International Airport which handles more than 200,000 annual landings and sees 56 million passengers passing through each year.
“When land subsidence is combined with projected rising sea levels, water will cover nearly half the airport’s runways and taxiways by the year 2100,” said the study.
Another trouble spot is Foster City, also built on reclaimed land between San Francisco and San Jose.
Since real estate is costly and hard to come by, an increasing number of companies have established themselves where “significant parts of the city will be at risk of flooding by 2100,” said the report.
Treasure Island, located between San Francisco and Oakland, is also sinking fast, at a rate of one-half to three-quarters of an inch (12 to 20 millimeters) per year.
Previous studies, which did not take sinking land into account, estimated that at a minimum, 20 square miles (51 square kilometers) of San Francisco Bay shoreline will face a risk of flooding by the year 2100.
Adding the effects of sinking ground along the shoreline, scientists found that the area threatened by rising seawater rose to at least 48 square miles (125 square kilometers).
The upper level, or worst cast scenarios in which sea levels accelerate due to glacial melting, predict around 160 square miles (413 square kilometers) at risk of flooding by century’s end.
The new findings are based on state-of-the-art satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), collected from 2007 to 2011.
“There are many estimates and models for sea-level rise,” said Shirzaei.
“But they all fall short because they don’t take into account land elevation changes.”
Republican lawmakers ask judge to destroy smoking gun documents proving GOP’s white supremacy
Republicans on Monday sought a court order to block damning documents from being used against them in a lawsuit.
"North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Monday asked a court to make sure the files of the now-deceased GOP strategist Tom Hofeller are destroyed, or at least kept secret, instead of being used in a high-profile gerrymandering lawsuit," the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
"The filing comes after the groups behind the lawsuit, including Common Cause, accused Republican lawmakers of making false statements in court in a previous gerrymandering case, when the state’s 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional," the newspaper noted. "That blockbuster accusation made national headlines and was, it said, based on Hofeller’s files which had been secret until recently."
Maddow slams Trump’s era of government officials ‘saving the country from the commander-in-chief’ with leaks
Rachel Maddow on Monday worried about the pattern of government officials leaking to the press to stop President Donald Trump from sabotaging United States' interests to help Russia.
The MSNBC anchor broke down the key questions raised by the bombshell New York Times report that officials were keeping secrets from Trump to protect U.S. interests.
Maddow reminded of a June 2017 story by Michael Isikoff.
Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy
President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.
"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.
"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.
"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.