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

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

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

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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Indonesia plans to relocate its capital from Jakarta

Indonesia plans to move its capital city from Jakarta, according to the country’s planning minister. Jakarta is home to more than 10 million people according to the United Nations, with an estimated 30 million in the greater metropolitan area. The nation is prone to flooding and is sinking at an alarming rate.

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Antarctica’s Effect on Sea Level Rise in Coming Centuries

There are two primary causes of global mean sea level rise — added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers, and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The melting of Antarctica’s ice sheet is currently responsible for 20-25% of global sea level rise.

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Even Antarctica’s Coldest Region Is Starting to Melt

East Antarctica is the coldest spot on earth, long thought to be untouched by warming. But now the glaciers and ice shelves in this frigid region are showing signs of melting, a development that portends dramatic rises in sea levels this century and beyond.

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High-tide flooding disrupts local economic activity

Evaluation of observed sea level rise impacts to date has emphasized sea level extremes, such as those from tropical cyclones. Far less is known about the consequences of more frequent high-tide flooding. Empirical analysis of the disruption caused by high-tide floods, also called nuisance or sunny-day floods, is challenging due to the short duration of these floods and their impacts.

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Vecino de Bocagrande ‘surfea’ en plena calle inundada por lluvia

“Our national government will invest 51 million us dollars to solve this with…. hard structures!”…

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Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can’t humans see the writing on the wall?

People tend to respond to immediate threats and financial consequences – and Florida’s coastal real estate may be on the cusp of delivering that harsh wake-up call.

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US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

Annapolis seeing sea rise at about twice the global rate. Flooding there foreshadows problems other coastal towns can expect.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Indonesia plans to relocate its capital from Jakarta

April 29th, 2019

Indonesia plans to move its capital city from Jakarta, according to the country’s planning minister. Jakarta is home to more than 10 million people according to the United Nations, with an estimated 30 million in the greater metropolitan area. The nation is prone to flooding and is sinking at an alarming rate.

Read More

Antarctica’s Effect on Sea Level Rise in Coming Centuries

April 26th, 2019

There are two primary causes of global mean sea level rise — added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers, and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The melting of Antarctica’s ice sheet is currently responsible for 20-25% of global sea level rise.

Read More

Even Antarctica’s Coldest Region Is Starting to Melt

March 30th, 2019

East Antarctica is the coldest spot on earth, long thought to be untouched by warming. But now the glaciers and ice shelves in this frigid region are showing signs of melting, a development that portends dramatic rises in sea levels this century and beyond.

Read More

High-tide flooding disrupts local economic activity

February 24th, 2019

Evaluation of observed sea level rise impacts to date has emphasized sea level extremes, such as those from tropical cyclones. Far less is known about the consequences of more frequent high-tide flooding. Empirical analysis of the disruption caused by high-tide floods, also called nuisance or sunny-day floods, is challenging due to the short duration of these floods and their impacts.

Read More

Vecino de Bocagrande ‘surfea’ en plena calle inundada por lluvia

February 18th, 2019

“Our national government will invest 51 million us dollars to solve this with…. hard structures!”…

Read More

Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can’t humans see the writing on the wall?

February 17th, 2019

People tend to respond to immediate threats and financial consequences – and Florida’s coastal real estate may be on the cusp of delivering that harsh wake-up call.

Read More

US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

February 16th, 2019

Annapolis seeing sea rise at about twice the global rate. Flooding there foreshadows problems other coastal towns can expect.

Read More

Sea rise along South Carolina coast accelerating faster than realized, researcher says

February 4th, 2019

Within 50 years, the sea off Charleston will be rising about one inch every five years — twice as fast as it was rising about a century ago and one-third faster than it was in 2000.

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Huge Cavity in Antarctic Glacier Signals Rapid Decay

February 2nd, 2019

A gigantic cavity – two-thirds the area of Manhattan and almost 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall – growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is one of several disturbing discoveries reported in a new NASA-led study of the disintegrating glacier.

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California’s coastal habitats face existential threat from rising seas

January 2nd, 2019

Climate change is transforming the state’s coast but with habitats hemmed in by cliffs, condos and farms, pre-emptive action is needed to preserve biodiversity.

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