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

Hurricane Sandy-Level Floods Likely to Hit NYC More Often

Disastrous floods like those seen during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 may hit New York City 17 times more often in the next century, a new study finds.

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Hurricane Matthew’s Destructive Storm Surges Hint at New Normal

The coastal U.S. is highly vulnerable to rising seas, which are expected to surge in the coming years. Will this storm be a wake-up call?

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

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.

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

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.

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Resettling the First American Climate Refugees – Louisiana

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.

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Whose job is it to save North Topsail Beach ?

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?

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Indonesia to resume work on giant seawall

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.

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‘Ghost Forests’ Appear As Rising Seas Kill Trees

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.

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Lives in the balance: climate change and the Marshall Islands

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.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

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.

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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.

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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.

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Volcanic eruption masked acceleration in sea level rise

August 29th, 2016

The cataclysmic 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines masked the full impact of greenhouse gases on accelerating sea level rise, according to a new study.

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Pacific sea level predicts global temperature changes

August 19th, 2016

The amount of sea level rise in the Pacific Ocean can be used to estimate future global surface temperatures, according to a new report led by University of Arizona geoscientists.

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