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

Worst floods for 50 years bring Venice to ‘its knees’

The worst flooding to hit Venice in more than 50 years has brought the historic city to its knees. Local authorities in the Italian lagoon city called for a state of emergency to be imposed.

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Sea levels to continue rising after Paris agreement emission pledges expire in 2030

Sea levels will continue to rise around the world long after current carbon emissions pledges made through the Paris climate agreement are met and global temperatures stabilize, a new study indicates.

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California King Tides Project: January 10-12 and February 8-9, 2020

The California King Tides Project helps people visualize future sea level by observing the highest high tides of today. You can help by taking and sharing photos of the shoreline during King Tides to create a record of the changes to our coast from sea level rise.

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From Indonesia to Ingonish, some bones won’t stay buried

As seas and storms erode coastlines, cemeteries are giving up their dead.

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Put wastewater improvements first in climate resiliency planning

Sea-level rise makes wastewater planning even more important, writes scientist Rob Young.

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Rising sea levels pose threat to homes of 300m people – study

More than three times more people are at risk from rising sea levels than previously believed, research suggests.

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The IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere – What it means for Africa’s coastal cities

For African coastal cities, sea level rise and increasing storm frequency and intensity pose serious threat. West, Central, East and Mediterranean coastal zones in Africa are very low-lying. Within these low-lying coastal zones are many of Africa’s largest cities: Dakar, Abidjan, Accra, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Alexandria, Tripoli, and Cape Town.

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Dual approach needed to save sinking cities and bleaching corals

Local conservation can boost the climate resilience of coastal ecosystems, species and cities and buy them precious time in their fight against sea-level rise, ocean acidification and warming temperatures, a new paper by scientists at Duke University and Fudan University suggests.

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315 billion-tonne iceberg breaks off Antarctica

The Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica has just produced its biggest iceberg in more than 50 years.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Worst floods for 50 years bring Venice to ‘its knees’

November 13th, 2019

The worst flooding to hit Venice in more than 50 years has brought the historic city to its knees. Local authorities in the Italian lagoon city called for a state of emergency to be imposed.

Read More

Sea levels to continue rising after Paris agreement emission pledges expire in 2030

November 5th, 2019

Sea levels will continue to rise around the world long after current carbon emissions pledges made through the Paris climate agreement are met and global temperatures stabilize, a new study indicates.

Read More

California King Tides Project: January 10-12 and February 8-9, 2020

November 4th, 2019

The California King Tides Project helps people visualize future sea level by observing the highest high tides of today. You can help by taking and sharing photos of the shoreline during King Tides to create a record of the changes to our coast from sea level rise.

Read More

From Indonesia to Ingonish, some bones won’t stay buried

November 1st, 2019

As seas and storms erode coastlines, cemeteries are giving up their dead.

Read More

Put wastewater improvements first in climate resiliency planning

October 31st, 2019

Sea-level rise makes wastewater planning even more important, writes scientist Rob Young.

Read More

Rising sea levels pose threat to homes of 300m people – study

October 29th, 2019

More than three times more people are at risk from rising sea levels than previously believed, research suggests.

Read More

The IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere – What it means for Africa’s coastal cities

October 23rd, 2019

For African coastal cities, sea level rise and increasing storm frequency and intensity pose serious threat. West, Central, East and Mediterranean coastal zones in Africa are very low-lying. Within these low-lying coastal zones are many of Africa’s largest cities: Dakar, Abidjan, Accra, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Alexandria, Tripoli, and Cape Town.

Read More

Dual approach needed to save sinking cities and bleaching corals

October 8th, 2019

Local conservation can boost the climate resilience of coastal ecosystems, species and cities and buy them precious time in their fight against sea-level rise, ocean acidification and warming temperatures, a new paper by scientists at Duke University and Fudan University suggests.

Read More

315 billion-tonne iceberg breaks off Antarctica

September 30th, 2019

The Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica has just produced its biggest iceberg in more than 50 years.

Read More

What will Malibu’s beach erosion problem look like in 20 years?

September 28th, 2019

The rapid erosion of Malibu’s beaches in the past few years is nothing short of startling and has drawn the concerned attention of local citizens, advocacy groups and public officials. Beach erosion, attributable in part to climate change and in part to the hand of man, is pervasive, invasive and expensive.

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