Sea Level Rise

Accelerated erosion

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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

Exiled by Nuclear Tests, Now Threatened by Sea Levels, Bikini Islanders Seek Refuge in U.S.

Lawmakers in Washington DC will this week debate the fate of islanders who were relocated from Bikini Atoll to the Marshall Islands because of US nuclear tests after World War 2.

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Before We Drown We May Die of Thirst

The island nation of Kiribati is one of the world’s most vulnerable to rising sea levels. But residents may have to leave well before the ocean claims their homes.

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Perth’s Double Whammy: as Sea Levels Rise the City Itself is Sinking

Growing demand for water in Perth has caused the city to sink at up to 6mm a year and could be responsible for an apparent acceleration in the rate of sea level rise, according to new research.

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Asia’s Coasts to Experience Most Extreme Weather

Over the next 50 years, people living at low altitudes in developing countries, particularly those in coastal Asia, will suffer the most from extreme weather patterns, according to researchers.

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On the Coast, a Warm and Wet Future Unfolds

Sea level rise is a big deal for North Carolina’s low-lying northeastern corner, one of the most vulnerable coastlines in the nation. About 2,000 square miles of the coastal plain rise one meter or less above sea level.

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Two Degree Celsius Warming Locks in Sea Level Rise for Thousands of Years

A jump in global average temperatures of 1.5°C to 2°C will see the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves and lead to hundreds and even thousands of years of sea level rise, according to new research.The research highlights the moral significance of decisions made now about mitigating climate change.

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Water May Erase These Pacific Islands but Not the Culture

Mother Ocean isn’t the heart of providence the people have always known. She is beginning to show a different face, a menacing one of encroaching tides and battering waves. I-Kiribati now live with the reality of marawa rising…

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Map Shows Where Sea Level Rise Will Drown American Cities

No matter what we do to curb global warming, these and other beloved US cities will sink below rising seas, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But making extreme carbon cuts and moving to renewable energy could save millions of people living in iconic coastal areas of the United States.

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‘Repetitive Loss’ Properties Raise Debate Over Rebuilding After Floods

Throughout Connecticut, thousands of homes have suffered: repetitive loss, as FEMA calls it, from flooding. Many residents have rebuilt multiple times. And many, also have used government funds from an alphabet soup of federal programs and agencies to do some, if not all, of the work. But shoreline and climate experts, public officials and others have grown increasingly critical of such programs.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

The Waters are Rising on NASA’s Shores

September 30th, 2015

Sea level also matters in a horizontal direction. A rule of thumb is that 1 inch of vertical change in sea level translates into 100 inches of horizontal loss on a flat beach or marsh. In this way, a little bit of sea level rise can translate into a lot of water moving inland when there are storms or abnormally high tides.

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Extreme Pacific Sea Level Events to Double in Future

September 27th, 2015

Many tropical Pacific island nations are struggling to adapt to gradual sea level rise stemming from warming oceans and melting ice caps. Now they may also see much more frequent extreme sea level swings.The culprit is a projected behavioral change of the El Niño phenomenon and its characteristic Pacific wind response.

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Does Beach Erosion Affect Oceanfront Property Prices?

September 24th, 2015

Do people tend to ignore looming problems until the wolf – or in this case, the ocean – is just outside the door? That may be the case, at least when it comes to certain pricey beach-front property.

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El Niño and La Niña will Exacerbate Coastal Hazards Across Entire Pacific

September 24th, 2015

The projected upsurge of severe El Niño and La Niña events will cause an increase in storm events leading to extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean, according to a multi-agency study.

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Professor Lectures on Rate of Rising Sea Levels

September 23rd, 2015

The modern rate at which sea levels are rising is comparatively higher than previously believed, geophysics professor said at the Harvard Geological Lecture Hall.

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Kiribati Family ‘Terrified’ of Going Home

September 23rd, 2015

The lawyer for the Kiribati man who has lost his bid to be declared a climate change refugee says he and his family are terrified of returning home…

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One-Two Punch of Rising Seas, Bigger Storms May Greatly Magnify U.S. East Coast Floods

September 22nd, 2015

Many studies predict that future sea-level rise along the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts will increase flooding. Others suggest that the human-caused warming driving this rise will also boost the intensity and frequency of big coastal storms. Now, a new study quantifies how they could interact to produce alarming spikes in the combined height and duration of flooding.

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Experts: Talk Now About Drastic Changes, Or Deal With Coastal Crisis Later

September 22nd, 2015

Startling recommendations proposed by the winning teams of coastal engineering and sustainability experts from around the world who took part in Changing Course, a design competition sponsored by Louisiana that kicked off in 2013, are presented.

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Atlantic Ocean Excited To Move Into Beautiful Beachfront Mansion Soon

September 15th, 2015

Admitting it has had its eye on the property for quite some time, the Atlantic Ocean confirmed Monday that it was looking forward to moving into a beautiful beachfront mansion in the near future.

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NASA’s Front Porch View of Rising Seas

September 12th, 2015

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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