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
Like so many cities along the Atlantic coast, Virginia Beach is at the frontlines of climate change, experiencing impacts like sea-level rise and recurrent coastal flooding.
Researchers struggle to project how fast, how high and how far the oceans will rise.
The New State of Nature: Rising Sea-levels, Climate Justice, and Community-based Adaptation in Papua New Guinea
Rising sea-levels lay waste to more than coastlines. From the viewpoint of the state, they erode its claim to territorial sovereignty and call its concept of legal equity into question. From the viewpoints of low-lying, natural resource-dependent communities, the tides threaten autonomy, well-being, and, not least, property.
Faced with the largest storm ever spawned over the Atlantic, New York and other cities ordered mandatory evacuations of low-lying areas. Not everyone complied. Those who chose to ride out Sandy got a preview of the future, in which a warmer world will lead to inexorably rising seas…
Gas flaring by the oil industry and smoke from residential burning contributes more black carbon pollution to Arctic than previously thought, potentially speeding the melting of Arctic sea ice.
Some oceanfront properties owners have refused to grant easements to allow the federal government to build a massive dune along a 50-mile stretch of the Jersey Shore. Without the protective ridge of sand, engineers predict it is only a matter of time before homes, neighborhoods, even entire communities are wiped out by rising seas.
Experts are sounding a new alarm about the effects of climate change for parts of the Caribbean , the depletion of already strained drinking water throughout much of the region.
Sea-level rise has been isolated as a principal cause of coastal erosion in Hawaii.
Pacific islanders will challenge world leaders this week to act on climate change, warning that their low-lying atolls are close to becoming uninhabitable because of rising seas and increasingly severe floods, droughts and storm surges.