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
High tides have surged over sea walls defending the capital of the Marshall Islands, adding to the crisis situation in this tiny Pacific nation, where a state of emergency was declared only last month because of a devastating drought in the scattered northern atolls.
The probability of hurricane-induced coastal change on sandy beaches from Florida to New York has been assessed for the first time in two U.S. Geological Survey studies.
Smith Island, Maryland island is slowly disappearing…Scientists at the University of Maryland say the water level is rising in part because of climate change and that the island could disappear in 20 to 50 years.
Due to climate change-related sea level rise, LaGuardia and other coastal hubs throughout the U.S. face a growing risk of flooding during even modest storms.
By century’s end, rising sea levels will turn the nation’s urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. It may be another century before the city is completely underwater, but life in the vibrant metropolis of 5.5 million people will begin to dissolve much quicker, most likely within a few decades…
In Bangladesh, the ancient practice of floating gardens, beds of straw and water hyacinths on which crops are grown, is making a comeback in the face of increased floods.
Reuters photographer David Gray spent time documenting life in the central Pacific island nation of Kiribati, a chain of 33 atolls and islands that stand just metres above sea level, spread over a huge expanse of otherwise empty ocean.
Khadija Komboani’s nearest well is filled with salt water thanks to the rising sea around Tanzania’s Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar.
Officials say new projections show 800,000 New York City residents could be living in flood zone that would cover a quarter of the city’s land by the 2050s as rising seas and other effects of global warming take hold.