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

Sea level rise isn’t just happening, it’s getting faster

In at least the third such study published in the past year, scientists have confirmed seas are rising, and the rate of sea level rise is increasing as time passes — a sobering punchline for coastal communities that are only now beginning to prepare for a troubling future.

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Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100

In the year 2100, 2 billion people — about one-fifth of the world’s population — could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to new research.

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The fight against climate change: four cities leading the way in the Trump era

New York City, Houston, Miami and San Francisco have all taken steps to mitigate the risks associated with rising sea levels and global temperatures. Are their successes a blueprint for action at the state and local level?

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Marine reserves help mitigate against climate change, say scientists

Highly protected marine reserves can help mitigate against the impacts of climate change, a study by a team of international scientists has concluded.

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In Next Decades, Frequency of Coastal Flooding Will Double Globally

The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise, according to a new study released in “Scientific Reports.”

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How rising seas and coastal storms drowned the U.S. flood insurance program

Sea level rise and more severe storms are overwhelming U.S. coastal communities, causing billions of dollars in damage and essentially bankrupting the federal flood insurance program. Yet rebuilding continues, despite warnings that far more properties will soon be underwater.

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Sea level rise poses serious threat to Charleston; By Orrin H. Pilkey

Rising seas are the first truly global environmental disaster related to climate change. Millions of people will be forced from their homes as the seas drown the atoll nations, devastate much of barrier-island and river-delta civilizations and, of course, invade the world’s coastal cities including Charleston.

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In rare move, one South Florida city sues another in battle over beach erosion

A spat over sand in adjacent cities finally landed in court this week, and it already has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Climate change could spell ‘extreme poverty’ in coastal NZ towns

Along New Zealand’s West Coast, the shoreline has been eroding for many years, the relentless sea moves closer by the day. Now the Tasman sea has snuck into some of the beach-front properties. With rising sea levels and more intense storms likely because of a warming climate, parts of Granity will become uninhabitable.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100

June 26th, 2017

In the year 2100, 2 billion people — about one-fifth of the world’s population — could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to new research.

Read More

The fight against climate change: four cities leading the way in the Trump era

June 13th, 2017

New York City, Houston, Miami and San Francisco have all taken steps to mitigate the risks associated with rising sea levels and global temperatures. Are their successes a blueprint for action at the state and local level?

Read More

Marine reserves help mitigate against climate change, say scientists

June 6th, 2017

Highly protected marine reserves can help mitigate against the impacts of climate change, a study by a team of international scientists has concluded.

Read More

In Next Decades, Frequency of Coastal Flooding Will Double Globally

May 29th, 2017

The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise, according to a new study released in “Scientific Reports.”

Read More

How rising seas and coastal storms drowned the U.S. flood insurance program

May 23rd, 2017

Sea level rise and more severe storms are overwhelming U.S. coastal communities, causing billions of dollars in damage and essentially bankrupting the federal flood insurance program. Yet rebuilding continues, despite warnings that far more properties will soon be underwater.

Read More

Sea level rise poses serious threat to Charleston; By Orrin H. Pilkey

May 1st, 2017

Rising seas are the first truly global environmental disaster related to climate change. Millions of people will be forced from their homes as the seas drown the atoll nations, devastate much of barrier-island and river-delta civilizations and, of course, invade the world’s coastal cities including Charleston.

Read More

In rare move, one South Florida city sues another in battle over beach erosion

April 28th, 2017

A spat over sand in adjacent cities finally landed in court this week, and it already has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Read More

Climate change could spell ‘extreme poverty’ in coastal NZ towns

April 27th, 2017

Along New Zealand’s West Coast, the shoreline has been eroding for many years, the relentless sea moves closer by the day. Now the Tasman sea has snuck into some of the beach-front properties. With rising sea levels and more intense storms likely because of a warming climate, parts of Granity will become uninhabitable.

Read More

Sea Level Rise Will Reshape U.S. Population In All 50 States

April 19th, 2017

Sea level rise could cause mass migrations that will affect not just the United States’ East Coast, but reshape communities deep in the heart of the country, according to new research published in the journal Nature Climate Change this week.

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When rising seas transform risk into certainty

April 19th, 2017

Along parts of the East Coast, the entire system of insuring coastal property is beginning to break down.

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