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

Erosion threatens scenery and real estate along iconic California coastline

This is supposed to be a beautiful beach, but instead it looks like a disaster area because a sea wall built about a decade ago to protect homes has failed. Now property owners are spending millions to fix it. From Mexico to Oregon, the iconic California coastline runs more than 3,400 miles.

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Rising tides force Miami Beach residents to seek higher ground

Scientists with the United Nations Wednesday released their most alarming report yet on climate change. Oceans are warming, sea levels are rising and polar ice is melting — all of that is accelerating because of increasing carbon dioxide levels. But the report warns the harshest consequences may be on low-lying coasts, where almost 700 million people live.

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Indonesia will build its new capital city in Borneo as Jakarta sinks into the Java Sea

Concerns over the sustainability of the congested and rapidly sinking political center of Jakarta prompted the need for a new capital. The relocation was announced Monday by President Joko Widodo.

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Native Americans may lose their homes to rising waters on Louisiana island

Rising waters are swallowing up Native Americans on a small island off the Louisiana coast, making them some of America’s first climate refugees

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Who will pay for the huge costs of holding back rising seas?

U.S. coastal cities face billions of dollars in costs for the extensive infrastructure projects needed to protect against rising seas and worsening storms. From Boston to Miami, government officials are only beginning to grasp the enormous expense of what will be required.

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Sea level rise preparations could cost Redondo Beach, CA, nearly $300 million

Redondo Beach estimates it would cost roughly $291 million to prepare for a 5.5-foot increase in sea levels by 2100, according to a recently released study.

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The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

While other regions grappled with destructive waves and rising seas, the West Coast for decades was spared by a rare confluence of favorable winds and cooler water. But lines in the sand are meant to shift. In the last 100 years, the sea rose less than 9 inches in California. By the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 9 feet.

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What happens when a country drowns? These 5 island nations will disappear first

Global climate change is endangering small island countries, many of them developing nations, potentially harming their ability to function as independent states.

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Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions: A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative: North Topsail Beach, North Carolina Case Study

This study is the first of several case studies to be released by the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines examining the feasibility and economics of targeted acquisition strategies in oceanfront, resort communities. Buyouts of vulnerable properties have become an increasingly popular tool for reducing future exposure in flood-prone communities across the U.S.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Rising tides force Miami Beach residents to seek higher ground

September 26th, 2019

Scientists with the United Nations Wednesday released their most alarming report yet on climate change. Oceans are warming, sea levels are rising and polar ice is melting — all of that is accelerating because of increasing carbon dioxide levels. But the report warns the harshest consequences may be on low-lying coasts, where almost 700 million people live.

Read More

Indonesia will build its new capital city in Borneo as Jakarta sinks into the Java Sea

August 27th, 2019

Concerns over the sustainability of the congested and rapidly sinking political center of Jakarta prompted the need for a new capital. The relocation was announced Monday by President Joko Widodo.

Read More

Native Americans may lose their homes to rising waters on Louisiana island

August 23rd, 2019

Rising waters are swallowing up Native Americans on a small island off the Louisiana coast, making them some of America’s first climate refugees

Read More

Who will pay for the huge costs of holding back rising seas?

August 10th, 2019

U.S. coastal cities face billions of dollars in costs for the extensive infrastructure projects needed to protect against rising seas and worsening storms. From Boston to Miami, government officials are only beginning to grasp the enormous expense of what will be required.

Read More

Sea level rise preparations could cost Redondo Beach, CA, nearly $300 million

July 17th, 2019

Redondo Beach estimates it would cost roughly $291 million to prepare for a 5.5-foot increase in sea levels by 2100, according to a recently released study.

Read More

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

July 8th, 2019

While other regions grappled with destructive waves and rising seas, the West Coast for decades was spared by a rare confluence of favorable winds and cooler water. But lines in the sand are meant to shift. In the last 100 years, the sea rose less than 9 inches in California. By the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 9 feet.

Read More

What happens when a country drowns? These 5 island nations will disappear first

July 5th, 2019

Global climate change is endangering small island countries, many of them developing nations, potentially harming their ability to function as independent states.

Read More

Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions: A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative: North Topsail Beach, North Carolina Case Study

July 3rd, 2019

This study is the first of several case studies to be released by the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines examining the feasibility and economics of targeted acquisition strategies in oceanfront, resort communities. Buyouts of vulnerable properties have become an increasingly popular tool for reducing future exposure in flood-prone communities across the U.S.

Read More

On Java’s Coast, A Natural Approach to Holding Back the Waters

May 7th, 2019

The Indonesian island of Java has lost 70 percent of the mangroves that once protected its coast from erosion and flooding. Now villagers are using natural wooden barriers to try to restore the mangrove forests and save their lands and homes from being washed away.

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Seagrass’ strong potential for curbing erosion

May 3rd, 2019

A new study shows how seagrass can help to protect shorelines against erosion and help to mitigate damage from rising sea level, potentially providing useful guidance for seagrass restoration efforts.

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