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

Our coastal cemeteries are falling into the sea; By Orrin H. Pilkey & William J. Neal

Cemeteries in coastal areas were not located with the expectation that they would flood or fall into the sea. But most of the world’s ocean and estuarine shorelines are eroding — some slowly like California’s rocky coasts, and others rapidly like the Carolinas’ barrier island coasts.

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Del Mar takes another look at rising sea level and unpopular ‘planned retreat’

The California Coastal Commission requires all coastal cities to have a sea-rise adaptation plan, and to include planned retreat as part of their strategy.

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Republican congressman explains sea-level rise: it’s rocks falling into the sea

Member of Congress has suggested that the White Cliffs of Dover tumbling into the English Channel was causing rising sea levels, pushing back at the notion that rising sea levels were the result of global warming.

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New model could help rebuild eroding lands in coastal Louisiana

As coastal lands in Louisiana erode, researchers, environmentalists and engineers are all searching for ways to preserve the marsh coastline.

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Sea-level rise: the defining issue of the century; Editorial

No graver threat faces the future of South Florida than the accelerating pace of sea-level rise. In the past century, the sea has risen 9 inches. In the past 23 years, it’s risen 3 inches. By 2060, it’s predicted to rise another 2 feet, with no sign of slowing down.

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Everglades under threat as Florida’s mangroves face death by rising sea level

Florida’s mangroves have been forced into a hasty retreat by sea level rise and now face being drowned, imperiling coastal communities and the prized Everglades wetlands, researchers have found.

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The military paid for a study on sea level rise. The results were scary.

tahiti-sea-level-rise

More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands risk becoming “uninhabitable” by the middle of the century — or possibly sooner — because of rising sea levels, upending the populations of some island nations and endangering key U.S. military assets, according to new research.

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Why Seas Are Rising Faster on the U.S. East Coast

Scientists are unraveling the reasons why some parts of the world are experiencing sea level increases far beyond the global average. A prime example is the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, which has been experiencing “sunny day flooding” that had not been expected for decades.

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Federal report: High-tide flooding could happen ‘every other day’ by late this century

High-tide flooding, which can wash water over roads and inundate homes and businesses, is an event that happens once in a great while in coastal areas. But its frequency has rapidly increased in recent years because of sea-level rise. Not just during storms but increasingly on sunny days, too.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Everglades under threat as Florida’s mangroves face death by rising sea level

May 4th, 2018

Florida’s mangroves have been forced into a hasty retreat by sea level rise and now face being drowned, imperiling coastal communities and the prized Everglades wetlands, researchers have found.

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The military paid for a study on sea level rise. The results were scary.

tahiti-sea-level-rise

April 28th, 2018

More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands risk becoming “uninhabitable” by the middle of the century — or possibly sooner — because of rising sea levels, upending the populations of some island nations and endangering key U.S. military assets, according to new research.

Read More

Why Seas Are Rising Faster on the U.S. East Coast

April 24th, 2018

Scientists are unraveling the reasons why some parts of the world are experiencing sea level increases far beyond the global average. A prime example is the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, which has been experiencing “sunny day flooding” that had not been expected for decades.

Read More

Federal report: High-tide flooding could happen ‘every other day’ by late this century

March 29th, 2018

High-tide flooding, which can wash water over roads and inundate homes and businesses, is an event that happens once in a great while in coastal areas. But its frequency has rapidly increased in recent years because of sea-level rise. Not just during storms but increasingly on sunny days, too.

Read More

FEMA is buying homes in this Alaskan town because of climate change

March 22nd, 2018

The village of Newtok, Alaska, is trying to escape catastrophic coastal erosion. Its residents have even been called America’s first climate refugees. But because traditional FEMA disaster funding doesn’t cover climate-related threats, they’ve struggled for years to find funding to relocate to a new location 9 miles away, called Mertarvik.

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On the Louisiana Coast, A Native Community Sinks Slowly into the Sea

March 20th, 2018

The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians of southern Louisiana have been called America’s first climate refugees. But two years after receiving federal funding to move to higher ground, the tribe is stuck in limbo, waiting for new homes as the water inches closer to their doors.

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Easter Island is critically vulnerable to rising ocean levels

March 18th, 2018

Nicholas Casey, a New York Times correspondent based in Colombia, and Josh Haner, a Times photographer, traveled 2,200 miles off the coast of Chile to see how the rising ocean is erasing the island’s monuments.

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Half a degree more global warming could flood out 5 million more people

March 16th, 2018

A new study finds that by 2150, the seemingly small difference between a global temperature increase of 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius would mean the permanent inundation of lands currently home to about 5 million people, including 60,000 who live on small island nations.

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Sinking land will exacerbate flooding from sea level rise in Bay Area

March 8th, 2018

Hazard maps use estimated sea level rise due to climate change to determine flooding risk for today’s shoreline, but don’t take into account that some land is sinking. A precise study of subsidence around San Francisco Bay shows that for conservative estimates of sea level rise, twice the area is in danger of flooding by 2100 than previously thought. Some landfill is sinking 10 mm per year, threatening the airport and parts of Silicon Valley.

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Today’s storm surge is tomorrow’s high tide, new report predicts

March 7th, 2018

For the second time in just five days, the Northeast is facing a major coastal storm, or nor’easter, which is pushing ocean water over storm walls and into the streets of many coastal cities. The flooding comes as a major report released this week by NOAA highlights a growing threat facing coastal communities in all parts of the United States.

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