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

Surfing in / Sea Level Rise

Sea Level Projections With A New Generation Of Climate Change Scenarios.

Rising sea levels in the coming centuries is perhaps one of the most catastrophic consequences of rising temperatures. Massive economic costs, social consequences and forced migrations could result from global warming. But how frightening of times are we facing?

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Bangkok On Alert For Floods

Thailand fights to hold back floodwaters flowing towards Bangkok – which lies only two meters above sea level- as spring high tides hindered efforts to protect the city of 12 million people from the kingdom’s worst inundation in decades.

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Planet Is Far Away On Climate Goals: Study

The world remains far away from meeting UN-backed goals on holding back climate change, setting the stage for major damage without more ambitious efforts to cut emissions, a study said Tuesday.

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Pacific Nation Of Tuvalu Declares State Of Emergency Over Fresh Water Shortage

The Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has declared a state of emergency due to a severe shortage of fresh water.

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Canadian Arctic Nearly Loses Entire Ice Shelf

Two ice shelves that existed before Canada was settled by Europeans diminished significantly this summer, one nearly disappearing altogether, Canadian scientists say in new research. The loss is important as a marker of global warming, returning the Canadian Arctic to conditions that date back thousands of years.

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Asia-Pacific Region Faces Climate Change Induced Migration

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) reported that countries in the Asia-Pacific region will need to develop policies to deal with massive population shifts as a result of climate change impacts such as sea-level rise and variable monsoons. The region is highly exposed to environmental risks, having by far the highest population density of any continent living in low-elevation coastal zones, while it is also home to the largest number of people living in poverty.

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Globe Had Eighth Warmest August On Record

The globe had its eighth warmest August since record keeping began in 1880, according to a NOAA study.

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Study Predicts Sea Level Rise May Take Economic Toll On California Coast

California beach towns could face hefty economic losses caused by sea level rise in the next century, according to a new state-commissioned study conducted by economists at San Francisco State University.

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Sea Levels Much Less Stable Than Earlier Believed

New evidence of sea-level oscillations during a warm period that started about 125,000 years ago raises the possibility of a similar scenario if the planet continues its more recent warming trend, new coral dating method suggests.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

UK’s Prince Charles blasts climate-change skeptics

February 9th, 2011

Many doubters have dismissed scientific evidence supporting warming of the earth due to human activity, arguing that the large majority of scientists are wrong, or the consequences of warming overstated.

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New Light on Polynesian Migration

February 8th, 2011

The migratory story of the Polynesians may be more ancient and complicated than previously thought and may have had to do with sea level rises occurring at the time, and the formation of an archipelago.

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Pacific Northwest warned of climate change dangers

February 3rd, 2011

Washington state and the province of British Columbia launched a joint effort on Wednesday to warn residents of North America’s Pacific Northwest about the danger that climate change poses to coastal communities.

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Surf’s Up: New Research Monitor Ocean Wave Behavior and Shore Impacts

January 30th, 2011

Engineers have created a new type of “stereo vision” to use in studying ocean waves as they pound against the shore, providing a better way to understand and monitor this violent, ever-changing environment.

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Research Pending into Old Bar beach Erosion, Australia

January 28th, 2011

A feasibility study into an offshore reef to address coastal erosion at Old Bar, east of Taree, is due to start in March.

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Climate change Litigation, A New Frontier ?

January 23rd, 2011

Today’s lawsuits may spur thinking about future liability risks among major emitters, creating awareness and thus also may have an impact on the actions of governments and corporations.

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The Human Face of Climate Change, by Michael P. Nash

January 23rd, 2011

The film, an 89-minute documentary on the repercussions of climate change on human migration, delves into the unique challenges presented when people are forced onto foreign shores.

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Coastal Erosion In The Seychelles

January 23rd, 2011

Climate change and sea level rise are shaping the Seychelles Islands in spectacular ways. Rocks along the coast have been worn away, leaving dramatic formations and sand patterns, and more importantly, leaving the coastline unprotected from storm surges and flash flood.

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Rising Waters Threatened The Coast of North Carolina

January 18th, 2011

Climate change is carving its name into the state’s retreating shorelines. Planners are taking official notice as they prepare for a wetter world.

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A Retreat In The Face Of a Rising Sea, California

January 17th, 2011

Higher ocean levels force California officials to move facilities inland – a managed retreat – an action that is expected to recur along the coast as the ocean rises over the next century, and as coastal communities have to come to grips with worsening coastal erosion.

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