Sea Level Rise

Accelerated erosion

View Sea Level Rise Gallery

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

Antarctic coastline images reveal four decades of ice loss to ocean

A study of images along 2000km of West Antarctica’s coastline has shown the loss of about 1000km2 of ice – an area equivalent to the city of Berlin – over the past 40 years. Researchers were surprised to find that the region has been losing ice for such a length of time. Their findings will help improve estimates of global sea level rise caused by ice melt.

Comments Off on Antarctic coastline images reveal four decades of ice loss to ocean

Nearly 7 million US homes at hurricane risk this season: Report

More than 6.8 million homes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of damage from hurricane storm surges, with a total reconstruction cost value of more than $1.5 trillion, according to CoreLogic’s 2016 Storm Surge Report.

Comments Off on Nearly 7 million US homes at hurricane risk this season: Report

Rising seas put brakes on developers’ march toward the ocean, SC

The South Carolina House just passed a bill that will close a loophole in state law that has allowed new construction closer to the ocean when renourishment projects temporarily widen the seashore. The lower chamber’s action is considered a significant, long-term step to prevent construction farther out on the beach at a time of rising sea levels.

Comments Off on Rising seas put brakes on developers’ march toward the ocean, SC

Scientists Improve Maps of Subsidence in New Orleans

New Orleans and its surrounding areas continue to sink at highly variable rates due to a combination of natural geologic processes and human activity, according to a new study using NASA airborne radar.

Comments Off on Scientists Improve Maps of Subsidence in New Orleans

The First Official Climate Refugees in the U.S. Race Against Time

A Native American tribe struggles to hold on to their culture in a Louisiana bayou while their land slips into the Gulf of Mexico.

Comments Off on The First Official Climate Refugees in the U.S. Race Against Time

Scientists predict extensive ice loss from huge Antarctic glacier

Current rates of climate change could trigger instability in a major Antarctic glacier, ultimately leading to more than 2m of sea-level rise. By studying the history of Totten’s advances and retreats, researchers have discovered that if climate change continues unabated, the glacier could cross a critical threshold within the next century, entering an irreversible period of very rapid retreat.

Comments Off on Scientists predict extensive ice loss from huge Antarctic glacier

Ghana’s coastal erosion: The village buried in sand

Rising sea levels are swallowing up land along the West African coastline at an astonishing rate. The geographical location of Fuveme, in Keta municipality of the Volta region, Ghana, makes it particularly prone to sea erosion. A 2010 study by the World Bank paints a grim picture for the rest of the country.

Comments Off on Ghana’s coastal erosion: The village buried in sand

Abrupt Sea Level Rise Looms As Increasingly Realistic Threat

Ninety-nine percent of the planet’s freshwater ice is locked up in the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps. Now, a growing number of studies are raising the possibility that as those ice sheets melt, sea levels could rise by six feet this century, and far higher in the next, flooding many of the world’s populated coastal areas.

Comments Off on Abrupt Sea Level Rise Looms As Increasingly Realistic Threat

Five Pacific islands vanish from sight as sea levels rise

tahiti-sea-level-rise

Five of the Solomon Islands have been swallowed whole by rising sea levels, offering a glimpse into the future of other low-lying nations.

Comments Off on Five Pacific islands vanish from sight as sea levels rise


Recent / Sea Level Rise

Atlantic City Gambles on Rising Seas, NJ

May 4th, 2016

This city’s famous casinos are on high ground, while its poor are in the floodwaters’ path. The people still there “haven’t figured out a way to leave yet,” one lifelong resident says.

Read More

How much does groundwater contribute to sea level rise?

May 2nd, 2016

Groundwater extraction and other land water contribute about three times less to sea level rise than previous estimates, according to a new study. The study does not change the overall picture of future sea level rise, but provides a much more accurate understanding of the interactions between water on land, in the atmosphere, and the oceans.

Read More

A warning for Miami, Miami Beach

April 26th, 2016

Scientists warn that we live in a “doomed city” in new book on climate change. “Retreat From a Rising Sea: Hard Choices in an Age of Climate Change,” is an effort to explain the science for a lay reader. It is clear and authoritative and for South Florida, it is urgent.

Read More

Facebook, Google campuses at risk of being flooded due to sea level rise

san francisco bay

April 23rd, 2016

Technology giants including Facebook and Google face the prospect of their prestigious Silicon Valley headquarters becoming swamped by water as rising sea levels threaten to submerge much of the property development boom gripping San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Read More

Sinking Atlantic Coastline Meets Rapidly Rising Seas

April 15th, 2016

Geological changes along the East Coast are causing land to sink along the seaboard. That’s exacerbating the flood-inducing effects of sea level rise, which has been occurring faster in the western Atlantic Ocean than elsewhere in recent years.

Read More

Website reveals which homes will be swamped by rising sea levels

April 14th, 2016

For the first time, Australians can see on a map how rising sea levels will affect their house just by typing their address into a website.

Read More

Sea level rise threatens U.S. historic sites

April 13th, 2016

Many of the most threatened sites in North America lie along the East Coast between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and southern Maine, where the rate of sea level rise is among the fastest in the world.

Read More

North Carolina Sea Level: No more head-in-the-sand?

April 9th, 2016

How science works: Research indicating faster rates of sea-level rise along North Carolina coast may influence state actions affecting coastal properties.

Read More

Increased flooding, accelerated sea-level rise in Miami over last decade, new study shows

April 5th, 2016

Miami Beach flood events have significantly increased over the last decade due to an acceleration of sea-level rise in South Florida, a new report warns. The researchers suggest that regional sea-level projections should be used in place of global projections to better prepare for future flood hazards in the region.

Read More

Is the Ocean Melting the Ice?

April 5th, 2016

Global sea level rise is one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st Century, and Greenland is central to the problem. That massive ice sheet touches the sea along more than 44,000 kilometers of jagged coastline, and the ice sheet is not just melting from warm air temperatures above; it is also likely being melted from water below.

Read More