Sea Level Rise

Accelerated erosion

View Sea Level Rise Gallery

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

Orrin H. Pilkey: Heading over the coastal cliff in North Carolina; Op Ed

In the December 16 issue of Science, an insightful article about sea-level rise argues that there is a good possibility that the increase will exceed six feet by 2100.

Comments Off on Orrin H. Pilkey: Heading over the coastal cliff in North Carolina; Op Ed

As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream

A plan to respond to climate change by building a city of floating islands in the South Pacific is moving forward, with the government of French Polynesia agreeing to consider hosting the islands in a tropical lagoon. But the project has critics in French Polynesia and beyond.

Comments Off on As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream

Changes in Rainfall, Temperature Expected to Transform Coastal Wetlands This Century

Sea-level rise isn’t the only aspect of climate change expected to affect coastal wetlands: changes in rainfall and temperature are predicted to transform wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world within the century. These changes will take place regardless of sea-level rise.

Comments Off on Changes in Rainfall, Temperature Expected to Transform Coastal Wetlands This Century

Sea level rise will disproportionately hit U.S. this century, NOAA warns

Global sea level rise is unfolding at a stunning pace, and a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) says the U.S. will find itself directly in the crosshairs. Over the coming decades, some parts of the nation’s coastline will be hit harder than others.

Comments Off on Sea level rise will disproportionately hit U.S. this century, NOAA warns

New regional sea level scenarios help communities prepare for risks

Sea level rise is occurring worldwide, but not at the same rate everywhere. Differences will also likely continue in the future, so decision-makers need local information to assess their community’s vulnerability.

Comments Off on New regional sea level scenarios help communities prepare for risks

Rising water is swallowing up the Louisiana coastline: the $50 billion battle plan

The geography of the Louisiana coastline is quickly changing. A state-commissioned report predicts rising water could swallow more land along the Gulf of Mexico, if nothing is done to address damage caused by climate change and commercial activity. A new master plan of 2017 calls for an investment of more than $50 billion over 50 years.

Comments Off on Rising water is swallowing up the Louisiana coastline: the $50 billion battle plan

New Sea-Level Rise Projection Raises Threat to World’s Coasts

About one-quarter of the world’s population lives in coastal areas that will be unlivable by the year 2100 because of rising sea levels, researchers say.

Comments Off on New Sea-Level Rise Projection Raises Threat to World’s Coasts

Close Look at a Crack on Larsen C

The rift in Larsen C measures about 100 meters (300 feet) wide and cuts about half a kilometer (one-third of a mile) deep—completely through to the bottom of the ice shelf. While the rift is long and growing longer, it does not yet reach across the entire shelf. When that happens, Larsen C will shed an iceberg about the size of Delaware.

Comments Off on Close Look at a Crack on Larsen C

Growing Pains: Arctic Sea Ice at Record Lows

Every northern fall and winter, cooling ocean and air temperatures cause the floating cap of Arctic sea ice to grow from its annual minimum extent toward a maximum between February and April. So far in 2016, though, the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas have been slow to freeze, setting both daily and monthly record lows.

Comments Off on Growing Pains: Arctic Sea Ice at Record Lows


Recent / Sea Level Rise

As the climate warms, we are ‘primed’ for worse storms than Sandy

October 8th, 2016

With the climate warming and the sea level rising, conditions are ripe for storms deadlier and more devastating than Sandy that put more people at risk. If damaging storms become more frequent, retreat from areas with mounting repetitive losses will become a topic of discussion.

Read More

Belgium is to build its first artificial island off the coast, as climate change mitigation

October 4th, 2016

Amid rising seas, Belgium plans on building an artificial island off its coast, in a step towards climate change mitigation. 8 millions euros have been provided in funding of the project study.

Read More

Resettling the First American Climate Refugees – Louisiana

October 4th, 2016

The Isle de Jean Charles resettlement plan is one of the first programs of its kind in the world, a test of how to respond to climate change in the most dramatic circumstances without tearing communities apart.

Read More

Whose job is it to save North Topsail Beach ?

September 29th, 2016

The Atlantic Ocean is eroding parts of North Topsail Beach by about five feet per year. The town of 800 residents is running out of cash and solutions in its efforts to protect its north shore. Whose job is to save this popular North Carolina tourist destination?

Read More

Indonesia to resume work on giant seawall

September 19th, 2016

Greater Jakarta, one of the world’s most densely populated cities, sits on a swampy plain and is sinking at a faster rate than any other city in the world.

Read More

‘Ghost Forests’ Appear As Rising Seas Kill Trees

September 16th, 2016

Bare trunks of dead coastal forests are being discovered up and down the mid-Atlantic coastline, killed by the advance of rising seas. The “ghost forests,” as scientists call them, offer eerie evidence of some of the world’s fastest rates of sea level rise.

Read More

Lives in the balance: climate change and the Marshall Islands

September 15th, 2016

The numerous atolls that make up the island nation are now regularly swamped due to sea level rise. But as more people flee for the US, many fear their culture will be lost to a country that has already taken so much from them.

Read More

Here’s why private property can become the public’s beach, NC

September 15th, 2016

Unknown to many residents and tourists is the potentially pesky fact that property lines for most oceanfront lots extend well onto the dry sand beach.

Read More

Flooding of coast caused by global warming, has already begun

September 6th, 2016

Scientists’ warnings that the rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline are no longer theoretical.

Read More

Thousands of Homes Keep Flooding, Yet They Keep Being Rebuilt Again

August 30th, 2016

Can you imagine living in a property that has flooded 10 times? How about 20 times? These properties—and more than 30,000 others that have flooded multiple times—illustrate the current problems of the National Flood Insurance Program and also provide some insights into how challenging it will be to cope with sea level rise, flooding due to extreme weather, as well as other impacts of climate change.

Read More