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
Unfazed by a heavy barrage of worldwide criticism and outright ridicule by sources ranging from Scientific American to the “Colbert Report,” the N.C. Senate’s Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee approved a new version of a bill that restricts the use of scientific modeling in state and local public policy and regulations to predict future sea-level rise.
Scientists predict an economy-destroying, 39-inch sea level rise, but North Carolina drafts a law to make it eight inches. A comedic depiction of the NC legislators proposal. A short video from The Colbert Report, Comedy Central.
Since the end of the last ice age 21,000 years ago, our planet has seen ocean levels rise by 120m to reach their current levels. These studies have shed new light on the complex relationship between climate, ocean circulation and sea levels.
Pounded by erosion, some communities hugging California’s shoreline are eyeing a retreat from the sea. There’s a growing acknowledgement that the sea is relentless and erosion will worsen with rising seas fueled by global warming. Up and down the California coast, some communities are deciding it’s not worth trying to wall off the encroaching ocean. Until recently, the thought of bowing to nature was almost unheard of.
Since as far back as the Scopes Trial, and probably even Galileo, the debate over science has been at the crux of numerous political and cultural conflicts between progressives and conservatives. Legislative proposal would actually tell scientists which data they can and can’t consider on rising sea levels…
State lawmakers are considering a measure that would limit how North Carolina prepares for sea-level rise, which many scientists consider one of the surest results of climate change.
Owners of condominiums threatened by erosion in North Topsail Beach are going bigger to protect their property from the encroaching Atlantic Ocean.
Massive extraction of groundwater can resolve a puzzle over a rise in sea levels in past decades, scientists said.
Bangladesh sits at the end of the cone of the Bay of Bengal. The country is infamous for natural disasters. Most of the land is flat and just above sea level, every storm sweeps across the country without any obstacles, and tidal surges pound the coast. About 150 million people live here, and the population density is one of the highest in the world after places like Singapore and Hong Kong…