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 Will Reshape U.S. Population In All 50 States

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

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

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Warning from IDB expert: Trinidad is shrinking

Trinidad is shrinking and changing as it becomes increasingly vulnerable to storms, flooding and other natural disasters which cause coastal erosion and the retreating of the shoreline. In Columbus Bay, in West Trinidad, the coastline has retreated by 150 metres since 1994, losing 6.5 hectares of land.

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As China’s Mudflats Disappear, Shorebird Populations Rapidly Decline

Populations of some migratory shorebirds are declining by as much as 8 percent per year as mudflats in the Yellow Sea between China and South Korea disappear due to rising sea levels and infrastructure projects, according to new research.

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Miami’s fight against rising seas

In the battle against rising seas, Florida – which has more to lose than almost anywhere else in the world – is becoming ground zero.

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Disappearing Beaches: Modeling Shoreline Change in Southern California

Using a newly-developed computer model, scientists predict that with limited human intervention, 31 to 67 percent of Southern California beaches may become completely eroded (up to existing coastal infrastructure or sea-cliffs) by the year 2100 under scenarios of sea-level rise of one to two meters.

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Surfers will be the canaries in the coal mine on climate change

If the sea level continues to rise, as scientists warn, there will be a serious consequence for the sport: smaller and fewer waves. Consistently higher tides will change the way waves break on reefs and beaches. Without climate change intervention, those effects could become apparent in as a little as 50 years.

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Record-Low Ice Confirmed at North and South Poles

Sea ice at Earth’s poles is dwindling, and it reached record lows this month, scientists report.

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Atlantic City and Miami Beach: two takes on tackling the rising waters

Sea level rise is making floods more common and as the New Jersey resort braces for the next Sandy, the well-heeled Florida city is throwing money at the problem

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Warning from IDB expert: Trinidad is shrinking

April 18th, 2017

Trinidad is shrinking and changing as it becomes increasingly vulnerable to storms, flooding and other natural disasters which cause coastal erosion and the retreating of the shoreline. In Columbus Bay, in West Trinidad, the coastline has retreated by 150 metres since 1994, losing 6.5 hectares of land.

Read More

As China’s Mudflats Disappear, Shorebird Populations Rapidly Decline

April 13th, 2017

Populations of some migratory shorebirds are declining by as much as 8 percent per year as mudflats in the Yellow Sea between China and South Korea disappear due to rising sea levels and infrastructure projects, according to new research.

Read More

Miami’s fight against rising seas

April 8th, 2017

In the battle against rising seas, Florida – which has more to lose than almost anywhere else in the world – is becoming ground zero.

Read More

Disappearing Beaches: Modeling Shoreline Change in Southern California

March 28th, 2017

Using a newly-developed computer model, scientists predict that with limited human intervention, 31 to 67 percent of Southern California beaches may become completely eroded (up to existing coastal infrastructure or sea-cliffs) by the year 2100 under scenarios of sea-level rise of one to two meters.

Read More

Surfers will be the canaries in the coal mine on climate change

March 25th, 2017

If the sea level continues to rise, as scientists warn, there will be a serious consequence for the sport: smaller and fewer waves. Consistently higher tides will change the way waves break on reefs and beaches. Without climate change intervention, those effects could become apparent in as a little as 50 years.

Read More

Record-Low Ice Confirmed at North and South Poles

March 23rd, 2017

Sea ice at Earth’s poles is dwindling, and it reached record lows this month, scientists report.

Read More

Atlantic City and Miami Beach: two takes on tackling the rising waters

March 20th, 2017

Sea level rise is making floods more common and as the New Jersey resort braces for the next Sandy, the well-heeled Florida city is throwing money at the problem

Read More

Calif. City Tries Shifting Sands Amid Disappearing Beaches

March 17th, 2017

Today, with sea level rise and erosion threatening to eat away at the sandy expanses and damage city infrastructure, Santa Monica is testing a softer intervention. In a partnership with the nonprofit Bay Foundation, 3 acres of the beach’s north end have been seeded with native California dune plants.

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Increase in extreme sea levels could endanger European coastal communities

March 17th, 2017

Massive coastal flooding in northern Europe that now occurs once every century could happen every year if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, according to a new study.

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Study finds knowledge gaps on protecting cultural sites from climate change

March 7th, 2017

Many cultural sites vulnerable to climate-related changes such as rising sea levels, coastal erosion and flooding from stronger storms, warn researchers.

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