Sea Level Rise

Accelerated erosion

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There will always be beaches, but sea level rise will ensure that they will not be in the same place in the future. The beaches will still exist throughout this change, but many of the buildings may not. Efforts to save development, however do threaten beaches, such as shoreline armoring structures.

Although relative amounts of rise may seem very small, only a few millimeters per year, the cumulative effect of these small rises each year over a long period of time (100+ years) causes major problems. Accelerated rates of erosion are attributed to sea level rise and erosion causes large economic losses around the world each year due to the close proximity of buildings and critical infrastructure. This includes transportation systems, gas and oil lines as well as electricity lines and power plants.

Most developed coasts and beaches have buildings very close to the ocean leaving little room for the ever-expanding ocean. The future effects of sea level rise on coastal civilization over the entire world are of great concern. Over half of the world’s population lives within 100 km of the coast. Over the next 50 years, damage due to coastal development will be devastating, but if the rate of sea level rise increases, the results could be catastrophic. This issue threatens areas from New York City in the United States to the Pearl River Delta in China to the Maldives.

The world map below allows you to see elevations of coastal areas. Areas in red are the lowest in elevation and are most prone to flooding. Check out Manhattan in New York City. If you think the situation there looks dire, be sure to check out the effects of a 2 m rise in sea level on Pearl River Delta in China, home to more than 40 million people. Map courtesy of globalwarmingart.com


Surfing in / Sea Level Rise

Sea level rise preparations could cost Redondo Beach, CA, nearly $300 million

Redondo Beach estimates it would cost roughly $291 million to prepare for a 5.5-foot increase in sea levels by 2100, according to a recently released study.

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The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

While other regions grappled with destructive waves and rising seas, the West Coast for decades was spared by a rare confluence of favorable winds and cooler water. But lines in the sand are meant to shift. In the last 100 years, the sea rose less than 9 inches in California. By the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 9 feet.

Comments Off on The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

What happens when a country drowns? These 5 island nations will disappear first

Global climate change is endangering small island countries, many of them developing nations, potentially harming their ability to function as independent states.

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Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions: A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative: North Topsail Beach, North Carolina Case Study

This study is the first of several case studies to be released by the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines examining the feasibility and economics of targeted acquisition strategies in oceanfront, resort communities. Buyouts of vulnerable properties have become an increasingly popular tool for reducing future exposure in flood-prone communities across the U.S.

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On Java’s Coast, A Natural Approach to Holding Back the Waters

The Indonesian island of Java has lost 70 percent of the mangroves that once protected its coast from erosion and flooding. Now villagers are using natural wooden barriers to try to restore the mangrove forests and save their lands and homes from being washed away.

Comments Off on On Java’s Coast, A Natural Approach to Holding Back the Waters

Seagrass’ strong potential for curbing erosion

A new study shows how seagrass can help to protect shorelines against erosion and help to mitigate damage from rising sea level, potentially providing useful guidance for seagrass restoration efforts.

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Indonesia plans to relocate its capital from Jakarta

Indonesia plans to move its capital city from Jakarta, according to the country’s planning minister. Jakarta is home to more than 10 million people according to the United Nations, with an estimated 30 million in the greater metropolitan area. The nation is prone to flooding and is sinking at an alarming rate.

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Antarctica’s Effect on Sea Level Rise in Coming Centuries

There are two primary causes of global mean sea level rise — added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers, and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The melting of Antarctica’s ice sheet is currently responsible for 20-25% of global sea level rise.

Comments Off on Antarctica’s Effect on Sea Level Rise in Coming Centuries

Even Antarctica’s Coldest Region Is Starting to Melt

East Antarctica is the coldest spot on earth, long thought to be untouched by warming. But now the glaciers and ice shelves in this frigid region are showing signs of melting, a development that portends dramatic rises in sea levels this century and beyond.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Sea level rise preparations could cost Redondo Beach, CA, nearly $300 million

July 17th, 2019

Redondo Beach estimates it would cost roughly $291 million to prepare for a 5.5-foot increase in sea levels by 2100, according to a recently released study.

Read More

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

July 8th, 2019

While other regions grappled with destructive waves and rising seas, the West Coast for decades was spared by a rare confluence of favorable winds and cooler water. But lines in the sand are meant to shift. In the last 100 years, the sea rose less than 9 inches in California. By the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 9 feet.

Read More

What happens when a country drowns? These 5 island nations will disappear first

July 5th, 2019

Global climate change is endangering small island countries, many of them developing nations, potentially harming their ability to function as independent states.

Read More

Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions: A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative: North Topsail Beach, North Carolina Case Study

July 3rd, 2019

This study is the first of several case studies to be released by the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines examining the feasibility and economics of targeted acquisition strategies in oceanfront, resort communities. Buyouts of vulnerable properties have become an increasingly popular tool for reducing future exposure in flood-prone communities across the U.S.

Read More

On Java’s Coast, A Natural Approach to Holding Back the Waters

May 7th, 2019

The Indonesian island of Java has lost 70 percent of the mangroves that once protected its coast from erosion and flooding. Now villagers are using natural wooden barriers to try to restore the mangrove forests and save their lands and homes from being washed away.

Read More

Seagrass’ strong potential for curbing erosion

May 3rd, 2019

A new study shows how seagrass can help to protect shorelines against erosion and help to mitigate damage from rising sea level, potentially providing useful guidance for seagrass restoration efforts.

Read More

Indonesia plans to relocate its capital from Jakarta

April 29th, 2019

Indonesia plans to move its capital city from Jakarta, according to the country’s planning minister. Jakarta is home to more than 10 million people according to the United Nations, with an estimated 30 million in the greater metropolitan area. The nation is prone to flooding and is sinking at an alarming rate.

Read More

Antarctica’s Effect on Sea Level Rise in Coming Centuries

April 26th, 2019

There are two primary causes of global mean sea level rise — added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers, and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The melting of Antarctica’s ice sheet is currently responsible for 20-25% of global sea level rise.

Read More

Even Antarctica’s Coldest Region Is Starting to Melt

March 30th, 2019

East Antarctica is the coldest spot on earth, long thought to be untouched by warming. But now the glaciers and ice shelves in this frigid region are showing signs of melting, a development that portends dramatic rises in sea levels this century and beyond.

Read More

High-tide flooding disrupts local economic activity

February 24th, 2019

Evaluation of observed sea level rise impacts to date has emphasized sea level extremes, such as those from tropical cyclones. Far less is known about the consequences of more frequent high-tide flooding. Empirical analysis of the disruption caused by high-tide floods, also called nuisance or sunny-day floods, is challenging due to the short duration of these floods and their impacts.

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