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
In 2008 scientists from WHOI and the University of Washington documented for the first time how the icy bottoms of lakes atop the Greenland Ice Sheet can crack open suddenly—draining the lakes completely within hours and sending torrents of water to the base of the ice sheet thousands of feet below. Now they have found a surprising mechanism that triggers the cracks.
Comments Off on Sudden Draining of Glacial Lakes Explained
A new study has found that the cyclical climate phenomenon can ratchet up sea levels off the West Coast by almost 8 inches over just a few seasons.
Comments Off on El Niño Can Raise Sea Levels Along U.S. Coast
As local politicians underestimate rising sea levels, coastal communities are coming up with their own plans.
Comments Off on Nature Confronts Politics in North Carolina
Scientists have observed a sudden increase of ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica. This makes the region the second largest contributor to sea level rise in Antarctica and the ice loss shows no sign of waning.
Comments Off on Sudden and Rapid Ice Loss Discovered in Antarctica
Many observations have shown that sea level rose steadily over the 20th century – and at a faster rate than over the previous centuries. It is also clear from both satellite and coastal observations that seas have risen faster over the past two decades than they did for the bulk of the 20th century.
Comments Off on Sea Level is Rising Fast – And It Seems to be Speeding Up
A new NASA study finds the last remaining section of Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf, which partially collapsed in 2002, is quickly weakening and likely to disintegrate completely before the end of the decade.
Comments Off on NASA Study Shows Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf Nearing Its Final Act
An Op-Ed by Robert Young, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines and a professor of coastal geology at Western Carolina University.
Comments Off on That ‘More Realistic’ Sea-Level Report? Not Good News for NC
How and why are the seas rising?
Comments Off on Climate: 9 Questions on Rising Seas
In recent decades, Antarctica and Greenland have played minor roles in the world’s rising oceans. But this is changing. Rising sea levels don’t just put places underwater, but every centimetre increases the impacts that storm surges have on people, homes and coastal infrastructure.
Comments Off on Melting Antarctic: Failure to Act Now on Emissions Could Raise Oceans by Metres