Category Archives: Sea Level Rise

Our coastal cemeteries are falling into the sea; By Orrin H. Pilkey & William J. Neal


El Morro Cemetery, Puerto Rico. Photo source: ©© Kevin Baird.
“Cemeteries by the sea are silent sentinels. Like lighthouses and coastal fortifications, they bear dates of former times when they were on high and dry land…”—William J. Neal & Orrin H. Pilkey (2013-©)

Excerpts;

A cemetery is a place of respect for the dead and its location is chosen with the expectation that it will be there for generations. Cemeteries in coastal areas were not located with the expectation that they would flood or fall into the sea. But most of the world’s ocean and estuarine shorelines are eroding — some slowly like California’s rocky coasts, and others rapidly like the Carolinas’ barrier island coasts.

Coastal cemeteries around the world are in imminent danger of falling into the sea…

Read Full Article; The News & Observer (05-29-2018)

Cemeteries in the Sea; By William J. Neal & Orrin H. Pilkey; By Orrin H. Pilkey & William J. Neal (11-01-2013)

Erosion at New York’s Hart Island graveyard unearths human bones; CBS News (04-25-2018)
Hart Island, a massive burial ground near the Bronx borough of New York City, is eroding, unearthing human bones along the shoreline. Advocates said the city hasn’t done anything – until now…

Cooks government ready to deal with vulnerable cemetery, Radio NZ (02-22-2016)
The Cook Islands government says work on a retaining wall that will protect a cemetery from losing more graves to the sea is going to start immediately…

Kiwi graves disappearing off cliffs in Rarotonga ‘like no one cares’, TVNZ (02-23-2013)
A cemetery in the Pacific nation literally washing away, and the Cook Islands government is refusing to do anything about it…

Rising Seas Wash Dead Away from Marshall Islands Graves, Guardian UK (06-06-2014)

Del Mar takes another look at rising sea level and unpopular ‘planned retreat’


Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The California Coastal Commission requires all coastal cities to have a sea-rise adaptation plan, and to include planned retreat as part of their strategy…

Read Full Article; San Diego Union Tribune (05-20-2018)

Blowing In The Wind? Spending Millions On Disappearing San Diego Beach Sand; KPBS (02-05-2016)
All up and down the San Diego coast, sand, particularly in North County, has disappeared from the beaches. A radio interview of Gary Griggs, Director, Institute of Marine Sciences, UC Santa Cruz, on KPBS News…

The only answer to rising seas is to retreat; By Orrin H. Pilkey & Keith C. Pilkey; The News & Observer (10-18-2017)
Except for the timing, there is no controversy among scientists regarding sea level rise. Defending the coast and holding the shoreline in place ultimately will be futile. With a three-foot or a six-foot sea level rise, we will retreat, probably beginning within the next 50 years…

Republican congressman explains sea-level rise: it’s rocks falling into the sea

uk-cli
Coastal erosion, white cliffs of Dover, UK. Photo source: ©© Eugene Kaspersky

Excerpts;

In a hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology on Wednesday, a member of Congress has suggested that the White Cliffs of Dover tumbling into the English Channel was causing rising sea levels, pushing back at the notion that rising sea levels were the result of global warming…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (05-17-2018)

Sea-level rise: the defining issue of the century; Editorial; Sun Sentinel (04-04-2018)
No graver threat faces the future of South Florida than the accelerating pace of sea-level rise. In the past century, the sea has risen 9 inches. In the past 23 years, it’s risen 3 inches. By 2060, it’s predicted to rise another 2 feet, with no sign of slowing down…

The military paid for a study on sea level rise. The results were scary; The Washington Post (04-25-2018)

Sea level rise isn’t just happening, it’s getting faster; The Washington Post (06-26-2017)
In at least the third such study published in the past year, scientists have confirmed seas are rising, and the rate of sea level rise is increasing as time passes — a sobering punchline for coastal communities that are only now beginning to prepare for a troubling future…

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100; Science Daily (06-26-2017)
In the year 2100, 2 billion people — about one-fifth of the world’s population — could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to new research…

New Trump Administration Flood Standards Mirror Obama-Era Rules; Yale E360 (02-08-2018)

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change; Guardian UK (12-01-2017))
The big businesses Donald Trump claims to champion are increasingly choosing to ignore the US president’s sceptical stance on climate change and press ahead towards their own environmental goals without him.

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action; Yale E360 (10-09-2017)

The fight against climate change: four cities leading the way in the Trump era; Guardian UK (06-12-2017)

Climate Progress, With or Without Trump; The New York Times (03-31-2017)

Trump won’t stop Americans hitting the Paris climate targets. Here’s how we do it; Guardian UK (08-11-2017)

New model could help rebuild eroding lands in coastal Louisiana


Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

As coastal lands in Louisiana erode, researchers, environmentalists and engineers are all searching for ways to preserve the marsh coastline…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (05-07-2018)

Hotting up: how climate change could swallow Louisiana’s Tabasco island; Guardian UK (03-27-2018)
With thousands of square miles of land already lost along the coast, Avery Island, home of the famed hot sauce, faces being marooned…

Coastal erosion poses multibillion-dollar risk to Baton Rouge economy, LSU study says; Business Report (03-22-2017)
While Baton Rouge is not on the “front lines” of Louisiana’s coastal land loss crisis, billions of dollars worth of economic activity are at risk for the city as the Gulf of Mexico continues to swallow wetlands, which are key storm buffers along the coast, according to a new LSU study…

On the Louisiana Coast, A Native Community Sinks Slowly into the Sea; Yale E360 (03-15-2018)
The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians of southern Louisiana have been called America’s first climate refugees. But two years after receiving federal funding to move to higher ground, the tribe is stuck in limbo, waiting for new homes as the water inches closer to their doors…

Rising water is swallowing up the Louisiana coastline: the $50 billion battle plan; CBS News (01-18-2017)
The geography of the Louisiana coastline is quickly changing. A state-commissioned report predicts rising water could swallow more land along the Gulf of Mexico, if nothing is done to address damage caused by climate change and commercial activity. A new master plan of 2017 calls for an investment of more than $50 billion over 50 years…

Climate change will redraw Louisiana’s flood risk maps, Newsweek (08-18-2016)

New study shows impact of human-made structures on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, Science Daily (06-29-2016)

Resettling the First American Climate Refugees – Louisiana; The New York Times (05-03-2016)

The First Official Climate Refugees in the U.S. Race Against Time; National Geographic (05-27-2016)

Gulf Eats Away at Coast Outside Levee-Protected New Orleans, AP (09-14-2015)
In the past century, more than 1,880 square miles of Louisiana land has turned into open water — an area nearly the size of Delaware. And the loss continues unabated, with an estimated 17 square miles disappearing on average each year…

Piling sand to stop erosion ultimately made the land sink, study says; NOLA (12-26-2015)

NOAA study finds ‘living shorelines’ can lessen climate change’s effects, NOAA (12-22-2015)

Rethinking Living Shorelines, By Orrin H. Pilkey, Rob Young, Norma Longo, and Andy Coburn;Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines / Western Carolina University, March 1, 2012, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
In response to the detrimental environmental impacts caused by traditional erosion control structures, environmental groups, state and federal resource management agencies, now advocate an approach known as “Living Shorelines”that embraces the use of natural habitat elements such as indigenous vegetation, to stabilize and protect eroding shorelines.

Sea-level rise: the defining issue of the century; Editorial


A Gulf Coast of Florida community. Captions and Photograph courtesy of:© Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

Excerpts;

No graver threat faces the future of South Florida than the accelerating pace of sea-level rise. In the past century, the sea has risen 9 inches. In the past 23 years, it’s risen 3 inches. By 2060, it’s predicted to rise another 2 feet, with no sign of slowing down…

Read Full Article; Sun Sentinel (04-04-2018)

Column: The future of Florida’s beaches and the public’s right to know; Op Ed. by Orrin Pilkey (12-07-2015)

Gone with the wind: storms deepen Florida’s beach sand crunch; Reuters (02-16-2018)
Costs of so-called beach renourishments are a fraction of the total, measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, but the effort is crucial for Florida’s $67 billion tourism industry. And while sand needs are surging, there is not enough to go around…

Everglades under threat as Florida’s mangroves face death by rising sea level

mangrove-roots-coastalcare
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Florida’s mangroves have been forced into a hasty retreat by sea level rise and now face being drowned, imperiling coastal communities and the prized Everglades wetlands, researchers have found…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (05-02-2018)

Destruction of Mangroves Costs up to US$42 billion in Economic Damages Annually – UNEP Report (10-14-2014)
The world is losing its mangroves at a faster rate than global deforestation, the United Nations revealed, in a new report “Importance of Mangroves: A Call to Action,” adding that the destruction of the coastal habitats was costing billions in economic damages and impacting millions of lives…

Where the land meets the sea: Governing mangrove forests; Forests News (02-02-2017)
As countries ponder how to encourage mangrove conservation, the role of people, rights, and governance institutions should receive equal consideration…

The World Must Invest In Mangroves, The Ecologist (04-11-2014)

The Human Element of Mangrove Management; USAID (12-16-2016)

Sri Lanka to become the first nation in the world to protect all its mangroves; Guardian UK (05-12-2015)
More than half the world’s mangroves have been lost over the last century but all of those surviving in Sri Lanka, one of their most important havens, are now to be protected in an unprecedented operation…

The military paid for a study on sea level rise. The results were scary.

tahiti-sea-level-rise
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands risk becoming “uninhabitable” by the middle of the century — or possibly sooner — because of rising sea levels, upending the populations of some island nations and endangering key U.S. military assets, according to new research…

Read Full Article; The Washington Post (04-25-2018)

Escaping the Waves: a Fijian Village Relocates, a Video (10-03-2015)
“When many understand climate change in concept but not through personal experience, this exhibit carries great weight…”

Nowhere to Hide from Climate Change; IPS News (01-02-2018)
The water is nibbling away the beaches of Fiji. Not even the dead are allowed peace of mind. The graveyard of Togoru – a village on the largest island of Fiji – has been submerged…

As Seas Rise, Tropical Pacific Islands Face a Perfect Storm; Yale E366 (07-06-2017)

Five Pacific islands vanish from sight as sea levels rise; New Scientist (05-09-2016)
Five of the Solomon Islands have been swallowed whole by rising sea levels, offering a glimpse into the future of other low-lying nations…

Sea level rise isn’t just happening, it’s getting faster; The Washington Post (06-26-2017)
In at least the third such study published in the past year, scientists have confirmed seas are rising, and the rate of sea level rise is increasing as time passes — a sobering punchline for coastal communities that are only now beginning to prepare for a troubling future…

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100; Science Daily (06-26-2017)
In the year 2100, 2 billion people — about one-fifth of the world’s population — could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to new research…

Why Seas Are Rising Faster on the U.S. East Coast


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Scientists are unraveling the reasons why some parts of the world are experiencing sea level increases far beyond the global average. A prime example is the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, which has been experiencing “sunny day flooding” that had not been expected for decades…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (04-24-2018)

New Study Finds Sea Level Rise Accelerating; NASA (02-13-2018)
Global sea level rise is accelerating incrementally over time rather than increasing at a steady rate, as previously thought, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data…

STUDY: “Patterns and projections of high tide flooding along the US coastline using common impact threshold;” By NOAA (February 2018)

Sea level rise isn’t just happening, it’s getting faster; The Washington Post (06-26-2017)
In at least the third such study published in the past year, scientists have confirmed seas are rising, and the rate of sea level rise is increasing as time passes — a sobering punchline for coastal communities that are only now beginning to prepare for a troubling future…

Federal report: High-tide flooding could happen ‘every other day’ by late this century; he Washington Post (03-28-2018)
High-tide flooding, which can wash water over roads and inundate homes and businesses, is an event that happens once in a great while in coastal areas. But its frequency has rapidly increased in recent years because of sea-level rise. Not just during storms but increasingly on sunny days, too…

In Next Decades, Frequency of Coastal Flooding Will Double Globally; USGS (05-18-2017)
The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise, according to a new study released in “Scientific Reports…”

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100; Science Daily (06-26-2017)
In the year 2100, 2 billion people — about one-fifth of the world’s population — could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to new research…

Sea Level Rise Will Reshape U.S. Population In All 50 States; Yale E360 (04-19-2017)
Sea level rise could cause mass migrations that will affect not just the United States’ East Coast, but reshape communities deep in the heart of the country, according to new research…

How rising seas and coastal storms drowned the U.S. flood insurance program, Yale E360 (04-19-2017)
Sea level rise and more severe storms are overwhelming U.S. coastal communities, causing billions of dollars in damage and essentially bankrupting the federal flood insurance program. Yet rebuilding continues, despite warnings that far more properties will soon be underwater…

East Coast of the USA is slowly sinking into the sea, study shows; Science Daily (09-11-2017)
The East Coast of the United States is threatened by more frequent flooding in the future. According to this study, the states of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are most at risk. Their coastal regions are being immersed by up to three millimeters per year , mong other things, due to human intervention…

Sinking Atlantic Coastline Meets Rapidly Rising Seas; Climate Central (04-15-2016)
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…

Next 10 years critical for achieving climate change goals; Science Daily (04-13-2017)