Interior chief: Jamestown at risk from rising seas

Jun 05, 2014 by Steve Szkotak
United States Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, left, looks over recovered artifacts as she listens to curator Melanie Pereira, right, during a tour of Jamestown Island in Jamestown, Va., Thursday, June 5, 2014. Jewell toured Jamestown to highlight climate change's threat to the first permanent European settlement in America. The island settled in 1607 is among the coastal Virginia lands being lost to rising seas. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Jamestown Island, America's oldest known permanent European settlement runs the risk of being swept away by rising seas, with some sections of it already beneath the James River.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell got a firsthand look Thursday at the effect of on ever-receding coastline Jamestown Island, Virgina.

Jewell trekked around the island, and heard of the devastation in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel raked the low-lying landscape. The storm left many parts of the island underwater and destroyed thousands of artifacts retrieved from archaeological digs. Many are still being restored.

Jewell told the Associated Press that Jamestown is certainly vulnerable.

"I know enough now having been in this job looking at vulnerable sites that this is a highly vulnerable site," Jewell said. "We don't have very many places in the United States that talk about the super-early history of settlers connecting with the native people of the land, so this is a really an important place."

Dorothy Geyer, a Park Service natural resource specialist, said a 1 1/2-foot (0.5 meter)rise in sea level would put 60 percent of the island under water and a 4-foot (1.2-meter)-plus rise would increase that number to 80 percent.

Jewell said her visit to Jamestown is part of the Obama administration's push to address climate change.

"It's very clear we have global warming and rise and this is a hot spot for it," Jewell said. "And what's at risk is the history of our country."

Jamestown was settled in 1607 by Europeans, including Capt. John Smith. When European settlers arrived, there already was a thriving population of Native Americans led by paramount Chief Powhatan. The remnants of both native people and settlers can be found on the island.

The Tidewater of Virginia and sections of the Chesapeake Bay are among the most vulnerable to sea change in the world. While climate change is a big factor, the region is also sinking—the result of a meteor that gouged out the Chesapeake Bay 35 million years ago.

The tour followed a report in May by the Union of Concerned Scientists that lists Jamestown as among 30 historic and cultural sites in the nation that are at risk because of climate change.

Jewell trekked through mosquito-infested wetlands and through stands of loblolly during the tour. At Black Point, the eastern-most point of land on the island, she saw where waters had reclaimed 20 feet (6 meters) of the island through the years.

Jewell visited a research center where thousands of artifacts are still being restored. More than 1 million artifacts—pipe stems, ceramic cookware, silver settings—were damaged. Jewell later had discussions with scientists.

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JoeBlue
1 / 5 (10) Jun 05, 2014
They forgot to mention that it was built on marshland, oh wait no they didn't, but it has to be global warming. It has to be, because there was a consensus. We all know science is a democracy, right...

Perhaps next time they should go into the origins of the town and why it was there in the first place, it's because the shore has a shallow depth and it used to be a hideout for pirates. The place is nothing more than an outcropping covered in sand.
Uncle Ira
5 / 5 (7) Jun 05, 2014
They forgot to mention that it was built on marshland, oh wait no they didn't, but it has to be global warming. It has to be, because there was a consensus. We all know science is a democracy, right...


Joe-Skippy, I see you not know so much about the wetlands you. Maybe if you understood something about how they worked you could have something smart to say. Me, ol Ira don't think that this Jamestown is what is so important no, it's the big picture Cher. Them wetland is necessary for a lot more then museums and history sites. The wetlands is necessary for all the land even inland for miles.

Let me ask if you something here, do you know why the Katrina was so bad for all south Louisiana? It's because the missing wetlands that the oil companies have caused to disappear. Losing the wetlands is no joke podna. It's a whole lot more complicated than just missing Jamestown, and Jamestown is the least of their problems.
JoeBlue
1 / 5 (9) Jun 05, 2014
Oh look a commenter shows up almost immediately after I post. Coincidence, I think not...

Even more so the directly passive-aggressive ad-hom in the first paragraph, like I would be intimidated by something so simple :-)

If you don't like getting washed out into the ocean, quit living in a marshland.
Uncle Ira
5 / 5 (7) Jun 05, 2014
Oh look a commenter shows up almost immediately after I post. Coincidence, I think not...


Hooyeei Skippy, you one of the more stupid ones. How the hell I am supposed to comment to you before you post? I'm real smart but I can not read the minds.
Vietvet
5 / 5 (7) Jun 05, 2014
Jamestown was never a hideout for pirates. Jamestown was picked because the colonizers thought it offered a good defensive position and had deep water right up to the shoreline.

It was partially marshland and plagued with malaria carrying mosquitoes. The shallow wells they dug were a source of dysentery.

There are dozens of excellent books about Jamestown, I suggest you read one.

thermodynamics
5 / 5 (7) Jun 05, 2014
Jamestown was never a hideout for pirates. Jamestown was picked because the colonizers thought it offered a good defensive position and had deep water right up to the shoreline.

It was partially marshland and plagued with malaria carrying mosquitoes. The shallow wells they dug were a source of dysentery.

There are dozens of excellent books about Jamestown, I suggest you read one.


VietVet: There you go again, unfairly thinking that JoeBlow can read.
JoeBlue
1 / 5 (9) Jun 05, 2014
I've read more than one book about Jamestown. I don't ascribe to threat based and ad-homs though, so go find another person that will bend to your Climate Change will. Red-Herrings and Strawman aside.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (8) Jun 06, 2014

there was a consensus. We all know science is a democracy
@joeblue
conjecture based upon ignorance
the consensus is arrived at due to the overwhelming empirical data that was found by repeated individual tests, observations and experiments around the world which all basically come to the same general conclusions
passive-aggressive ad-hom
Ira calls everyone skippy
I've read more than one book about Jamestown
then you should be more aware of the facts https://en.wikipe...-1608.29

http://www.histor...town.htm
from the 2nd link
after two weeks of exploration, the ships arrived at a site on the James River selected for its deep water anchorage and good defensive position
its not important what you think, only what the empirical data says, and the above people believe in empirical evidence, of which you have none.

Any ad-hom's from now on will likely be due to your troll posts
Vietvet
5 / 5 (6) Jun 06, 2014
@ Captain Stumpy

Thanks for the links with your comment. Colonial Virginia is a special interest of mine, I have 57 books on the subject on my Nook alone.

When I read joeblows bs I had to respond quickly, didn't think to add some links.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (7) Jun 06, 2014
@ Captain Stumpy

Thanks for the links with your comment. Colonial Virginia is a special interest of mine, I have 57 books on the subject on my Nook alone.

When I read joeblows bs I had to respond quickly, didn't think to add some links.
@Vietvet
no problem. You're welcome
I am trying to visit there in the next 2 years... my preference is the mountain man era, personally, but I've always loved historical sites, museums, and stuff like that.

I rather think this article points out how climate problems are not just a matter of high temperatures, but that the problems can also bleed over into history, archeology, biology, etc etc etc and so much more...

Not that other articles have not also pointed this out...
RealScience
5 / 5 (8) Jun 07, 2014
Jamestown is FAR from "America's oldest known permanent European settlement".
Including all of the Americas, Lima Peru was founded 72 years before Jamestown, and there may be even older cities founded by Europeans (in addition to older cities taken over by Europeans) in the Americas.

Even restricting "America" to "The United States of America", St. Augustine in Florida was founded by Europeans in 1565, a full 42 years before Jamestown.

Jamestown is, as I understand it, merely the oldest permanent English settlement in the Americas.
Caliban
5 / 5 (5) Jun 07, 2014
They forgot to mention that it was built on marshland, oh wait no they didn't, but it has to be global warming. It has to be, because there was a consensus. We all know science is a democracy, right...


No, now, Joe, you've gotten entirely the wrong idea stuck in your pool ol' head, and gone off half-cocked with this here story of a scientific democracy.

Science doesn't become established via "consensus" --it becomes established via a preponderance of empirical evidence which matches predictions, by use of falsifiable hypotheses.

There is no 'Consensu" making body or organization in science. You should try to think of it more as a de-centralized, distributed jury, composed of peers, rather than some deliberative body that awards some "consensus" status by executive fiat.

Vietvet
5 / 5 (5) Jun 07, 2014
@RealScience

Good catch.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (9) Jun 08, 2014
Really Cali?? The AGW Cult of liars.
https://www.googl...onsensus
Caliban
5 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2014
Really Cali?? The AGW Cult of liars.
https://www.googl...onsensus


Really, auntiegriselda?

Thanks for linking to a results page coupling the debunked-for-never-having-actually-existed conspiracy of "climategate" and the definition of the term "consensus". So what?

If I searched for "Antiscience+moron", no doubt there would be results about you and the home where you reside, and where Nurse conspires to manage your incontinence.

Maybe someday, something of relevance or worth will issue from that toothless, gummy mouth of yours, but today is not that day, so wipe the drool off your trembling chin, and don't you fret --it won't be long until Nurse comes to change your diaper.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2014
"The colonists were not prepared for that first humid summer at Jamestown. The site itself, although ideal for mooring ships, was marshland, "full of slime and filth" and a breeding ground for mosquitoes. At low tide, the water became brackish and unfit for drinking. People swelled up from salt poisoning and suffered from dysentery."
"During the winter of 1609-10, the colonists who remained at Jamestown were reduced to eating the starch that had been used to keep their collars stiff, capturing snakes and looting what little was left in the storehouses. And most disturbing — "an untold number of the English fed on the meat of their dead fellows." Some ran away to the natives and others dug their own graves, lay down and awaited death."
http://www.jamest...l_v1.asp

From the article: " When European settlers arrived, there already was a thriving population of Native Americans "
Really?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2014
"No longer maintained by Indian burning, the shrinking forests of the East would become choked with underbrush—the overgrown, uninhabited "wilderness" celebrated by Thoreau. In the 1800s, the great grasslands of the Midwest, once kept open by native burning, began filling with trees. With the Indians vanquished by disease (malaria in addition to small pox), some archaeologists believe, species they had formerly hunted, such as the passenger pigeon, experienced a population explosion.

On the James River, where the process began, land-clearing sped runoff and increased the river flow, sweeping aside the mats of vegetation that lined its banks in Powhatan's day. With its plantations, tobacco fields, and rolling meadows, the landscape of the Chesapeake Bay had been utterly transformed."
http://ngm.nation...ann-text
Waaalt
1 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2014
Since the last glacial maximum, the entire Southeastern US coastline has been submergent. A large amount of continental shelf that was relatively recently above sea level is now under water (just like the gulf, it's also sure to be loaded with natural gas etc deposits btw).

It's all basic plate tectonics. The ~Northern part of North America is still rising from 'post glacial rebound' while the ~Southern portion is sinking somewhat. If a glacier was ~recently pushing some place down, and the glacier is gone, then that place is rising now. If you lift a plate at one end, the other end dips; if you push a plate down at one end, the other end rises.

When calculations for local sea level past, present, and future stop to remember and account for all this, results are far less alarming. The Pacific coast is generally emergent aka rising. Where are the stories of sea level rising where land is also rising? Land rising and falling accounts for most of what is called 'sea level' changes.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2014
Really Cali?? The AGW Cult of liars.
https://www.googl...onsensus
@antigorical
your link means absolutely NOTHING other than the fact that Google can return About 177,000 results (0.14 seconds) on internet pages mentioning Climate Gate etc...

as you can see here https://www.googl...iry+shit
there are About 12,900,000 results (0.27 seconds) for Fairy sh*t which is far, far more than for climate gate, but that does not establish that fairy excrement is real, nor does it prove that it even exists, therefore your link proves ONLY that someone is willing to write about it on the internet.

Feel free to offer ANY empirical data proving yourself, but you must expect people to read your links and offer refute
you have NO empirical evidence showing consensus is how science is decided (because that isn't how science works)
NOR do you have empirical evidence showing global warming is not real

SamB
1 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2014
"she saw where waters had reclaimed 20 feet (6 meters) of the island through the years."
I do understand how different parts of the globe can have different ocean levels but I find it hard to believe that Jamestown can have 20' rise in ocean levels and yet here in Vancouver I see the same relative seal levels that I have always seen. (In fact I walk out on a specific rock outcropping at low tide that I first walked out on more than 50 years ago!)
I do know that the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are not at the exact same levels but 20' difference????
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2014
Since the last glacial maximum, the entire Southeastern US coastline has been submergent. A large amount of continental shelf that was relatively recently above sea level is now under water (just like the gulf, it's also sure to be loaded with natural gas etc deposits btw).

It's all basic plate tectonics. The ~Northern part of North America is still rising from 'post glacial rebound' while the ~Southern portion is sinking somewhat. If a glacier was ~recently pushing some place down, and the glacier is gone, then that place is rising now. If you lift a plate at one end, the other end dips; if you push a plate down at one end, the other end rises.


Waaaalt:

1) It is not in question that the oceans are rising. This is a well measured quantity that is related to precise measurements of local sea level and local gravity. The science is called Geodesy:

http://en.wikiped.../Geodesy

Continued
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2014
Continued:

2) With the oceans rising, if a coast is subsiding the result is worse that if they are emergent. So, your factoid does not mean that the rise in sea level is not important, it makes it worse.

It's all basic plate tectonics. The ~Northern part of North America is still rising from 'post glacial rebound' while the ~Southern portion is sinking somewhat. If a glacier was ~recently pushing some place down, and the glacier is gone, then that place is rising now. If you lift a plate at one end, the other end dips; if you push a plate down at one end, the other end rises.


3) Your comment about "pushing the plate down on one end and the other end rising" does not count the fact that a plate is flexible. Yes, rock flexes. It is also floating. Just because it is rock does not mean you do not have to take flex into account. Your simplistic view is wrong. You can push down on one end and mountains can come up in the middle. Continued
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2014
Continued: Or, you can push down on one end and the other end can also go down. To figure out what happens you have to model the plate. Just like you have to model a building or bridge to figure out how much it is going to flex in a wind. That doesn't mean that parts of the Eastern US are not subsiding, it just means you have to look closely at how much and where.

However, that is not what is most wrong with your statement. The worst part about your comment is the concept that since parts of the coast are subsiding the fact that sea level is rising means less. Or that global warming, as a root cause of sea level rise, is less important. Is that what you think? Do you really think that sinking around Washington DC makes the rise in the ocean less important???
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2014
"she saw where waters had reclaimed 20 feet (6 meters) of the island through the years."
I do understand how different parts of the globe can have different ocean levels but I find it hard to believe that Jamestown can have 20' rise in ocean levels and yet here in Vancouver I see the same relative seal levels that I have always seen. (In fact I walk out on a specific rock outcropping at low tide that I first walked out on more than 50 years ago!)
I do know that the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are not at the exact same levels but 20' difference????


I'm not surprised you can't see the change but here it is.

http://tidesandcu...=822-071

And here is information from Canada about what is going to happen:

http://www2.gov.b...913730BA

I am assuming this is the Vancouver you are talking about. If it is a different location, just post a link.
Uncle Ira
5 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2014
"she saw where waters had reclaimed 20 feet (6 meters) of the island through the years."
I do understand how different parts of the globe can have different ocean levels but I find it hard to believe that Jamestown can have 20' rise in ocean levels and yet here in Vancouver I see the same relative seal levels that I have always seen. (In fact I walk out on a specific rock outcropping at low tide that I first walked out on more than 50 years ago!)
I do know that the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are not at the exact same levels but 20' difference????


Skippy are playing stupid on purpose you? That ain't 20 feets up and down. It's the 20 feets in from the old edge.
Uncle Ira
5 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2014
I do understand how different parts of the globe can have different ocean levels but I find it hard to believe that Jamestown can have 20' rise in ocean levels and yet here in Vancouver I see the same relative seal levels that I have always seen. (In fact I walk out on a specific rock outcropping at low tide that I first walked out on more than 50 years ago!)
I do know that the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are not at the exact same levels but 20' difference????
I'm not surprised you can't see the change but here it is.

I am assuming this is the Vancouver you are talking about. If it is a different location, just post a link.


That silly Skippy earned him a silly looking pointy cap. He thought the Jewell-Skippette was meaning 20 feets up and down, not the in and out.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2014
"she saw where waters had reclaimed 20 feet (6 meters) of the island through the years."
I do understand how different parts of the globe can have different ocean levels but I find it hard to believe that Jamestown can have 20' rise in ocean levels and yet here in Vancouver I see the same relative seal levels that I have always seen. (In fact I walk out on a specific rock outcropping at low tide that I first walked out on more than 50 years ago!)
I do know that the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are not at the exact same levels but 20' difference????


Skippy are playing stupid on purpose you? That ain't 20 feets up and down. It's the 20 feets in from the old edge.


Good catch UI. I was so focused on the other stupid thing (the idea that the sea level wasn't rising at all because he can't see it at the beach) that I missed him claiming they were saying it rose 20'.
SamB
1 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2014
OK.. Now I understand. You mean the water covered 20' from the old edge of the land. A kind of a silly way to describe rising seas. The tide here can cover a mile or so of beach in one night!
Best to show how many feet per year the sea is rising. (vertically I mean). In any case in 50 years I have not seen any sign of rising seas here in Vancouver BC.
Richmond (a subdivision of Vancouver) is actually below seal level here and it is still dry... So, no matter how many feet the seas have risen elsewhere, here there no sign.

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