America's Achilles' heel: the Mississippi River's Old River Control Structure

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 05:20 PM GMT am 13. Mai 2011

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America has an Achilles' heel. It lies on a quiet, unpopulated stretch of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, a few miles east of the tiny town of Simmesport. Rising up from the flat, wooded west flood plain of the Mississippi River tower four massive concrete and steel structures that would make a Pharaoh envious--the Army Corps' of Engineers greatest work, the billion-dollar Old River Control Structure. This marvel of modern civil engineering has, for fifty years, done what many thought impossible--impose man's will on the Mississippi River. Mark Twain, who captained a Mississippi river boat for many years, wrote in his book Life on the Mississippi, "ten thousand river commissions, with the mines of the world at their back, cannot tame that lawless stream, cannot curb it or define it, cannot say to it "Go here," or Go there, and make it obey; cannot save a shore which it has sentenced; cannot bar its path with an obstruction which it will not tear down, dance over, and laugh at." The great river wants to carve a new path to the Gulf of Mexico; only the Old River Control Structure keeps it at bay. Failure of the Old River Control Structure would be a severe blow to America's economy, interrupting a huge portion of our imports and exports that ship along the Mississippi River. Closure of the Mississippi to shipping would cost $295 million per day, said Gary LaGrange, executive director of the Port of New Orleans, during a news conference Thursday. The structure will receive its most severe test in its history in the coming two weeks, as the Mississippi River's greatest flood on record crests at a level never before seen.


Figure 1. Two views of the Mississippi River. Left: the meander paths of the Mississippi over time, as published in "Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River" (Fisk, 1944). Right: The Army Corps of Engineers' view of Mississippi River peak flow rates during a maximum 1-in-500 year "Project Flood" (U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, 1958.) The places outlined in red are where the Corps has built flood control structures capable of diverting a portion of the Mississippi's flow.

A better path to the Gulf
The mighty Mississippi River keeps on rollin' along its final 300 miles to the Gulf of Mexico south of New Orleans--but unwillingly. There is a better way to the Gulf--150 miles shorter, and more than twice as steep. This path lies down the Atchafalaya River, which connects to the Mississippi at a point 45 miles north-northwest of Baton Rouge, 300 river miles from the Gulf of Mexico Delta. Each year, the path down the Atchafalaya grows more inviting. As the massive amounts of sediments the Mississippi carries--scoured from fully 41% of the U.S. land area--reach the Gulf of Mexico, the river's path grows longer. This forces it to dump large amounts of sediment hundreds of miles upstream, in order to build its bed higher and maintain the flow rates needed to flush such huge amounts of sediment to the sea. Thus the difference in elevation between the bed of the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya--currently 17 - 19 feet at typical flow rates of the rivers--grows ever steeper, and the path to the Gulf down the Atchafalaya more inviting. Floods like this year's great flood further increase the slope, as flood waters scour out the bed of the Atchafalaya. Without the Old River Control Structure, the Mississippi River would have carved a new path to the Gulf in the 1970s, leaving Baton Rouge and New Orleans stranded on a salt water estuary, with no fresh water to supply their people and industry.

History of the Old River Control Structure
The Mississippi River has been carving a path to the ocean since the time of the dinosaurs, always seeking the shortest and steepest route possible. Approximately once every 1000 years, the river jumps out of its banks and carves a new path. In John McPhee's fantastic essay, The Control of Nature, we learn:

The Mississippi's main channel of three thousand years ago is now the quiet water of Bayou Teche, which mimics the shape of the Mississippi. Along Bayou Teche, on the high ground of ancient natural levees, are Jeanerette, Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Olivier--arcuate strings of Cajun towns. Eight hundred years before the birth of Christ, the channel was captured from the east. It shifted abruptly and flowed in that direction for about a thousand years. In the second century a.d., it was captured again, and taken south, by the now unprepossessing Bayou Lafourche, which, by the year 1000, was losing its hegemony to the river's present course, through the region that would be known as Plaquemines. By the nineteen-fifties, the Mississippi River had advanced so far past New Orleans and out into the Gulf that it was about to shift again, and its offspring Atchafalaya was ready to receive it.

For the Mississippi to make such a change was completely natural, but in the interval since the last shift Europeans had settled beside the river, a nation had developed, and the nation could not afford nature. The consequences of the Atchafalaya's conquest of the Mississippi would include but not be limited to the demise of Baton Rouge and the virtual destruction of New Orleans. With its fresh water gone, its harbor a silt bar, its economy disconnected from inland commerce, New Orleans would turn into New Gomorrah. Moreover, there were so many big industries between the two cities that at night they made the river glow like a worm. As a result of settlement patterns, this reach of the Mississippi had long been known as "the German coast," and now, with B. F. Goodrich, E. I. du Pont, Union Carbide, Reynolds Metals, Shell, Mobil, Texaco, Exxon, Monsanto, Uniroyal, Georgia-Pacific, Hydrocarbon Industries, Vulcan Materials, Nalco Chemical, Freeport Chemical, Dow Chemical, Allied Chemical, Stauffer Chemical, Hooker Chemicals, Rubicon Chemicals, American Petrofina--with an infrastructural concentration equaled in few other places--it was often called "the American Ruhr." The industries were there because of the river. They had come for its navigational convenience and its fresh water. They would not, and could not, linger beside a tidal creek. For nature to take its course was simply unthinkable. The Sixth World War would do less damage to southern Louisiana. Nature, in this place, had become an enemy of the state.


The Atchafalaya steadily took more and more of the Mississippi's water to the Gulf of Mexico during the 20th Century, until by 1950, it had captured 30% of the great river's flow, becoming the 4th largest river in the U.S. by volume discharge. The Army Corps of Engineers stepped in, and in the late 1950s began construction of a massive structure that resembled a dam with gates to control the amount of water escaping from the Mississippi to the Atchafalaya. This "Low Sill Structure", completed in 1963, consisted of a dam with 11 gates, each 44 feet wide, that could be raised or lowered. The entire structure was 566 feet long. A companion "Overbank Structure" was built on dry land next to the Low Sill Structure, in order to control extreme water flows during major floods. The Overbank Structure had 73 bays, each 44 feet wide, and was 3,356 feet long. The total cost of the two structures: about $300 million.


Figure 2. Aerial view of the Mississippi River's Old River Control Structure, looking downstream (south.) Image credit: U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

The flood of 1973: Old River Control Structure almost fails
For the first ten years after completion of the Old River Control Structure, no major floods tested it, leading the Army Corps to declare, "We harnessed it, straightened it, regularized it, shackled it." But in 1973, a series of heavy snowstorms in the Upper Midwest was followed by exceptionally heavy spring rains in the South. The Mighty Mississippi rose inexorably until the flow rate at the Old River Control Structure reached 2 million cubic feet per second--twenty times the flow of Niagara Falls--and stayed there for more almost three months. Turbulence from the unprecedented flows through the Low Sill Structure scoured the foundation and destroyed a 67-foot-high wing wall that guided water into the structure. Scour holes as big as a football field developed upstream, downstream, and underneath the structure, exposing 50 feet of the 90-foot long steel pilings supporting the structure. The structure began vibrating dangerously, so much so that it would slam open car doors of vehicles parking on top of Highway 15 that crosses over the top. Emergency repairs saved the structure, but it came every close to complete failure.

The flood of 1973 permanently damaged the Low Sill Structure, forcing the Corps to build additional structures to control future great floods. The first of these structures was the Auxilliary Control Structure. This 442-foot long structure, completed in 1986, consisted of six gates, each 62 feet wide, and cost $206 million to build. Joining the mix in the late 1980s was a 192-megawatt hydroelectric power plant, build at a cost of $520 million.


Figure 3. The flow of water in the Mississippi River as of Friday, May 13 (red line) has exceeded 2 million cubic feet per second, and was approaching the all-time record (dashed blue line.) Image credit: USACE.

The Old River Control Structure's greatest test: the flood of 2011
Flow rates of the Mississippi at the latitude of the Old River Control Structure are expected to exceed the all-time record on Saturday, giving the Old River Control Structure its greatest test since the flood of 1973. Since there are now four structures to control the flooding instead of just the two that existed in 1973, the Old River Control Structure should be able to handle a much greater flow of water. The flood of 2011 is not as large as the maximum 1-in-500 year "Project Flood" that the Old River Control Structure was designed to handle, and the Army Corps of Engineers has expressed confidence that the structure can handle the current flood. However, the system has never been tested in these conditions before. This is a dangerous flood, and very high water levels are expected for many weeks. Unexpected flaws in the design of the Old River Control Structure may give it a few percent chance of failure under these sorts of unprecedented conditions. While I expect that the Old River Control Structure will indeed hold back the great flood of 2011, we also need to be concerned about the levees on either side of the structure. The levees near Old River Control Structure range from 71 - 74 feet high, and the flood is expected to crest at 65.5 feet on May 22. This is, in theory, plenty of levee to handle such a flood, but levees subjected to long periods of pressure can and do fail sometimes, and the Corps has to be super-careful to keep all the levees under constant surveillance and quickly move to repair sand boils or piping problems that might develop. Any failure of a levee on the west bank of the Mississippi could allow the river to jump its banks permanently and carve a new path to the Gulf of Mexico. I'll say more about the potential costs of such an event in a future post.

According to the latest information from the Army Corps the Old River Control Structure is currently passing 624,000 cubic feet per second of water, which is 1% beyond what is intended in a maximum "Project Flood." The flow rate of the Mississippi at New Orleans is at 100% of the maximum Project Flood. These are dangerous flow rates, and makes it likely that the Army Corps will open the Morganza Spillway in the next few days to take pressure off of the Old River Control Structure and New Orleans levees. Neither can be allowed to fail. In theory, the Old River Control Structure can be operated at 140% of a Project Flood, since there are now four control structures instead of just the two that existed in 1973 (flows rates of 300,000 cfs, 350,000 cfs, 320,000 cfs, and 170,000 cfs can go through the Low Sill, Auxiliary, Overbank, and Hydroelectric structures, respectively.) Apparently, the Corps is considering this, as evidenced by their Scenario #3 images they posted yesterday. This is a risky proposition, as the Old River Control Structure would be pushed to its absolute limit in this scenario. It would seem a lower risk proposition to open the Morganza spillway to divert up to 600,000 cfs, unless there are concerns the Corps has they aren't telling us about.


Figure 4. Kayaking, anyone? The stilling basin downstream of the Low Sill Structure of the Old River Control Structure, as seen during major flood stage of the Mississippi River on May 10, 2011. The flow rate is 2 - 3 times that of Niagara Falls here. Video by Lee Alessi.

Recommended reading
John McPhee's fantastic essay, The Control of Nature

Jeff Masters

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Quoting atmoaggie:
*Most* of Natchez-proper is on a bluff 20 feet above the level of the river at it's current height, IIRC.
Quoting atmoaggie:
*Most* of Natchez-proper is on a bluff 20 feet above the level of the river at it's current height, IIRC.


Thanks Atmo, that's good to hear... I hope others fare as well.
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Quoting aquak9:
A lengthy yet detailed article on preps being made throughout the area. I see that they're starting to secure, dismantle and/or remove heavy equipment from around the Huey P. Long bridge work. No wonder tkeith isn't here, poor guy.

Also included are expectations of them not having all the Hesco baskets they need, and are resorting to using recycled asphalt to strengthen levees, in some areas.

From pat's link.

Link


And, according to the map in #131, I10 may be seeing some problems 24 hours after Morganza's opened.

Anyone know the height of I10 at that point? They may have to restrict traffic on all the bridges for a while.
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100 days of hell since Yasi



ONE hundred days after Cyclone Yasi nearly blew a big chunk of coastal North Queensland off the map, Tully, Cardwell and their satellite townships are still a chequerboard of coloured roofing tarpaulins.

For some people, greedy insurance companies and cumbersome government bureaucracy have conspired to turn the post-Yasi recovery effort into 100 days of hell.

Major-General Mick Slater, head of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, said he required hard evidence in order to be able to take the fight up to insurers.
Today, Maj-Gen Slater, we give you that evidence. Some repair work has started over recent weeks but, in the main, the response from insurance companies to claims made by policy holders has been slow to the point of being completely broken down.

The dysfunction is not isolated to just one or two of the major insurers, but is across the board.

A lucky few homeowners have had work done or at least have had builder's quotes accepted, but they are in the minority.

One only has to drive street by street around Cardwell and Tully to gauge the tortoise-like pace of the home rebuilding program.

Despite threats made by politicians including Prime Minister Julia Gillard about recalcitrant insurance companies being publicly named and shamed and of new legislation being drafted to bring them into line, nothing has changed out there in Yasi-land.
In hard-hit places like Tully Heads and Hull Heads there is a great, yawning silence. There is no activity. So many houses are deserted or wrecked beyond repair.

Maj-Gen Slater said he required hard evidence in order to be able to take the fight up to insurers.

"The rumours and innuendo of poor service have been boiling over, but it is difficult for me to represent community needs if I am armed with only anecdotal evidence," he said.

Kennedy MP Bob Katter said he would name and shame those insurance companies which had not delivered to their customers.

He said his office would send letters to everyone in cyclone-affected areas next week asking for the insurance companies which had come through on claims and the ones which hadn't.

More than $970 million worth of insurance in 65,200 claims had already been lodged.

Centrelink had granted more than 264,000 claims worth more than $299 million for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments of $400 and $1000.

Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps feared when the rain stopped and the sun came out, people wouldn't have the insurance money to start work.

Maj-Gen Slater urged people to let him know about their situation and about insurance companies that had taken "an unreasonably long period of time between conducting an assessment and providing a determination of a claim".

He said one senior insurance industry figure had told him insurance claims not involving flood damage should be determined within two weeks of the assessment being completed.

Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor Bill Shannon said, considering the enormity and severity of the damage following the cyclone, the area was looking pretty good.
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Quoting TomJonesAL:
One of the big threats from the global warming moonbat types is that a rise in temperature will melt the polar ice caps causing the oceans to rise, with the cataclysmic result of skyscrapers being under water...Its no wonder that some people believe the moon landing was faked (not me).

What, you're not even going to have the courtesy of properly attributing your comment to Jeff Dunetz over at BigGovernment.com?

I saw that piece earlier this afternoon, and responded in the forum. There are some real characters over there. Talk about "moonbats". ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13579
Quoting atmoaggie:
And the Missouri moves less than one tenth the water the Ohio does on a normal day. (If I understand correctly.)

According to the links I found on Wikipedia, the Ohio averages 281,000 cfs, with a max of 1.85 million cfs. The Missouri averages 86,340 cfs, with a max of 712,200 cfs. So not one-tenth, but definitely far less at a bit under a third as much.

Apropos of almost nothing, I lived for a while in Wyoming at a place about 10 miles south of the South Fork of the Popo Agie River and about 10 miles north of the Sweetwater River. The Popo Agie flowed north and east, met with the Bighorn, then the Yellowstone as it cut through Montana before joining the Missouri in North Dakota about 20 miles south of the Canadian border. From there, the river cut back to the southeast through South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri before meeting up with the Mississippi at St. Louis. On the other hand, the Sweetwater ran east where it met up with the North Platte, which in turn became the Platte all the way through Nebraska before meeting up with the Missouri at Omaha.

I always thought it fascinating that two streams separated by a simple 20-minute drive could take such utterly different routes before meeting up again. Of course, equally fascinating was knowing that the headwaters of the Wind and Snake Rivers are just five or so miles apart, but waters from the former end up in the Gulf of Mexico, while those from the second end up in the Pacific at the Washington/Oregon border.

Well, I always thought it was fascinating, anyway. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13579
Massive Tornado Onslaught Raises Questions About Building Practices, Code Enforcement


The roof blew off this house during the massive April, 2011, tornadoes in the South -- due in part, researchers say, to inadequate connections between the roof trusses and the sidewalls. (Credit: Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)

ScienceDaily (May 12, 2011) — There is no practical, economic way to build structures that could stand up to the savagery of EF5 tornadoes like those that ripped through the South in late April, experts say, but damage from lesser storms could be reduced by better building practices and better enforcement of existing codes.

Researchers with a rapid assessment team supported by the National Science Foundation say that much of the damage could be linked to inadequate connections between building members, especially trusses, roof rafters and walls. And even though modern codes are generally adequate, they said, such codes are not always followed or enforced.

The result last month, one day of which has been called the fifth deadliest day of tornadoes in the nation's history, was 305 tornadoes, three of which were the maximum "EF5" category, that killed at least 326 people and may have caused more than $5 billion in damage.

"We often found inadequate or no connections at critical locations in structures, such as attaching the trusses or rafters to the supporting walls, or sill plate to the foundation," said Rakesh Gupta. He is a professor of wood science and engineering in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, an expert in wind loading and structural resistance, and was a member of the NSF research team.

Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9825
Though contrasting that with the gfs and they are both completely different at the same timeframe. I hope the nam is right more rain for coastal Carolina to put the fire out. The Euro, Nogaps, and canadian are closer with the front and cut off to the nam than the gfs. It has its low a little more to the nw than the others and is also a little drier.
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Just came on and read the Doc's blog. What a good job he did. Summed it all up pretty good. I have to tell ya, I'm really nervous over this old river. It is mighty and so very high right now.
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Dang. One hook, two fish.
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Quoting aquak9:


if continued runs of the XTRAP model play out (look around the 320-hour time-frame) you might be on to something.

(sigh....)


Or the nam at the end of the run. Has a frontal low running up the gulf stream with heavy rain. Note I said frontal low.
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Quoting Inactivity:
Anyone think a low pressure (tropical or non- tropical) could get into the gulf stream area in the next few days, water is warmer and wind shear may lower there for a few days.My point is that if something were to happen in the soon feature, would it be in the gulf stream area?


if continued runs of the XTRAP model play out (look around the 320-hour time-frame) you might be on to something.

(sigh....)
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197. Skyepony (Mod)
Here's someone in Terrebonne Parish, expected to get 5' of water in her house when Morganza spillway is opened. Bought & built there without ever knowing it was a flood plain.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38321
Anyone think a low pressure (tropical or non- tropical) could get into the gulf stream area in the next few days, water is warmer and wind shear may lower there for a few days.My point is that if something were to happen in the soon feature, would it be in the gulf stream area?
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Quoting atmoaggie:
That area is dry most of the time. They do test things from time to time. (Radio interview was a lot more specific earlier today).
Good to hear, I suspected that was the case.. here is it dry as could be with a crane moved somewhere in the middle seen on Louisiana River Control



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Quoting CenLaGal:


The MS River does not drain the West Coast or the Rockies. The major concerns being ignored are the Arkansas, White and Ohio River systems. The White River is incredibly backed up and flooding parts of I-40 across central Arkansas.
? I don't think anyone is ignoring the Ohio...that's where all of this water came from, primarily. The Arkansas and White aren't moving a lot of water into the MS river, atm...
Quoting Neapolitan:

Well, much of the eastern slope of the Rockies between central Colorado and the Canadian border drains into the Missouri, which in turn drains into the Mississippi. But I think the question he was asking was whether an early monsoonal flow was a harbinger of heavier rains elsewhere. At least that's how I interpreted it....
And the Missouri moves less than one tenth the water the Ohio does on a normal day. (If I understand correctly.)
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Quoting iahishome:
The only other thing I don't understand about this old river control structure situation is this. In 1973, when the structure was almost destroyed, it was only the 10th worst flood on the river at that location. It crested at 58.22 feet at Red River Landing. 3.5 feet below where it is already.

Is that because the structure (which is above Red River Landing) had mostly failed and much more of the water was going down the Atchafalaya?

Inquiring minds want to know...

The truly sad thing to see is Natches... I don't know how the people around there are dealing with this. It appears the flooding in that region is unprecedented. It's already 2 feet above any point in the historical record and it's forecast to raise almost 5 more feet!
*Most* of Natchez-proper is on a bluff 20 feet above the level of the river at it's current height, IIRC.
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Quoting Rainman32:
Ah. a better look at the actually 2 cranes? from the previous link... wonder when was the last time they fired these puppies up?

That area is dry most of the time. They do test things from time to time. (Radio interview was a lot more specific earlier today).
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Indeed bell,,data with good news in one respect
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190. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting SWFLgazer:
re: 154, Skyeponey

http://oldisnew.org/

Because things have not happened in our recent memory does not mean that they are unprecedented.


I knew all about the flood. The song just sounded by the lyrics like it should be a rock ballet, not some late '20s tune, calmly recited to the likes of violin & piano.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38321
Sounds like pollution controls for soot are having some success. Good news.
Member Since: Mai 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6061
Fascinating....


Has the Arctic Gotten Sootier Over the Last Century?
Posted on May 13, 2011 06:25:15 PM | Adam Voiland


Recently there has been concern about impacts of black carbon on snow albedo in the Arctic and whether that has contributed to melting of Arctic sea-ice and snow. Some studies have focused on changes in Arctic BC since the 1980s when measurements were first made. Sharma et al. (2004) found a 60% decrease in atmospheric black carbon at Alert between 1989 and 2002. Recent Arctic snow measurements (e.g. Grenfell et al., 2009; Hegg et al., 2009) found BC concentrations to be about 5-15 ng in Canada, Alaska and the Arctic Ocean, about a factor of two lower than measured in the 1980s (e.g. Clarke and Noone, 1985). Contemporary Russian measurements are larger than the western Arctic, ranging from about 15-80 ng g-1, while BC concentrations in the Barants and Kara seas were measured at about 15-25 ng g-1 (Grenfell et al., 2009; Hegg et al., 2009). The Greenland ice sheet has relatively very low BC levels, about 2-3 ng g-1, similar to the measurements in the 1980s (Grenfell et al., 2009).
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Quoting TomJonesAL:
One of the big threats from the global warming moonbat types is that a rise in temperature will melt the polar ice caps causing the oceans to rise, with the cataclysmic result of skyscrapers being under water. Let’s face it, if you think that the commute into Manhattan is bad now….just wait.



There is only one problem with this scenario, Mother Nature isn’t being cooperative. You see it is true that sea level has risen during the 20th century and probably well before that. Scientists estimate that sea level has increased by 7 inches during the 2oth century.

The climate change hoaxers use computer models to predict that sea levels would rise anywhere from 15 inches to 2o feet because of global warming in the 21st century (the consensus number is closer to 3 feet).

But Mother Nature was never good at computer science. Satellite data proved that the first decade of the 21st century sea level grew by only 0.83 inches (a pace of just 8 inches for the entire century). What’s even worse (for the global warming hoaxers) there has been no rise since 2006. Now I know that some Democrats believe that Obama is a miracle worker, but even the the crazies at the Daily Kos would admit that controlling sea level is way above his pay grade. So the scientists at the University of Colorado’s NASA-funded Sea Level Research Group did what any other self-respecting cult members would do, they fudged the numbers. They simply added .3 millimeters per year to its Global Mean Sea Level Time Series. That way they could report that the sea level rise was accelerating, instead of what was actually happening–decelerating.




The University of Colorado Sea Level Research Group is coming to their rescue. The NASA-funded group claims glacial melt is removing weight that had been pressing down on land masses, which in turn is causing land mass to rise. This welcome news mitigates sea-level rise from melting glacial ice, meaning sea level will rise less than previously thought. However, it is very inconvenient for alarmist sea level predictions. Therefore, instead of reporting the amount by which sea level is rising in the real world, the Sea Level Research Group has begun adding 0.3 millimeters per year of fictitious sea level rise to “compensate” for rising land mass.

The extra 0.3 millimeters of fictitious sea level rise will add up to 1.2 inches over the course of the 21st century. While this is not monumental in and of itself, it will allow alarmists to paint a dramatically different picture of sea level rise than is occurring in the real world. For example, the current pace of 8 inches of sea level rise for the present century is essentially no different than the 7 inches of sea level rise that occurred last century. However, with an artificially enhanced 9.2 inches of sea level rise, alarmists can claim sea level is rising 31 percent faster than it did last century.

This isn’t the first time NASA climate-change scientists have fudged data. James Hansen is famous for it.

James Hansen of NASA is not just any global warming Moonbat, he is Al Gore’s global warming Moonbat. It was Hansen’s data that was used in Gore’s Oscar/Peace prize winning film. Hansen’s work is ruled by one motto: “If God gives you rotten apples, tell everyone it’s champagne



In October of 2008, Hansen made the announcement that it was warmest Oct. in history. A few days later after all the doom and gloom headlines passed he announced “Oops, never mind, I was wrong.” He only admitted the mistake after he was “outed” by other scientists. In reality, Oct. 08 was quite an average October. It Ranked 70th in the last 114 years.

In 2007 Hansen was forced by reporter Stephen McIntyre to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest year in history was not 1998 as he had claimed, but 1934.

Well It wasn’t exactly a correction. He fought tooth and nail against correcting the numbers, mislead the press and in the end Hansen didn’t fully make the change. Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request and gained access to all the NASA Documents related to the incorrect data, It showed that unlike an objective scientist, Hansen wasn’t very anxious to correct his mistakes.


According to multiple press reports, when NASA corrected the error, the new data apparently caused a reshuffling of NASA’s rankings for the hottest years on record in the United States, with 1934 replacing 1998 at the top of the list.


These new documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), include internal GISS email correspondence as NASA scientists attempted to deal with the media firestorm resulting from the controversy. In one exchange GISS head James Hansen tells a reporter from Bloomberg that NASA had not previously published rankings with 1998 atop the list as the hottest year on record in the 20th century [not true].

Hansen announced recently that “The 12-month running mean global temperature in the Goddard Space Institute analysis has reached a new record in 2010 The main factor is our estimated temperature change for the Arctic region.” The GISS figures show that recent temperatures in the Arctic have been up to four degrees C warmer than the long-term mean.

Those arctic numbers that important to Hansen’s announcement were a figment of his creative imagination.


Art Horn, at the Energy Tribune blog, has blown the whistle on Hansen and GISS. He points out that GISS has no thermometers in the Arctic! It has hardly thermometers that are even near the Arctic Circle. GISS estimates its arctic temperatures from land-based thermometers that supposedly each represent the temperatures over 1200 square kilometers. That’s a pretty heroic assumption.

Meanwhile, the Danish Meteorological Institute is publishing sea-surface temperatures from the Arctic showing a cooling trend in the Arctic oceans during melt season since about 1993. Clearly, we have no accurate measure of the real temperatures and trends in the Arctic at this moment. Probably that’s not very important. The Russians say that the Arctic has its own 70-year climate cycle. The files of the New York Times, in fact, are filled with stories from the 1920s and 1930s, clearly showing that the Arctic was as warm then as now.

But this is the moment when proposed energy taxes would start to scuttle 85 percent of the energy which powers the modern world and its lifestyles. Global climate alarmists, Hansen among them, are playing a desperate and short-sighted game of “pass the energy taxes.”


Or in other word James Hansen is full of crap. He made the temperatures up…there were no thermometers in the Arctic to measure temperatures.

The global warming hoaxers have their backs against the wall, the longer it takes to get their job-killing regulations in place, more information will be discovered proving that their man-made-global warming theory is nonsense.

NASA funded scientists are just trying to speed up the process, by inventing data. Its no wonder that some people believe the moon landing was faked (not me).


If you want to win anybody over with this, this is the wrong place to do it. this blog is full of "global warming hoaxers"... and i think they have a little bit more knowledge on this subject than you do.

I also see James Hansen as a guy that is just trying to get some publicity towards climate change. Things might not happen as quickly as he says, but any publicity is good publicity, as long as you read the facts.
Member Since: April 16, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 112
One of the big threats from the global warming moonbat types is that a rise in temperature will melt the polar ice caps causing the oceans to rise, with the cataclysmic result of skyscrapers being under water. Let’s face it, if you think that the commute into Manhattan is bad now….just wait.



There is only one problem with this scenario, Mother Nature isn’t being cooperative. You see it is true that sea level has risen during the 20th century and probably well before that. Scientists estimate that sea level has increased by 7 inches during the 2oth century.

The climate change hoaxers use computer models to predict that sea levels would rise anywhere from 15 inches to 2o feet because of global warming in the 21st century (the consensus number is closer to 3 feet).

But Mother Nature was never good at computer science. Satellite data proved that the first decade of the 21st century sea level grew by only 0.83 inches (a pace of just 8 inches for the entire century). What’s even worse (for the global warming hoaxers) there has been no rise since 2006. Now I know that some Democrats believe that Obama is a miracle worker, but even the the crazies at the Daily Kos would admit that controlling sea level is way above his pay grade. So the scientists at the University of Colorado’s NASA-funded Sea Level Research Group did what any other self-respecting cult members would do, they fudged the numbers. They simply added .3 millimeters per year to its Global Mean Sea Level Time Series. That way they could report that the sea level rise was accelerating, instead of what was actually happening–decelerating.




The University of Colorado Sea Level Research Group is coming to their rescue. The NASA-funded group claims glacial melt is removing weight that had been pressing down on land masses, which in turn is causing land mass to rise. This welcome news mitigates sea-level rise from melting glacial ice, meaning sea level will rise less than previously thought. However, it is very inconvenient for alarmist sea level predictions. Therefore, instead of reporting the amount by which sea level is rising in the real world, the Sea Level Research Group has begun adding 0.3 millimeters per year of fictitious sea level rise to “compensate” for rising land mass.

The extra 0.3 millimeters of fictitious sea level rise will add up to 1.2 inches over the course of the 21st century. While this is not monumental in and of itself, it will allow alarmists to paint a dramatically different picture of sea level rise than is occurring in the real world. For example, the current pace of 8 inches of sea level rise for the present century is essentially no different than the 7 inches of sea level rise that occurred last century. However, with an artificially enhanced 9.2 inches of sea level rise, alarmists can claim sea level is rising 31 percent faster than it did last century.

This isn’t the first time NASA climate-change scientists have fudged data. James Hansen is famous for it.

James Hansen of NASA is not just any global warming Moonbat, he is Al Gore’s global warming Moonbat. It was Hansen’s data that was used in Gore’s Oscar/Peace prize winning film. Hansen’s work is ruled by one motto: “If God gives you rotten apples, tell everyone it’s champagne



In October of 2008, Hansen made the announcement that it was warmest Oct. in history. A few days later after all the doom and gloom headlines passed he announced “Oops, never mind, I was wrong.” He only admitted the mistake after he was “outed” by other scientists. In reality, Oct. 08 was quite an average October. It Ranked 70th in the last 114 years.

In 2007 Hansen was forced by reporter Stephen McIntyre to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest year in history was not 1998 as he had claimed, but 1934.

Well It wasn’t exactly a correction. He fought tooth and nail against correcting the numbers, mislead the press and in the end Hansen didn’t fully make the change. Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request and gained access to all the NASA Documents related to the incorrect data, It showed that unlike an objective scientist, Hansen wasn’t very anxious to correct his mistakes.


According to multiple press reports, when NASA corrected the error, the new data apparently caused a reshuffling of NASA’s rankings for the hottest years on record in the United States, with 1934 replacing 1998 at the top of the list.


These new documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), include internal GISS email correspondence as NASA scientists attempted to deal with the media firestorm resulting from the controversy. In one exchange GISS head James Hansen tells a reporter from Bloomberg that NASA had not previously published rankings with 1998 atop the list as the hottest year on record in the 20th century [not true].

Hansen announced recently that “The 12-month running mean global temperature in the Goddard Space Institute analysis has reached a new record in 2010 The main factor is our estimated temperature change for the Arctic region.” The GISS figures show that recent temperatures in the Arctic have been up to four degrees C warmer than the long-term mean.

Those arctic numbers that important to Hansen’s announcement were a figment of his creative imagination.


Art Horn, at the Energy Tribune blog, has blown the whistle on Hansen and GISS. He points out that GISS has no thermometers in the Arctic! It has hardly thermometers that are even near the Arctic Circle. GISS estimates its arctic temperatures from land-based thermometers that supposedly each represent the temperatures over 1200 square kilometers. That’s a pretty heroic assumption.

Meanwhile, the Danish Meteorological Institute is publishing sea-surface temperatures from the Arctic showing a cooling trend in the Arctic oceans during melt season since about 1993. Clearly, we have no accurate measure of the real temperatures and trends in the Arctic at this moment. Probably that’s not very important. The Russians say that the Arctic has its own 70-year climate cycle. The files of the New York Times, in fact, are filled with stories from the 1920s and 1930s, clearly showing that the Arctic was as warm then as now.

But this is the moment when proposed energy taxes would start to scuttle 85 percent of the energy which powers the modern world and its lifestyles. Global climate alarmists, Hansen among them, are playing a desperate and short-sighted game of “pass the energy taxes.”


Or in other word James Hansen is full of crap. He made the temperatures up…there were no thermometers in the Arctic to measure temperatures.

The global warming hoaxers have their backs against the wall, the longer it takes to get their job-killing regulations in place, more information will be discovered proving that their man-made-global warming theory is nonsense.

NASA funded scientists are just trying to speed up the process, by inventing data. Its no wonder that some people believe the moon landing was faked (not me).
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By looking at that photo, I would say no one has done anything as far as maintenance goes. It would not be the first time I saw something like that happen.. The huge generators on our hopper barges sat without being started for years..Surprisingly, most of them started first or second try..Those old Caterpillars and Detroit diesels were amazing. Especially the 16V71,s..They,re damn near indestructible..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21492
Quoting hydrus:
Didnt some say that those cranes have not been used since 1973.?


The Morganza Spillway hasn't been opened since 1973, but I would think they've at least tested the cranes to make sure they operate. I hope....
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Quoting hydrus:
Didnt some say that those cranes have not been used since 1973.?
Last time it was opened.. gosh I sure hope they crank them over once in awhile. Jumper Cables Anyone?
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Quoting Rainman32:
Ah. a better look at the actually 2 cranes? from the previous link... wonder when was the last time they fired these puppies up?

Didnt some say that those cranes have not been used since 1973.?
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21492
Ah. a better look at the actually 2 cranes? from the previous link... wonder when was the last time they fired these puppies up?

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from link:

DOTD currently has 25,380 linear feet of Hesco baskets ordered. Shipments of baskets are being received continuously, with 650 feet of Hesco baskets from BP. Governor Jindal said the state expects the need to exceed the amount of Hesco baskets available and have therefore begun to use recycled asphalt and other available resources to supplement sandbagging operations.

At the request of the Coast Guard, construction on the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish has ceased operations that involve marine access to the structure and the contractor is in the process of removing and securing equipment from the river. Construction on the main structure continues.
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A lengthy yet detailed article on preps being made throughout the area. I see that they're starting to secure, dismantle and/or remove heavy equipment from around the Huey P. Long bridge work. No wonder tkeith isn't here, poor guy.

Also included are expectations of them not having all the Hesco baskets they need, and are resorting to using recycled asphalt to strengthen levees, in some areas.

From pat's link.

Link
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Silly people like me look only next to the river for the control structures... The river on the map is probably much different from the river we're seeing today. I see how I missed it.

I literally missed it by a mile by thinking it had to be next to the picture of the river as seen by the satellite at some past time when the river was a peaceful blue thing...
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177. beell
Quoting Rainman32:
Excellent Beell, thanks for confirming that, the crane rolls along (with operator onboard!) and lifts the gates individually.


NP, Rain. Always good to see you here in Doc's blog.
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Hummm, sorry for the delayed response :)

Doc would the current Achilles heal really be the result of significant upstream development, large scale land use changes, compounded with added levees, producing an expedited funnel effect on the large snow-pack melt, saturated land, and recent precip event runoff in the river ?

How would that event some 80 years ago or so, look today?

I simply can't find the data to compare :(


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Excellent Beell, thanks for confirming that, the crane rolls along (with operator onboard!) and lifts the gates individually.
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Thanks for the help all...

As a software engineer, the challenges I face at work are not quite as physical as those the corps is facing with this daunting task.

They're earning their money this week, and probably this whole month.
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173. beell
To go with Rainman's post, a picture of the gantry crane that rolls along the top of the floodway structure and is used to open the 125 floodgates.

If you click the link from Patrap at post 131 the Morganza is at the upper left of the map.

Levees are colored blue.

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www.batonrougetoday.com
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The last time the Morganza Spillway was opened was April 18, 1973.
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The only other thing I don't understand about this old river control structure situation is this. In 1973, when the structure was almost destroyed, it was only the 10th worst flood on the river at that location. It crested at 58.22 feet at Red River Landing. 3.5 feet below where it is already.

Is that because the structure (which is above Red River Landing) had mostly failed and much more of the water was going down the Atchafalaya?

Inquiring minds want to know...

The truly sad thing to see is Natches... I don't know how the people around there are dealing with this. It appears the flooding in that region is unprecedented. It's already 2 feet above any point in the historical record and it's forecast to raise almost 5 more feet!
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According to Jindal's release earlier, they are asking for state police to be available at 10am tomorrow, to help divert traffic over the Morganza. At that time, the road will be closed so that a 4-8 hour inspection can take place before they start opening it. So figure, anytime after 3pm it could start.

Question- is it still totally dry on the other side of the Morganza, or has there been seepage?
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Quoting iahishome:

Does anyone know where exactly the Morganza Spillway is? I can clearly see the Old River Control Structure and Bonnet Caire on satellite.

The only place that looks plausible to me is just North of Levee Road just North of the town of Morganza on the west bank... it appears that Gayden road goes over something, but I don't see any control structures of any kind.

Is the Morganza spillway electronically controlled remotely or something? I would expect to see some cranes or scaffolding or something.
You have the right spot.. it is really hard to see on Google Maps. I finally found it using Google Earth once zoomed in far enough you can make out the gates and the crane (I think that is what it is) on the south end.



edit.. actually just a little bit further north of what I think you were looking at

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167. Slatz
Quoting iahishome:
It appears that the river is now at a record height at Red River Landing and if my math is correct, it's very close to the 1500 CFS already


according to here, it is at 1500 kcfs

Link
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Hello all I now have windows phone HTC great little device trickky to type on
lol I'm typing from my HTC Droid Incredible right now.

Compared to a computer its a pain to type on. But for a phone, its pretty good, and the page load times are almost as fast as my computer when I got a good signal.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
re: 154, Skyeponey

http://oldisnew.org/

Because things have not happened in our recent memory does not mean that they are unprecedented.
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You're right Chicklit... It certainly would be sad to see the landscape change so drastically like that.

Here's hoping this isn't the month/year/decade of that life changing event.

Does anyone know where exactly the Morganza Spillway is? I can clearly see the Old River Control Structure and Bonnet Caire on satellite.

The only place that looks plausible to me is just North of Levee Road just North of the town of Morganza on the west bank... it appears that Gayden road goes over something, but I don't see any control structures of any kind.

Is the Morganza spillway electronically controlled remotely or something? I would expect to see some cranes or scaffolding or something.
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Required reading: Dr. Masters' blog really tells the tale of how we are doing all we can to force nature to obey our will. And we all know how that usually turns out.
New Orleans reminds me of an orchid. So incredibly beautiful and sophisticated, but so vulnerable.
Good grief.
The Mississippi wants to follow the Atchafalaya.
Reminds me of divorce.
Member Since: Juli 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11358
It appears that the river is now at a record height at Red River Landing and if my math is correct, it's very close to the 1500 KCFS already...

Mississippi River at Red River Landing

I feel like we should get that famous announcer to announce the combatants... In this corner... weighing in at 2000 to 2500 KCFS is the Mississippi River...

And in this corner, weighing in at several Billion Dollars of equipment, and planning, with the blood and sweat of 3 generations is the Army Corps of Engineers...

Let's get ready to Ruuuuuuummmmmmmmmbbbbbbbllllleeee!

OK, maybe it's not like that at all...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Hello all I now have windows phone HTC great little device trickky to type on

big fingers little keys scenario
Member Since: Juli 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11358
Quoting Neapolitan:

Well, much of the eastern slope of the Rockies between central Colorado and the Canadian border drains into the Missouri, which in turn drains into the Mississippi. But I think the question he was asking was whether an early monsoonal flow was a harbinger of heavier rains elsewhere. At least that's how I interpreted it....


Thanks Nea... Yes, that's exactly what I was wondering. We're pretty much the last place to get moisture. Now the thunderstorms have to get pretty bad or drift just the right direction to leave the desert and get into the major metro area.
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Bloomberg appears to be on top of things these days:

May 13 (Bloomberg) -- The commander of the Morganza Floodway has permission to open it within 24 hours, inundating the Atchafalaya River basin and reducing the flow down the Mississippi toward New Orleans.

Major General Michael Walsh, president of the Mississippi River Commission, has told Col. Edward Fleming to open the spillway as soon as the river’s flow reaches 1.5 million cubic feet per second at Louisiana’s Red River Landing, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement.

morganza-spillway-to-open-when-flow-rate-meets-th reshold
Member Since: Juli 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11358
The 30 day SOI index has tumbled bigtime as it was around positive 30 by mid April and now is down to positive 6.7. This is a sign that La Nina is almost gone.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14408

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.