Science says as global warming heats earth’s atmosphere, it holds more water, fuels greater storms, drops ever-worsening torrential rains leading to floods. Jesus’ Revelation says that the earth is going to get very warm: “Men were scorched with fierce heat” (Rev 1:1; 16:8-9). Science and prophecy agree the earth is warming and its ramifications are threatening life on earth. The new norm is ever-changing, record-breaking extremes.
Global warming has a few general rules: Dry places get dryer. Wet places get wetter. Extremes will become the norm.
New York, Tokyo, London, and Miami are examples of cities spending billions of dollars to fight ever increasing–torrential rainfall, rising sea levels, storm surges, tidal flooding, hurricanes, flooding aquifers, rising ground water into streets and buildings leading to—excessive flooding.
This post is an article review of Sinking Cities, a DVD documentary on the global threat of climate change, distributed by PBS, © 2018 Cineflix International Media Ltd. You should see with your own eyes what is happening in these cities.
NEW YORK CITY
New York City is surrounded by water on all sides with 578 miles of coastline. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy dropped 1.6 billion gallons of water onto the city accompanied by a 13 foot storm surge leaving 700,000 tons of debris in its wake. It was the worst natural disaster in the city’s history.
However, this was only the beginning of large-scale catastrophes as scientists calculate a 6 foot sea-level rise by 2100 intensifying hurricanes, storm surges, and tidal flooding that will batter this city.
Studies analyzed sediment in the area taking them back 2,000 years to show that before the industrial revolution (starting around 1750), temperatures, sea levels, and storms were predictable within a stable range. After the industrial revolution revved up and industries accelerated emissions of millions of tons of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere, global temperatures, sea levels, and storm violence steadily increased. Within the last 200 years, sea level rise has shown a rapid increase in rate.
NYC Mayor Andrew Cuomo and city scientists, engineers, and mathematicians calculated that to safeguard the 8.6 million people in the five boroughs will cost $7 to $8 billion in climate-change protection. Since NYC is partially built on Sandy’s flood plain, some parts will become permanently uninhabitable. For other parts, engineers have finished plans for “The Big U,” a 10 mile and 20 foot high sea wall to protect “the $500 billion biggest business district in the U.S.” Breakwaters are planned to slow down storm surges. Fourteen (14) under-river tunnels to drain flood water out of the city are also coming. Architects are designing skyscrapers with the mechanics (electricity, heating, etc.) no longer in the basement, but many floors higher (like the 48th floor in one housing project).
Sandy only cost the city $19 billion. Without preparation, losses by the end of this century for NYC would surpass $90 billion.
When Jesus says, “You also must be ready,” New York City is getting ready. (Matt 24:44) But it won’t be enough. “The cities of the nations fell,” (Rev 16:19).
Tokyo—the largest city in the world with 38 million people housed 130 feet above sea level–has always suffered from typhoons (aka hurricanes), storm surges, tsunamis, floods, and earthquakes. Now add liquefaction (ground that acts like quicksand during an earthquake) sinking entire buildings down into liquefied soil and sand. However, it is getting worse.
Since 1954, precipitation has increased by 30%. (Increasing global warming, causes greater quantities of water to be held in the atmosphere, until stronger storms drop it all at once.)
The September 2015 typhoon (hurricane) had normal winds, but broke all records for heavy torrential rains that flooded the Kinu River in Joso, Japan just north of Tokyo. Orders were given to evacuate 170,000 people, yet 65,000 were trapped and thousands disappeared in the storm surge and flooding. Seven thousand (7,000) homes were destroyed. Twenty inches (20”) of rain fell in 24 hours in Joso.
Dr. Tomoya Shibayama, professor at Waseda University in Japan has done scientific research for 40 years and along with other scientists around the world has discovered that until recently, typhoons lost power and intensity as they neared land. However, now with warming oceans and temperature increase in sea surface water, a typhoon not only does not lose strength, it grows, intensifies, and does more damage. By 2100, sea surface temperature near Tokyo will increase by 4° F. The typhoons will be more numerous and powerful.
Current predictions for sea level rise by 2100 around Tokyo are three (3) feet, which will mean a loss of 60 sq. mi. in the city.
Tokyo is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. It sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire bringing 1,500 earthquakes a year. Liquefaction is causing entire neighborhoods to sink. Tsunamis hitting Japan’s coast, like the 2011 tsunami that caused a meltdown in the Fukushima Nuclear Power, are renowned. Japan averages 11 typhoons a year which are rising in number and intensity. Increasing torrential rains filling the massive Ebo River (one of 170 rivers) that flows through the city into Tokyo Bay is a major flooding concern. Torrential rains, mudslides, hurricanes, storm surges, earthquakes, liquefaction, and rising ground water place the city at extreme risk.
Kamaishi, a city 350 mi. north of Tokyo had the largest sea wall in the world to stop sea rise, storm surges, and tsunamis. It was 20 ft high, 6,500 ft long, took 30 years to build, cost $1.6 billion, and was finished in 2009. Everyone felt safe. Two years later (2011), a tsunami crushed the wall with a 32’ high tidal flood that swept through the city. Over a thousand people were never found. The sea wall is in the process of being rebuilt.
The Japanese take climate change extremely seriously. They took 13 years (1993-2006) and $2 billion to build the Tokyo Flood Tunnels that look like an underground football stadium attached to long tunnels. However, in 2015 a typhoon overwhelmed the city with torrential rains that took four (4) days to expel with four (4) gigantic pumps as big as Boeing 737s. Doubts are rising as to whether this is enough.
The next plan—created by Toshio Makajima—is the “Floating City” of Tokyo. The Japanese are courageous, brilliant, hard-working and organized in their preparations for climate change and all its ramifications that are already hitting their country, but with an aging population and financial problems, will they make it?
Jesus said, “The cities of the nations fell,” (Rev 16:19).
London—a city of 8 million people–is on a big island surrounded by water with a huge river—the Thames—running through it. That’s a lot of water everywhere. The same global warming principles apply—warmer atmosphere holds more water produces bigger storms and dumps more water. Jesus said the earth was going to get warm (Rev 1:1; 16:8-9). The world is experiencing all of global warming’s ramifications—including flooding.
The British faced their storm surges and flooding earlier that most countries. They took 30 years and spent the equivalent of over $2 billion to build the Thames Barrier; a 600 yard 10-piece flood gate that spans the River Thames. It was finished in 1982. It closes off the river during storm surges to protect London from flooding—which has been quite successful for years and only had to be used 2 or 3 times a year.
But within the last 10 years, bigger water problems have hit London. They did not take into consideration sea level rise due to global warming. London has experienced a 20% increase in rainfall. Their drainage and sewer systems were built during the Victorian era and mix flood water and sewage together, so when the flood water is too much for the system, it all pushes up into the streets causing serious flooding and sanitation problems.
It got worse. In December of 2013, Hurricane Xaver hit. The Thames Barrier held, but storm after storm dumped record-breaking rains. For the first time, the Barrier was not just stopping a storm surge coming up one way toward London, but flooding coming down the other way from the Thames’ estuaries. London held, but surrounding areas flooded for three long weeks. The unprecedented rainfall in storm after storm forced the Thames Barrier to close 50 times in the 2013-14 winter. (Normally, there were only one or two closings per year.)
Scientists in the Met Office, the UK’s meteorological National Weather Service, knew the mathematical formulas (more atmospheric heat, more water in the atmosphere, bigger storms, greater downpours) and were gathering data from the atmosphere, ocean buoys, cities, villages, ships and pouring it into giant super computers. There was now a 10% chance that every winter would break new water records. An 8 foot sea level rise was coming by 2100 to the coast of England. The life expectancy of the Barrier—given the leap in usage—was only until 2030. So modifications had to be made to stretch its productivity until 2070 when other solutions could be found.
The government has a massive multi-billion dollar project called TE 2100 to tackle climate change. The Thames Tideway Tunnel running 200’ below the Thames and parallel to it, channels flood water out of the city. This costs a little under $4 billion and will take 7 years to finish—by 2023. A sewage treatment plant was added to stop sewage from being dumped into the ocean. Concrete towns are tearing up roads and putting down porous bricks for water to seep back into the ground. “Daylighting” tunnels opens up rivers to flow onto flood plains before flooding sewer tunnels and pushing up into neighborhood streets. Victoria’s massive underground drainage tunnels throughout the city that funnel the water causing flooding has been outgrown. And of course, floating cities (like those used in the Netherlands) are already in the works for London.
But even the scientists, with stalwart British character and intelligence, look at the massive North Sea, the darkening tempests, and the rising waters and wonder if it will be enough.
Jesus said it won’t (Rev 16:19).
Hurricanes are getting worse on the west coast of Florida according to Florida Gulf Coast University scientists and professors. As sea surface temps rise, the number and intensity of hurricanes worsens. Miami is only 6’ above sea level. Most FL residents are used to flooding during tropical storms, but now flooding is coming up from the ground in Miami on sunny days in neighborhoods and the city itself during King Tides (full or new moons) because of rising seas. Scientists calculate that by 2030, the city will be threatened by tidal floods 50 times a year; by 2045, 150 times a year. In the last ten (10) years, flooding has increased by 400%.
Miami is built on an aquifer situated on a porous limestone foundation. As the sea level rises (due to global warming melting glaciers and ice sheets and expanding the water itself), the high tides get higher. In Miami, the ocean water easily seeps through the limestone, comes up into the aquifer, which pushes water up into the sewer systems, forcing up fresh water with sewage into the streets which is one health problem. When the salt water finally inundates drinking wells, another health problem will emerge. Driving to work through flooded streets is also a problem.
Given its location, Miami will see a sea level rise of 2’ by 2060; 3’ by 2080; and 6’ by 2100. Miami is the “most-at-risk city” for potential property damage; $416 billion. Skyscrapers are going up everywhere and many do not follow any building precautions to account for rising waters and flooding. It is a quick turnover market; build, buy, sell, buy, sell . . . always hoping the next sell will bring in a profit. The city itself has no adequate building code for climate-change preparation. (Given the politics of the leaders, most don’t acknowledge climate change, pandemics, etc. However, a few are pushing for preparation.)
In 1991, Hurricane Andrew hit Category 5 with 173 mph winds and required an evacuation of over a million people leveling 25,000 houses and seriously damaging 100,000 other structures. The cost was $27 billion and 8 insurance companies went out of business. It was second only to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In accord with Japanese scientists, Florida’s scientists have discovered that hurricanes no longer diminish as they hit land, instead there is a “rapid intensification” of hurricanes as they go over the warmer coastal waters. Not only the warm shallow waters but the heavy warm sea-spray winds pumps energy into the atmosphere and revs up the hurricane.
Jane Gilbert, the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Miami, is in charge of helping the city to get ready in advance for devastating events with better codes etc. She expressed concern about the denial of serious near-future threats from climate change to Miami. She has fought hard against the inertia slowing preparation for high-risk events due to global warming; such as stronger hurricanes, rising seas, higher storm surges, flooding aquifers, overflowing sewage, saline well water, etc.
So far, practical preparation for the future of Miami has included the following: (1) A series of pumps to empty streets of water ($500 million); (2) Upgrade of sewage treatment plants; (3) Raising sea walls along beaches, canals and creeks; (4) Raising up low-lying streets. They took 2 years and $27 million to raise up the streets in a 6-block neighborhood by 30 inches. The streets no longer flood many times a year and this solution will last for 30 years—or so they hope. (P.S. The cost-to-result ratio sounds nuts to me. Sorry.) (5) A few high-rise buildings like the Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County have built with future flood prevention in mind. This included moving all the mechanics (electric generators, heaters, etc.) out of the basement up many stories above any potential flood; building an underground garage that doubles as a flood container; building lower floors of water-proof materials (like cement); and elevating the whole building on a man-made hill. They are preparing.
Is Miami getting ready? It sound like they are stacking life-jackets around the dance floor on the Titanic.
What does Jesus say? (Rev 16:19)
WHY THIS POST?
Why worry? That’s the problem, most have no concern whatsoever—especially if the catastrophe is “far, far away in another galaxy.”
But Jesus asked, “Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Matt 16:3) As Americans—especially the Church—most of us cannot even discern the sky, much less where all these signs are heading. Strange. The Bible and scientists are screaming at us in one accord in total harmony shouting out the signs of the times.
No worries? God will rapture us into the clouds and out of this earth before any of the really bad stuff arrives?
But Jesus said, “After that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken . Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven,” (Mark 13:24-27 and Matthew 24:29-31).
The darkening of sun, moon, and stars is Old Testament (OT) symbolism for a time of great destruction (Isa 13:10-11; Ezek 32:7-8; Joel 2:31; 3:15; Rev 6:12). According to His own words, Jesus comes after global catastrophes and the great tribulation. “Elect” means “chosen by God” and refers to every believer in God across all nations and all time who is saved by Jesus (Romans 8:33-35; Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 5:9). Angels gathering Christians and carrying them up from the earth into the clouds to meet Jesus at His second coming to earth is called “the rapture” (c.f. 1 Thess 4:14-17). According to a literal reading of the Bible, there is only one second coming (not two parts or two comings), and it is loud, visible, and glorious before the whole world. At His second coming, He raptures Christians from earth who join Christians from heaven, then the resurrection occurs (you get a brand new body that is powerful and immortal). Then we all return to earth with Jesus who starts His 1,000-year reign.
If you believe (like I did before I carefully investigated all the Bible verses on the topic) that Jesus will come back to rescue you before the great tribulation, then I beg you to read my other post entitled “The Rapture According to Jesus” which will write out ALL the Bible verses that specifically and directly talk about the second coming, the tribulation, and the rapture. Read those verses with your own eyes and decide. I’ve given you one of two very clear, direct verses wherein Jesus tells us explicitly that He will come back after the great tribulation. There is not one verse in the entire Bible that directly says He comes back before the tribulation to rapture Christians; NOT ONE!
A Global Collapse of Civilization
So why this post, “Flooding Cities Around the World”? Most of the church is falling asleep (in darkened theology) or drifting into apostasy (1 Thess 2:1-4). We need the light of truth to wake us up. Jesus says this world is going to get hot and end in the global collapse of civilization (Rev 16:8-9; 6:12-17). Scientist say that global warming is happening and that its worst-case scenario might devolve into a global collapse of civilization. Jesus says it will. The Bible and science are pointing to a global collapse. Calculating biblical prophecies and scientific predictions points to a collapse somewhere around 2100.
Our kids and grandkids—our progeny—are going to face a whole new planet: hot, extreme, and struggling for survival. Jesus has said that His coming will be like the days of Noah (global collapse of civilization) and that we had better be ready (Matt 24:37, 44)! Noah took a 100 years to get ready, even before clouds appeared in the sky. He trusted God that the storm was coming. He picked up his hammer.
We can see the maelstrom gathering in the horizon. Jesus says it. Science describes it. We can see it coming now. We see it in raging forest fires, in melting glaciers, and in flooding cities.
Here is what Jesus says:
1 Thess 5:2-6 You yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord [the second coming of Jesus] will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
We must stop dancing on the Titanic and start building our arks!
(Ark-building plans in Chapter 15.)
 Apocalypse tsunami of the future by Stefan Keller from Pixabay.
 New York City skyline by dawnfu from Pixabay. Florida hurricane by NASA. Night flooding pictures from Hurricane Sandy from Wikimedia.
 Tokyo skyline by Steffen Zimmermann from Pixabay. Tokyo rainbow overpass by xegxef from Pixabay. Japan flooded in 2011 in Tonoku and tsunami found in Wikimedia Commons.
 Tokyo Flood Tunnel form Wikimedia Commons.
 London skyline by night with Thames River by Skeeze from Pixabay.
 Thames Barrier (big view) by TheOtherKey from Pixabay. Golden Thames Barrier by Derek Sewell from Pixabay. Stormy clouds over the Thames River by David Mark from Pixabay. London flooding from NASA and Climatecentral.org used in theguardian.com.
 Future flooding in London by Climatecentral.com.
 Miami night skyline by Jorge 2015 from Pixabay.
 Miami flooding today and tomorrow; free images from NASA.
 Florida hurricane (Michael, category 5, October 10, 2018) by NASA.
 End Apocalypse–city underwater by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay (also on Facebook).