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

Climate change: Ocean warming underestimated

To date, research on the effects of climate change has underestimated the contribution of seawater expansion to sea level rise due to warming of the oceans. A team of researchers has now investigated, using satellite data, that this effect was almost twice as large over the past twelve years than previously assumed. That may result in, for example, significantly increased risks of storm surges.

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Normal weather drives salt marsh erosion

Waves from moderate storms, rather than violent events such as hurricanes, inflict the most loss on coastal wetlands. Globally, salt marshes are being lost to waves, changes in land use, higher sea levels, loss of sediment from upstream dams and other factors.

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Coastal Louisiana added to NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer

Scientists, regional managers, coastal planners, businesses and residents of Louisiana can now use NOAA’s popular Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer to assess their risks for coastal flooding under a variety of different scenarios.

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Coastal marshes more resilient to sea-level rise than previously believed

Rising seas threaten coastal marshes worldwide. But a new Duke University study finds marshes are more resilient than previously believed.

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As Sea Levels Rise, Are Coastal Nuclear Plants Ready?

Safety concerns have stoked opposition to nuclear. Reactors can’t operate safely without uninterrupted power and vast amounts of cool water, which is why they’re often located near coastlines, rivers, and lakes.

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727 People on Chesapeake Bay Island Could Become America’s First ‘Climate Refugees’

Rising seas will likely render the last inhabited island in Virginia uninhabitable in 50 years, a new study finds.

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Could a Titanic Seawall Save This Quickly Sinking City?

Jakarta, Indonesia’s fast-growing capital of 10 million people, is embarking on one of history’s biggest seawall projects—to be shaped like a Garuda, a mythical bird-like creature.

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Saving Shore Communities a Risky, Expensive Proposition

The sea is rising. The land is sinking. Entire mid-Atlantic communities are anchored in between, bookended by certain disaster unless a way is found to turn back the tide and save the shore. No one knows how to fix the fix we’re in, as climate change and sea-level rise continue to assault our shores.

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Bangladesh’s Kutubdia island losing battle to stem climate tide

Sundarbans

Although around 100,000 people still reside on Kutubdia, few have any illusions they are living on borrowed time, with Coast – a Bangladeshi NGO – warning the whole island could disappear underwater within 50 years. Tens of thousands have already left for good, mainly heading to the teeming capital Dhaka.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Megacities Hit Hard by Surging Sea Levels Even at 2C Rise: Study

November 9th, 2015

Large swathes of Shanghai, Mumbai, New York and other cities will slip under the waves even if an upcoming climate summit limits global warming to two degrees Celsius, scientists reported Sunday.

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Climate Change Could Create 100 million Poor, Over Half a Billion Homeless

November 9th, 2015

Rising sea levels from unchecked carbon emissions could drive more than 100 million people into extreme poverty and submerge the homes of over half a billion, two new reports say.

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A Tale of Two Northern European Cities: Meeting the Challenges of Sea Level Rise

November 7th, 2015

For centuries, Rotterdam and Hamburg have had to contend with the threat of storm surges and floods.

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Antarctic Coast Meltdown Could Trigger Ice-Sheet Collapse

November 4th, 2015

Computer simulations suggest that unstable ice at continent’s edges eventually leads to metres of sea-level rise.

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Exiled by Nuclear Tests, Now Threatened by Sea Levels, Bikini Islanders Seek Refuge in U.S.

November 1st, 2015

Lawmakers in Washington DC will this week debate the fate of islanders who were relocated from Bikini Atoll to the Marshall Islands because of US nuclear tests after World War 2.

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Before We Drown We May Die of Thirst

October 29th, 2015

The island nation of Kiribati is one of the world’s most vulnerable to rising sea levels. But residents may have to leave well before the ocean claims their homes.

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Perth’s Double Whammy: as Sea Levels Rise the City Itself is Sinking

October 27th, 2015

Growing demand for water in Perth has caused the city to sink at up to 6mm a year and could be responsible for an apparent acceleration in the rate of sea level rise, according to new research.

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Asia’s Coasts to Experience Most Extreme Weather

October 26th, 2015

Over the next 50 years, people living at low altitudes in developing countries, particularly those in coastal Asia, will suffer the most from extreme weather patterns, according to researchers.

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On the Coast, a Warm and Wet Future Unfolds

October 19th, 2015

Sea level rise is a big deal for North Carolina’s low-lying northeastern corner, one of the most vulnerable coastlines in the nation. About 2,000 square miles of the coastal plain rise one meter or less above sea level.

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Two Degree Celsius Warming Locks in Sea Level Rise for Thousands of Years

October 19th, 2015

A jump in global average temperatures of 1.5°C to 2°C will see the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves and lead to hundreds and even thousands of years of sea level rise, according to new research.The research highlights the moral significance of decisions made now about mitigating climate change.

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