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Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says banking industry and insurers very focused on rising sea levels; warns coastal owners may face negative equity; calls on Govt to investigate fiscal, economic risks

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says banking industry and insurers very focused on rising sea levels; warns coastal owners may face negative equity; calls on Govt to investigate fiscal, economic risks

By Lynn Grieveson

Coastal property owners and bankers will eventually face insurance problems and the potential for negative equity because of rising sea levels, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has warned.

Commissioner Jan Wright told Parliament’s Local Government and Environment select committee on Thursday that she was calling on Finance Minister Bill English to set up a working group to address the economic and fiscal risks of the inevitable rise in sea levels as a result of climate change.

“Banks are very keen to engage. We have had very interesting discussions with banking people and the insurance industry are right onto this, believe me”, she said.

Wright was presenting the Commission’s November 2015 report into rising sea levels, which she described as a “slowly unfolding red zone”, with roughly the same number of homes (around 9,000) mapped as under 50 centimetres above sea level and therefore most at risk. She said the total replacement cost for buildings in these lowest lying areas was NZ$3 billion, which did not include the cost of other infrastructure. The replacement cost of buildings on land up to 1.5 metres above sea level was NZ$20 billion.

See more on Wright's preliminary report in February last year here and on a November 2015 report on the forecast replacement costs here. The Government said in November the report was "speculative". See more on that here.

A study published this week in Nature found that continued growth in greenhouse-gas emissions could trigger an unstoppable collapse of Antarctica's ice, raising sea levels by more than a metre by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500. Hear more in this Kim Hill interview with one of the study's author's, James Hansen.

“Calls for compensation are going to be inevitable,” Wright said.

Speaking with reporters afterward, she said banks and the insurance industry were “deeply involved in thinking about this so there will be costs for government and councils. People will, I am sure, call for compensation.” 

Insurance costs may rise

“You might see premiums go up, the co-payments might go up and then eventually a house would become uninsurable, probably a while before it become uninhabitable. So they [the insurance companies] would just take themselves quietly out of the picture and you could end up with the interesting situation of negative equity,” she said.

“People we have talked to in the banking industry are starting to take this really seriously and think what they are going to do about it. It doesn’t mean they have figured out what they are going to do about it, but they certainly recognise that they have to be thinking about it and coming up with plans.”

Committee chair, National MP for Coromandel Scott Simpson, said he “knew it to be true” that “the insurance sector are all over this.”

 “I've fielded questions from constituents that suddenly find it's not as easy to get insurance when they have purchased a house or property in an area of concern,” Simpson said.

Government guidance needed

Wright called for more guidance from central government for Councils, telling the Committee that, although it was urgent that greenhouse gas emissions were reduced in order to limit the amount of sea level rise, there was time to “plan how to react and adapt” and it should not be a rushed process.

“It is more important to prepare well than to rush.  What we have got is a situation where central government is giving direction to Councils (things they must do) and guidance (things we suggest they do) and that needs to be much better than it is at the moment. It is not up to the task," Wright said.

She criticized the lack of standardised information and protocols for identifying at-risk low-lying areas.

“There's a bit of a mess here we discovered. Some Councils have done their whole regions, some have done none, some have done part. It's not done consistently across the country,” she said.

'Standardisation required'

Wright also said there was inconsistency in how far ahead Councils were planning and what level of potential sea level rise they were modeling with.

“That is something that needs to be decided by central Government,” she said.” It is not appropriate for one Council as it were to be optimistic and another to be pessimistic. We need some standardisation around that, otherwise it just becomes an unnecessary variation across the country and more and more confusion.” 

“We need Councils to do strategies for their coastlines, not ad-hoc piecemeal stuff. Some person builds a seawall in front of their place can make it worse for the people at either end. Council builds a seawall – okay, now you have created a financial precedent. You built one for them, we want one now. There will be no end to this.”

Kapiti and Christchurch LIM examples

Wright said the Commission had looked at the cases of Kapiti and Christchurch Councils, which put hazard lines on maps following coastal risk assessments, resulting in outrage amongst homeowners who found the LIM (Land Information Memorandum) reports of their properties now stated they were at risk. She described the comments on the Christchurch LIMs as “uninformative and incomprehensible” -  adding that, despite having numerous people with doctorates working in the Commission, “we could not quite get our heads around what had happened in that coastal risk assessment.”

“The responsibility does firmly fall on central government to get the direction and advice to Councils much better. There will be laws that will need to be changed,” she said.

“A lot of what's happened is because Councils are bound by certain laws. So as soon as a Council accepts, in the Kapiti case for example, a coast risk assessment, then someone asks for a LIM, it has to be on the LIM, immediately, bang, no delay.”

“We do need to learn by doing and the current way in which those laws and policy statements are working is not really allowing that. It's boxing Councils in to a certain way of acting.”

“So what has gone on in Christchurch where all these people are upset, some of the things that are happening don't seem to be logical or fair. I am sure that what they have done is perfectly legal. So there is a big onus on central government to sort this."


Green MP Eugenie Sage said the Goverment's denial of the issue would cost New Zealand in the long run.

"It’s irresponsible for the Government to ignore sea level rise, in the hope that might make it go away," Sage said.

“New Zealanders expect their government to be preparing for long-term problems, but right now the National Government is choosing to kick this NZ$20 billion can down the road,” she said.

(Updated with links to research, reaction)

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Just ridiculous. The world is going mad! To worry about this sort of thing...... which has no more chance than a meteor strike killing us all can only be seen as chicken little delusional. Why should we care about this when the huge debt burdens NOW of future generations is of no concern to government or corporations? Perspective is becoming extinct!

Total Scaremongering and irrelevant to anyone living today. I refuse to waste my time, energy and money on issues that may or may not occur for the 22nd century. Every single one of us will be worm food.

Yeah...I hear some of of these types think the world is round? Crazy to think they are listening to science and not just following gut instinct? What next.

You obviously dont do science....simple we will be extinct as a species inside of 200 years at this rate

I never realised Steven that science's best tool was a crystal ball on a computer! Cause that is all they have got mate regarding what may or may not happen next century and beyond ! Evidence of Cause and Effect no where to be seen. Climate Change?.....yes historical data proves it has always changed, But concise evidence of "human" induced CC? Nada. Thus the old religious defense comes forth "what if your wrong?"
BTW Steven, I passed geology, physics and biology with A's, I don't work for an oil company, I'm not a lobbyist for right wing politicians, I recycle and produce green products for the domestic & export market, and I detest pollution. CO2 is not pollution or a poison in nature, neither is carbon. But claiming it is sure is making some a great deal of $$$$


It isnt just one thing but whole reams of evidence supporting evidence,

a) Models, the thing is it isnt just the models that actually are proven in a simple way they back date the start date of the run to say 1940 and then them forward to today tracking actual recorded data.
b) Rising temperature records correlate checked from multiple sources and methods
c) Weather events are getting more extreme and frequent.

Co2 isnt a poison? yeah that is a red herring, Climate change doesnt mention or worry much about those effects. ie that is nothing to do with its physical effect on retaining heat, an effect known for a considerable time, yet you passed physics? So sure you passed school cert, congrats, that doesnt really counter say Mann or the masses of scientific evidence out there.

Biology and geology also have nothing really to do with the subject either except as a consequence of increased heat and weather events due to CC we will see and are seeing a noticeable effect on say agricultural output.

So says the man who cannot read the legend on a graph axis correctly.


LOL great rant, but you seem to barking up the wrong tree. The climate is changing, and you seem to arguing that humans didn't cause it, so we can ignore the consequences.
Still, you should pick up a few bargain waterfront properties, or maybe you'll pay top dollar for them, god knows the country seems full of idiots these days.

Scientists are not claiming CO2 is a poison. They have strong evidence that the levels of it have increased substantially, and that the increases are large enough that it is unlikely to be cyclical variation.

Who should we believe? Conjecture and opinions? People who "feel" there is no problem? Or cross-
governmental organisations like Scientists are not 50:50 on this issue, "mate".

You know, scientists. The guys who made computers, cars, our modern industrial civilization possible.

You belong back in the middle ages with the rest of the flat earthers.

You got it Justice.
Spend all the time and money that is wasted on this kind of BS on medical research or a center barrier down the entire SH1.
World gone mad.

Really, thats your preferred expenditure? Thats just frikin awesome! I agree, sea level rise has been widely advertised, and any daf peron who wants to buy low lying property deserves what they get!

It is really nice to know that smart forward looking people will have buyers for their low lying properties.

Just talking up insurance premiums. Insurance companies not happy with increases post Christchurch earthquake.


The last time atmospheric CO2 was at 400ppm sea levels were about 23 metres above current.

It takes quite a while to overcome the Earth's 'thermal inertia' -there is a lot of ice to melt and deep oceans to warm- but with atmospheric CO2 already 125ppm above pre-industrial level and 175ppm above the 800,000- year average of 230ppm

and rising not only at around ten times the rate in previous mass extinction events but rising at an increasing annual rate (CO2 sink saturation?)

anyone alive in the 2040s could well witness multi-metre sea level rise and global average temperatures 3 to 5oC above present. (Much higher near the poles.)

James Hansen recently highlighted the extreme instability of Antarctic ice sheets, grounded below current sea level and currently being undercut at a phenomenal rate.

Much now hangs of how quickly the Arctic sea ice disappears because once that is gone the latent heat of phase change will no longer consume radiated energy and with less reflectance overheating of the Northern Hemisphere will shift to a much faster rate.

The news from the Arctic is all bad, with 2016 showing unprecedented low ice cover in February, whilst the current rate of melting (as of 29th March) is 'worrying' to say the least; 37,000km2 in the latest data update and nearly 100,000km2 in 3 days. More than 2 standard deviations below the recent average and melting fast:

We will have a better idea how dire the predicament is 4 months from now.

Since protecting the future of the next generation and operating a fossil economy are mutually exclusive concepts, we be fairly confident the government will do nothing to protect the next generation's future and will charge ahead with policies guaranteed to wreck it via CO2 emissions. After all, money and the economy now take precedence over everything.

On top of the above, there is the largely-ignored methane predicament: methane has a warming potential of around 300 times that of CO2 for time scales that matter and is bubbling out of methane clathrates at a phenomenal rate, contributing to the highest methane level in human history, around 2000ppb, roughly 3 times the pre-industrial level.

Going by your NSIDC chart the Arctic sea ice is the same extent as this this time 2015,2011, 2007 and 2005, and greater than this time in 2006. You are drawing a long bow to suggest the Arctic sea ice will "disappear" this year.

Did all the Arctic sea ice disappear in 2006? We've emitted 20% of the post industrial CO2 emissions since 2006 - yet the Arctic sea is greater now than it was in 2006 - going by your NSIDC chart. Some correlation!

Perhaps click on "show all" button for some perspective or click on the Antarctic Sea Ice tab, note that it is above average, and relax. (note default tab settings set to maximum hand wringing effect).

LOL perspective indeed, a once or twice per century event (below 2 std deviations) happens 5 times per decade and what?
As for antartica, it's time will come, all the methane and CO2 pollution is occuring in the Northern Hemisphere and it is concentrated there, not down here. There are other reasons why citing it as a reason to relax is daf, but I'm certain you have already ignored them, and would do so again if I posted them.

The biggest emmitters of methane in our country go MOOOOOOOO - they also crap over land that gets into our waterways - sure as eggs Nothing will be done by anyone in central govt.

Look at the big picture James. The agriculture "problem" was solved back in 1990... with zero help from central government... "We show that agricultural production and GHGs have been steadily decoupled over recent decades. Emissions peaked in 1991 at ~12 Pg CO2-eq. yr−1 and have not exceeded this since."

...meaningless...did you download and read the entire article. Thought not. You may have also failed to notice the decoupling does not indicate a decrease at all...merely a per unit of production. Back to school.

Here Rastus I'll spell out for you, the second sentence is in absolute terms. "Emissions peaked in 1991 at ~12,000,000,000 t CO2-eq. yr−1 and have not exceeded this since."

Also note the term "absolute" - "Our projected business-as-usual range suggests that emissions may be further decoupled by 20–55% giving absolute agricultural emissions of 8.2–14.5 Pg CO2-eq. yr−1 by 2050, significantly lower than many previous estimates that do not allow for decoupling."

So absolute agricultural emissions may go lower still - great news if you are a hand wringer.

Puts NZ's minute total GHG emissions into perspective. We are not even within the margin of error for global agricultural emissions.

And isn't it amazing that these agricultural emissions peaked in 1991- before the climate change industry had even cranked up into a full blown gravy train.

May I ask - are you still at school?

..may i ask did you ever go? You are either a nut bar or on the koch bros payrole. Beyond being educated.

I may be a nutbar and in the pay of big koch bros but at least I have basic reading skills. How laughable a punter who makes a basic comprehension error brings education into it. All you ever have is name calling and not much else. I'd think much more highly of you if you could admit a mistake - we all make them.

We can't be proud as a country knowing that we are continuing to raise our GHG. Agriculture in this country still continues to increase its emissions. Cow numbers continue to increase and so does the impact of their crap in our waterways. Sorry, but I don't buy you optimism.

I think the amazing thing is that the rest of the world, including China, has been fooled by the climate conspiracy except you. I'd imagine you must be in line for a Nobel Peace prize, honourable doctorate and perhaps even a knighthood! Thanks for all the good work you are doing in spreading the truth. Keep it up, we need a laugh or two.

Can you please point to the science that states this, or don't you do science either?

No way - activism replaced science way back. Science is far too boring.

"The Australasian region has four very long, continuous tide gauge records, at Fremantle (1897), Auckland (1903), Fort Denison (1914), and Newcastle (1925), which are invaluable for considering whether there is evidence that the rise in mean sea level is accelerating over the longer term at these locations in line with various global average sea level time-series reconstructions. These long records have been converted to relative 20-year moving average water level time series and fitted to second-order polynomial functions to consider trends of acceleration in mean sea level over time. The analysis reveals a consistent trend of weak deceleration at each of these gauge sites throughout Australasia over the period from 1940 to 2000. Short period trends of acceleration in mean sea level after 1990 are evident at each site, although these are not abnormal or higher than other short-term rates measured throughout the historical record."

Re Freemantle. A lot of the "sea level change" was actually subsidence and compaction of the land By memory there was an additional report that showed even more land movement than in the above, but I can't recall where it was.

Also, trending over 100 years isn't exactly a long time for a climatic event. What happened over the last 1,000 years/10,000 years/100,000 years? Answer we do not know with certainty. We can only assume based on limited information, and this is the reality - science is assumptions. Assumptions can be proven both right and wrong - if proven at all.

This El nino was predicted to be the worst. Yet so far all evidence suggests not as bad as 1998.

End result is - will anyone change their behaviour - unlikely. Does it even matter if they do? who knows. But hey, in one-two hundred years. Someone (be they pro or anti-climate change) will say they told us so.

Actually we do know that the sea has risen around 120 metres since the last ice age, 10000years ago. Not only a lot but also at a great rate. But it's also notable that during the ice age scientist reckon there were times that the artic ocean was clear of ice and often with similar ice to now, and parts of the Antarctic ice sheet were thinner than now.
As for the actual article, Naf off commissioner, I not paying for someone else to have sea views, how blardy ridiculous is that. No doubt next you'll hit me up for money so people can live damp free in classy monolithic Mediterranean houses of their own choosing.

I live near the coast and the high tide line hasn't changed in 20 years - not worth worrying about

There is very little hope for the human race.

Yes there is. See my solution below.

I also own a coastal property but considered rising ocean levels, hence why I looked for something 30 meters above sea level. You do know that climate changed is quite a natural thing and has been happening for as long as this earth has been in existence (But yes man has an huge influence as well).

Think before you buy. :)


Have you ever heard of the Precautionary Principle? In simple terms it means not doing something if there is risk.

Sadly, in western societies the Precautionary Principle has been ignored or discarded altogether, and policies known to be highly risky and likely to generate extremely bad outcomes are implemented with no regard whatsoever for the outcome, i.e. mass consumption of fossil fuels.

With regard to the graphs, if you examine them properly instead glancing at them you will note that for 3 of the 4 years you quoted as having the same ice cover on the 29th March actually had greater ice cover than 2016.:

29th March 2005 14.433 millionkm2
29th March 2007 14.355
29th March 2011 14.456
29th March 2015 14.420
29th March 2016 14.376

Only 2007 had less ice than 2016 on 29th March, and you will note that the decline rate was much less than is currently seen.

4-day decline 26th to 29th March 2007 was 61,000km2
4-day decline 26th to 29th March 2016 was 107.000km2

Bearing in mind that 2007 witnessed the second lowest ice cover ever recorded and that CO2 forcing is now 20ppm higher than in 2007

and bearing in mind that sea ice cover is currently 735,000km2 less than in 2012 (the greatest meltdown recorded thus far) your 'nothing to see here' stance is truly bizarre.

This particular argument could be settled as early as Friday morning 1st April NZ time, since the NSIDC website is usually updated in the early hours NZ time. The argument will definitely be settled in a few months.

I hope for everyone's sake the ice melt does not continue at the current rate because if it does humanity is in dire straits already. However, we should note that hoping is seeking an outcome over which one has no agency, and that is hardly a way to organise a complex society.

30th March: 14.320 millionkm2, a loss of 55,000km2 of ice. .

Is this not the lowest Arctic ice cover ever recorded for the day of the year and the fastest melt rate recorded at this time of year?

Doesn't this indicate rapid planetary meltdown and complete failure of 'leadership' to address anything of importance?

How many angels dance the head of a pin? The numbers are so similar to be meaningless. Ever recorded? Don’t you mean in the satellite era? A geological blink of an eye. Have a look at the 1990 IPCC report:
“The American Navy Joint Ice Center has produced weekly charts which have been digitised by NOAA.These data are summarized in Figure 7.20 which is based on analyses carried out on a 1° latitude x 2.5°longitude grid. Sea-ice is defined to be present when its concentration exceeds 10% (Ropelewski,1983). Since about 1976 the areal extent of sea-ice in the Northern Hemisphere has varied about a constant climatological level but in 1972-1975 sea-ice extent was significantly less.”

Arctic Sea ice varies - especially 15% ice that is dependent on wind direction/strength. A shame the NSIDC site doesn’t go back to 1972 for some longer perspective rather than start in 1979 when the Arctic Sea ice was at its peak in recent history. Are you happy that Antarctic Sea ice is above average? Or that Greenland SMB is above average? Or that the Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice anomaly has flat lined since 2006? Odd that it has flat lined in an era when industrial GHG emissions have gone up 20%. Though it looks like industrial GHG emissions may have peaked also - early days.

That site seems a bit barfed, but no its not likely CO2 has peaked in fact the opposite seems to be true.

--edit-- for a website that works,

"In a new estimate of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, a team of international researchers said China’s carbon dioxide emissions had fallen 2.5 percent in 2015 compared with 2014. Emissions in the United States, the largest emitter after China, were down 3 percent, and carbon dioxide emissions globally appeared to have dropped 0.43 percent, according to Glen Peters, a member of the team, called the Global Carbon Project."

Indeed some may have except the actual data measurement says otherwise, and indeed it seem to be getting faster.

"Global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.1 billion tonnes in 2015, having remained essentially flat since 2013. The IEA preliminary data suggest that electricity generated by renewables played a critical role, having accounted for around 90% of new electricity generation in 2015; wind alone produced more than half of new electricity generation. In parallel, the global economy continued to grow by more than 3%, offering further evidence that the link between economic growth and emissions growth is weakening."

These are estimates on tonnes are just that while the ppm measurement is an actual.

In temrs of growth, you also have to take out the increasing amount of debt being pumped into the global economy to make it "grow" with financial smoke and mirrors to determine if there really is a disconnect and I doubt it myself. Again these "growth" numbers, I just wonder on how real they really are.

That ppm figures include natural fluxes that dwarf the piddly man made emissions. Manmade emissions will always be estimates as will plaetary scale response to inceased CO2/temperature.

People are learning stuff all the time. Trees aren't responding as expected for instance.

"Plants grown and measured at 3.4 °C above ambient temperature increased leaf respiration by an average of 5% compared to plants grown and measured at ambient temperature; without acclimation, these increases would have been 23%. Thus, acclimation eliminated 80% of the expected increase in leaf respiration of non-acclimated plants."

Really, um no, just looking at the hawaii graph says no in the last multiple decades the rise in ppl is clear and its getting faster.

In terms of plants, you cherry pick again it seems. The increased damage due to bugs alone is devastating forests. Then we have dmagae from record droughts and floods, all these events seem to be increasingly causing output reductions for agriculture out there in the real world.

Forests are doing just fine Steven. Seen the price of paper lately? And the world is awash with record grain harvests. Your record droughts and floods just don't seem to show up in the IPCC literature or crop production but keep crying cherry picking when data doesn't match you world view.

"From 2003 onwards, forest in Russia and China expanded and tropical deforestation declined. Increased ABC associated with wetter conditions in the savannahs of northern Australia and southern Africa reversed global ABC loss, leading to an overall gain, consistent with trends in the global carbon sink reported in recent studies."


"In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough
evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-
scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the
middle of the 20th century, owing to lack of direct observations, geographical
inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred
trends on the index choice."

wow talk about failure of logic and even bad faith. The price of paper has nothing to do with the ecological damage underway.

Pine beetle damage,

Sure it has no global impact on the price of paper but local communities?

"The trees aren’t the only casualties. A forest die-off disrupts everything, from food webs to local economies. In British Columbia timber-mill towns are cash-strapped; in Yellowstone National Park bears and birds have lost a rich source of nutrition. Falling trees have closed campgrounds, crushed cars, and sparked wildfires by toppling power lines. Formerly secluded forest homes now have views of the neighbors. With nothing to anchor it, soil washes away."

Floods etc,

reams of actual events and data

Bad faith? Cmon we have a different point of view nothing more. As for the pine beetle epidemic it peaked in 2005.

The USFS have a nifty tool if you want to track historic die backs to get some perspective. As for nat geo they are interested in selling mags - I go with the Nature paper linked above which is global in perspective, not a cherry pick, and peer reviewed. Forest diebacks happen - perhaps more so now that there is a lack of regular natural burns and a build up of dead wood that wouldnt have happened before.

As for the price of paper plantation forest productivity has boomed taking the strain off natural forests. The Brazilians can regularly get 50m3/ha/yr growth rates through their breeding and management programs. Unheard of a generation ago.

Floods? The IPCC don't agree with you.  

WG1AR5 Ch. 2:

"In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence
regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency
of floods on a global scale."

So when it comes to weather and climate-related events, who are you going to believe? UNIPCC, well-noted for its outdated data and analysis and politically influenced business-as-usual pronouncements, or World Meteorological Organisation:.

'Geneva 21 March 2016 (WMO) - The year 2015 made history, with shattered temperature records, intense heatwaves, exceptional rainfall, devastating drought and unusual tropical cyclone activity, according to the World Meteorological Organization. That record-breaking trend has continued in 2016. The WMO Statement on the Status of the Climate in 2015 gave details of the record land and sea surface temperatures, unabated ocean warming and sea level rise, shrinking sea ice extent, and extreme weather events around the world. It was released to coincide with World Meteorological Day on 23 March, which has the theme "Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the Future." "The future is happening now," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. "The alarming rate of change we are now witnessing in our climate as a result of greenhouse gas emissions is unprecedented in modern records," said Mr Taalas.'.

As for pine beetle infestation, it is certainly devastating, though infestation may have peaked because there are now so few trees left alive.

'Dwindling reserves of the beetle's choice food, the lodgepole pine, have limited its ability to proliferate, said Robert Mangold, associate deputy chief for research and development for the Forest Service.

"They are running out of susceptible hosts," Mangold said. "We expect the beetle population numbers to drop dramatically over time."

The IPCC is using old data and papers and consenus and to some extent bows to political pressure. Ironic really that the deniers, once harsh critics of the IPCC now use it to dis the newer, worse scientific work.

That die back piece is rather old looking, "Forest Dieback Trends in the NE and NC US: 1910–1995"

so looks rather obsolete compared to the newer science,

Peaked? LOL sure maybe because "In many parts of British Columbia and the western United States the infestation is slowing on its own—in some places because there aren’t many trees left to kill. "

So no trees left, yeah sure its slowing.

Or this piece,

"For the second year, the pest has ravaged less of forests in the western U.S., thanks to dwindling numbers of the trees it feeds on"


"By about 2012, beetles will have killed nearly all of the mature lodgepole trees in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. Besides affecting watersheds, future timber production, wildlife habitat, recreation sites, transmission lines, and scenic views, beetle-killed trees also present a fuels build-up situation that could result in catastrophic wildland fires."

or this,

yeah it sure looks like bad faith from where I sit.

My feeling is that property prices in Auckland will go higher if it gets a little warmer here...just joking!
I'm with BigBlue in that I haven't noticed any sea level rise or change in temperature particularly. Colder if anything. Also Afewknowthetruth has made some pretty 'out there' comments in the past so I am inclined to believe the opposite of anything he states.
And finally I have worked out a solution to global warming (or is that climate change?) if it does occur.
I recall in the seventies constantly being told about the impending ice age and what a calamity that will be and also the threat of nuclear winter. So this makes me think that CC might cancel Ice Age leaving us the same. But if not we can create a mini nuclear winter by detonating atomic bombs over the Amazon jungle in a controlled manner to darken the sky a little.
I know, I'm a genius right?

I read reports of those actually working in the field and have done so for decades. One comment that occurs quite regularly is in relation to how rapid warming has been, especially in our planet's coldest latitudes. The quite revealing comment is "we did not believe it could change so fast".

European people (and the Japanese) had actually solved the population problem and thus the climate change problem. For some reason 'the steering committee' as I like to call them decided that our solution was a disaster even though we were on track to creating a low population, highly technological, re-forested and fauna regenerated natural paradise in Europe and the English speaking countries.

On one hand ppl talk about taking their own responsibility/ homework about retirement funds.
Then we get this sort of stuff...
It rings of those who buy a home arond a sporting event center othats been there for generations and want it to be closed.
Or those who buy a home on a future flight path, and when its finally used decades late want compensation.
Or the ex mayor who retired to a clift top home, and lost iut over the edge... a area that has had this happening for generations.
We have know sea levels have been rising, glaciers , ice caps melting...for some decades now... the reason is irrelevant in this case..
And what is noticeable is most of the above and the low coastal areas, and those that will be prone to erosion... build on sand bars like our PM, are those ppl who should know better, yet will get the compensation at the end of the day.
One just has to look at old homes 70+ yrs old.. built in low flood area... up on high piles with slate bases... and the new homes built on concrete slabs around them....

If people (who most should know better) are stupid enough to buy or build in risk type areas as defined by centenaries old principles, given the wide publicity over the last 2+ decades...why should the rest of us have to compensate then thru insurance etc?

There is even a fairy story about pigs building houses and a huffing-puffing wolf to illustrate this concept, so it shouldn't be too hard to grasp.....

Because they will want to be covered for their stupidity. So they will sue the Council's for not putting up warning signs or protecting them. Ergo the ratepayer will be paying for this (if no one else). Not sure though if insurance companies will actually opt out of insurance cover first making any houses effected worthless.

IMHO there is no way that councils should engage in physical works or any form of compensation. Once they start that, there will be no end to it, besides which they will have more than enough to cope with dealing with their infrastructural assets. That would be as wise as the fabled King Canute. By the time problems occur, people will have had more than enough warning, so they are going to have to take responsibility for themselves. Coastal property prices will just have to depreciate gradually to reflect the useful life that they have left. (this is no different to the depreciation of any other physical asset) They certainly will soon reach the point when they have no "investment" value.
As for the government and Christchurch city council allowing any rebuilding below about 20 to 30 meters above sea level: well that is another example of head in the sand stupidity. If they had gone inland to the west and bought a whole bunch of farmland I am sure that they would have progressed a lot quicker, less expensively, positively and in a manner that gave everyone a lot more confidence and hope.

"allowing any rebuilding below about 20 to 30 meters above sea level: well that is another example of head in the sand stupidity"

Arrant nonsense caused by a lack of geophysical knowledge, I'm afraid. Nothing in Christchurch is above that now: west of the airport gets to around the 25m above MSL. So you're talking about shifting 160K properties, with a lo-ball estimate ($500K each) at $80billion.

ECON101 rules: most dwellings have a useful life left such that they will move as MSL does whatever it does, over the next 100 years, to suit circumstances then prevailing.

And no discussion about MSL 'rise' is complete without the tectonic considerations.

Consider this little gem from the Wellington peer-reviewed report:

Wellington Harbour has experienced an average rise in relative sea level of 2.03 +0.15
mm/year or 0.2 m in the last 100 years, which is relative to the inner-city landmass. The rate
has increased substantially since the last assessments by Hannah (1 990, 2004) obtained an
average rises of 1.73 mm/yr up to 1988 and 1.78 mm/yr up to 2001. However, most of this
apparent acceleration is due to slow-slip events from tectonic processes under Wellington
city since around 1997 that has produced a land subsidence of 1.7 mm/yr in the last 10 years
and an upwards shift in mean sea level in 1998-2000 when the Pacific-wide IPO switched to
the negative phase.

So that mischievous wench, Gaia, seems to be responsible for 1.7 of a 2.03 rise.

Because, of course, sea level rise is meaningless unless set against land movement. The Christchurch earthquake sequence has raised the south part of the Southshore spit 40cm, which has thereby wiped out many decades of projected rise. Other areas have sunk 1 metre, thereby incurring localised flooding in heavy rain, without any assistance from the sea.

Which merely demonstrates that age-old adage: YMMV (depending on where exactly one stands).

Geography, whodathunk, is Local.....

Bit of an over reaction. No body is suggesting shifting existing serviceable property. Just stopping any further investment. No extra cost, quite possibly cheaper and certainly future proof.

The risk is that property owners in these coastal areas use their clout to get the Government to set up a pool, from all insurance policy-holders, which can be used to protect those at greatest risk.

This is my understanding of how it works in the US, & some other countries.

So the risk of building or buying in high-risk areas is covered by those who build in safe places, thus encouraging risky behaviours.

So long as the coastal property-owners have to pay the insurance premiums as based on the risk calculations of insurance companies, I'm happy.

But I don't want to subsidise those who choose to deny the risks (evidenced from various comments above)

Have a great weekend!

Some comments from Dr Wikipedia:

"the property owners with NFIP policies are receiving government subsidies to live in areas with high flood risk..... According to critics of the program, the government's subsidized insurance plan "encouraged building, and rebuilding, in vulnerable coastal areas and floodplains." .... "properties that flooded 17 or 18 times that were still covered under the federal insurance program" without premiums going up

The farm next to me is going under water, approx 15 acres in the last year of sea water at high tide.
Nothing to do with warming, just a drop kick with a digger who doesnt understand the water table...

31st March: 14.280 millionkm2. Another 40,000km2 of ice cover gone.

The 1981-2010 average was 15.238 millionkm2, so current sea ice cover is 958,000km2, well over 2 standard deviations, less than the recent 'normal'.

Total loss for period 24th March to 31st March was 243,000km2 versus 1981-2010 average of 84,000km2, approximately 3 times greater.

This amounts to the lowest ever ice cover and the fastest meltdown ever witnessed at this time of year, and portends an ice-free Arctic very soon, perhaps as early as September 2016, with dire ramifications, for sea level rise, climatic stability and further destabilisation of methane clathrates..

March 2016 atmospheric CO2 is at a record high, increasing the overheating forcing, and is increasing at a record rate.

Presumably those who base their narratives and actions on denial of reality will continue to do so for a while longer.

Ever? Gone? Doomsters are always so sure of the future even with the laughable form of Malthus and Erhlich.

1990 IPCC report:
“The American Navy Joint Ice Center has produced weekly charts which have been digitised by NOAA.These data are summarized in Figure 7.20 which is based on analyses carried out on a 1° latitude x 2.5°longitude grid. Sea-ice is defined to be present when its concentration exceeds 10% (Ropelewski,1983). Since about 1976 the areal extent of sea-ice in the Northern Hemisphere has varied about a constant climatological level but in 1972-1975 sea-ice extent was significantly less.”

What has a 1990 report that uses a different criterion for ice cover (and compiled when atmospheric CO2 was about 350ppm) got to do with present conditions, when ice is at the lowest in more than 35 years and is melting at an unprecedented rate for the time of year (and when atmospheric CO2 is rapidly approaching 410ppm)?

You really are clutching at straws! However, clutching at straws does seem to be your hallmark

The next NSIDC update is guaranteed to show a further reduction in ice cover below the already record low, and continuation of the unprecedented melt rate.

That is not to say all the Arctic sea ice will disappear before September 2016, only that it is extremely likely.

One the few charts that shows the satellite era back to 1972 when Arctic sea ice (and CO2 ppm) were significantly lower. Also demonstrates 1979 was the high point in Arctic Sea ice area in the satellite era - the year when your NSIDC conveniently starts - for maximum melt emphasis perhaps.

History is quite useful for perspective. The Arctic was substantially warmer 11,000 years ago but chaps back then weren't going all chicken little and clearly CO2 and modern industry wasn't the driver.

"Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ∼11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1–3 °C above 20th century averages, enough to completely melt many small glaciers throughout the Arctic, although the Greenland Ice Sheet was only slightly smaller than at present. Early Holocene summer sea ice limits were substantially smaller than their 20th century average, and the flow of Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean was substantially greater. "

Uh no, "Useful satellite data concerning sea ice began in late 1978 with the launch of NASA's Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) satellite. " So it looks like from 1979 onwards they had satellites up that could do the job well/properly. So the chart starts from the first available, reliable data set.

Uh no - "Especially importantly, satellite observations have been used to map sea-ice extent routinely since the early 1970s. The American Navy Joint Ice Center has produced weekly charts which have been digitised by NOAA.These data are summarized in Figure 7.20 which is based on analyses carried out on a 1° latitude x 2.5°longitude grid. Sea-ice is defined to be present when its concentration exceeds 10% (Ropelewski,1983). Since about 1976 the areal extent of sea-ice in the Northern Hemisphere has varied about a constant climatological level but in 1972-1975 sea-ice extent was significantly less."

Either way 1979 was a peak in the satellite era and ice area was significantly less in 1972. wonder why we never hear about the early 1970s satellite are unless we go back to 1990 IPCC reports. Not as exciting if there used to be less ice I spose.

Not true it seems "What was sea ice like before the satellite era?

"The satellite record only dates back to 1979. However, scientists have used historical records of sea ice conditions to estimate sea ice extent before 1979. For more on this topic, read the Icelights post, Arctic sea ice before satellites."

So 1979 would indeed seem to be the date of a first accurate data set.

And actually before that date 1972 would looking at this chart seem to have been higher,

So no not less ice but in fact more, and a trend of less where you use similar methodologies.

the ipcc paper you refer to is actually very old and uses what looks like considerable observation data and thusnce probably subject to considerable human and even time error. On top of that it looks like different criteria for what was open ocean and what was ice.

11,000 years ago? warmer? as the world came out of the ice age? hardly warmer "Massive ice sheets covered parts of North America, northern Europe, and several other regions during the last ice age. This huge volume of ice lowered global sea level by around 120 meters as compared to today."

At that time the water level was 120m lower, the water level then proceeded to climb as the land ice flowed into the seas, just like its doing now.

So the "prespective" is simply meaningless and out of context by the looks of it.

Perhaps read the link first and get your timescale right before commenting?

Temperature and precipitation history of the Arctic

"The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) peaked ∼21 ka ago, when mean annual temperatures over parts of the Arctic were as much as 20 °C lower than at present. Ice recession was well underway 16 ka ago, and most of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets had melted by 6 ka ago. Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ∼11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1–3 °C above 20th century averages, enough to completely melt many small glaciers throughout the Arctic, although the Greenland Ice Sheet was only slightly smaller than at present."

Indeed 21000 years ago and then came out of the ice age with constantly decreasing ice over many thousands of years. Therefore to say the planet 11000 years ago was warmer than today does not stack up. It was getting warmer, sure but out of an ice age.

"although the Greenland Ice Sheet was only slightly smaller than at present" so a period where small mass was melted but larger mass not.

You are not really comparing like with like at all.

No we are not comparing "like with like" as you put it. We have a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere now and it was warmer then. "The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1–3 °C above 20th century averages"

"Ice recession was well underway 16 ka ago, and most of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets had melted by 6 ka ago."

You said perspective, yet this is not like for like, at 11k ago the ice had not yet all melted. So really you keep changing the goal posts to suit what ever you want and which has no bearing on the record minimal ice in the artic.

1990? 26 years old?

1st April: 14.241 millionkm2.

That's another 39,000km2 of ice gone, continuing the trend of unprecedented meltdown.

The Nature report, para 6 refers, is more y2k type nonsense. Here is reality:
NZ Antartica (the old DSIR) actually has a research scientist down there right now studying the 1% average annual growth in the ice sheets.

and if you bothered to read maybe why the report outlines the differences and probable causes.

More clutching at straws.

From the report you cite:

'Antarctica and the Arctic are two very different environments: the former is a continent surrounded by ocean, the latter is ocean enclosed by land. As a result, sea ice behaves very differently in the two regions. While the Antarctic sea ice yearly wintertime maximum extent hit record highs from 2012 to 2014 before returning to average levels in 2015, both the Arctic wintertime maximum and its summer minimum extent have been in a sharp decline for the past decades.Studies show that globally, the decreases in Arctic sea ice far exceed the increases in Antarctic sea ice.'

profile, since you seem to be a fan of IPCC when it suits you, below is the link to a report indicating why IPCC thought sea levels would likely rise by at least 15 to 25 metres over coming decades.

Since this report was compiled (2007) the overall situation has deteriorated much faster than anticipated (rapid loss of ice, and atmospheric CO2 already well above the 400ppm mentioned in the report.):

The Mid-Pliocene (about 3.3 to 3.0 Ma) is the most recent time in Earth’s history when mean global temperatures were substantially warmer for a sustained period (estimated by GCMs to be about 2°C to 3°C above pre-industrial temperatures .........Taken together, the average of the warmest times during the middle Pliocene presents a view of the equilibrium state of a globally warmer world, in which atmospheric CO2 concentrations (estimated to be between 360 to 400 ppm)........... and in which geologic evidence and isotopes agree that sea level was at least 15 to 25 m above modern levels (Dowsett and Cronin, 1990; Shackleton et al., 1995), with correspondingly reduced ice sheets and lower continental aridity (Guo et al., 2004).

The unprecedented meltdown continues, with 142,000 km2 of ice lost in the first thee days of April.