An aide to Jerry Brown confirmed Wednesday that the governor was wrong when he said global warming would eventually cause rising seawater to inundate Los Angeles International Airport.
Citing new studies, Brown called attention to the global warming issue on Tuesday, saying a predicted 4-foot rise in sea level within the next 200 years could force the relocation of LAX at a cost of billions of dollars.
But various sources say that the nation’s third-busiest airport — bordered by the Pacific Ocean — has elevations ranging from 108 feet to 126 feet and is protected by higher coastal bluffs on the west side.
“The governor misspoke about LAX,” said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the Brown administration.
Environmental officials for Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX, said the airport has an elevation of more than 120 feet. “A 4-foot rise in sea level,” they said, “should have minimal impact on airport operations.”
In addition, a recent study by USC’s Sea Grant Program did not identify LAX as one of the coastal areas in Los Angeles threatened by sea level rise.
Airport officials said, however, that any organization with coastal structures should be concerned about the potential adverse impact of climate change. They added that the airport department is part of a citywide effort to explore and plan ways to cope with predicted increases in sea level.