Sea Level Rise
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 is clearly increasing vulnerabilities in the Indus Delta area. Sea-level rise is contributing to higher storm surges, erosion, flooding and salinity, according to WWF-Pakistan.
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Increased salinity now affects farmlands in 52 of the roughly 102 inhabited islands on the Indian side of the massive tidal mangrove forest covering some 10,000 km in the vast Bay of Bengal delta.
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Sandbags can’t hold back the sea. Neither will a state policy allowing “terminal groins,” barriers of rock and steel that run perpendicular to the shore in a futile effort to make a shifting coastline stable.
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A new NOAA-led report shows that Arctic air temperatures continue to rise at more than twice the rate of global air temperatures, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification.
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By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year due to dramatically accelerating impacts from sea level rise, according to a new NOAA study.
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Environmental and Indigenous groups are urging the government to create new partnerships with indigenous Australians in climate adaptation and mitigation policies and also to tap into indigenous knowledge of natural resource management. A number of indigenous communities live in low-lying areas near wetlands, estuaries and river systems, and have lived in harmony with the land for generations.
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Existing computer models may be severely underestimating the risk to Greenland’s ice sheet — which would add 20 feet to sea levels if it all melted — from warming temperatures, according to two studies released Monday.
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Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has intervened to force the removal of all references to climate change-derived sea level rises from the regional plan of Moreton Bay Regional Council, a decision experts say could have wide ramifications.
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Coastal North Carolina communities have gotten a raw deal from their state legislature for the past two years — and it won’t get any better for at least two more.
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