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
For the past two centuries, two trends have been steady and clear around the United States. Sea level has been rising, and more people have been moving closer to the coast.
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Burning all of Earth’s fossil fuels would trigger enough global warming to completely melt the Antarctic ice sheet. It would cause sea levels to rise by 200 feet (60 meters), drowning land around the world that is currently home to more than a billion people, the researchers said in the study.
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According to a new NOAA report, many mid-Atlantic and West Coast communities could see the highest number of nuisance flooding days on record through April due to higher sea levels and more frequent storm surge, compounded by the strengthening El Niño, which is likely to continue into the spring.
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The shell of ice that covers the Arctic Ocean is nearing its yearly low point and projections suggest that it will be among the four lowest summer minimums on record.
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Besides contributing to sea level rise, melt water runoff also accelerates ice loss: when the water percolates through the ice sheet and reaches the rock below, it slightly lifts the ice, helping it flow faster toward the ocean.
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Coastal managers and planners now have access to a new U.S.G.S.handbook that, for the first time, comprehensively describes the various models used to study and predict sea-level rise and its potential impacts on coasts.
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When you fill a sink, the water rises at the same rate to the same height in every corner. That’s not the way it works with our rising seas.
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The consequences of global sea level rise could be even scarier than the worst-case scenarios predicted by the dominant climate models, which don’t fully account for the fast breakup of ice sheets and glaciers, NASA scientists said today (Aug. 26) at a press briefing.
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Rising sea levels increase the probability of storm-induced surges. As with Katrina and Sandy, they are often the most destructive aspects of hurricanes…
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