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


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Bangladesh: Finding Sustainable Ways to Cope with Sea Level Rise

As rising sea levels threaten to engulf more land across Bangladesh, NGOs are training thousands of farmers in traditional soil-less farming on water.

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Archaeological Sites and Rising Seas: The Channel Islands’ Region

Coastlines have been magnets of human settlement and contain a rich array of ancient archaeological sites, many of which have never been excavated. The sea has long lashed at the Channel Islands, California, stripping away beaches, slicing off cliff faces and nibbling at hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cultural relics.

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Is climate science disinformation a crime against humanity?

While it may be reasonable to be somewhat sceptical about climate change models, disinformation about the state of climate change science is extraordinarily, if not criminally, irresponsible, because the consensus scientific view is based upon strong evidence that climate change is already being experienced in the world, and may have potentially harsh effects upon tens of millions of people in the future.

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Troubled Islands: Hurricanes, Oil Spill and Sea Level Rise

The Chandeleur Islands, are remote, tenuous strips of sand that have served as surf breaks for the steadily sinking Biloxi Marsh. Some islands could disappear entirely in coming decades, exposing huge swaths of marshland to the waves of the open sea.

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Arctic Report Card 2010

In 2006, NOAA’s Climate Program Office introduced the annual Arctic Report Card, which established a baseline of conditions at the beginning of the 21st century to monitor the quickly changing conditions in the Arctic, also called the “planet’s refrigerator.”

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Measuring sea-level rise in the Falklands, 19th-Century Benchmarks Reveal

Sea levels around the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic have risen since the mid nineteenth century and the rate of sea-level rise has accelerated over recent decades.

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Underwater Robot to Explore Antarctic Ice Shelf

Ice shelves are floating platforms of ice that cover almost half of Antarctica’s coastline. Until recently, scientists have had limited ability to access ice-covered waters, and the research team’s use of a high-tech robot aims to change that.

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Solar Power in the Maldives

With hardly any land more than 8 feet above sea level, thus particularly vulnerable should seas rise several feet by the end of the century, the Maldives stands at the front line of climate change, and has announced plans to green its energy sector and pledged under the Copenhagen Accord to become carbon neutral by 2020.

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Sea level rise in Norway in the 21st century

The tables show estimated values for sea level rise, land rise and flooding for the years 2050 and 2100.

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