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

Seaports Need a Plan for Weathering Climate Change, Researchers Say

A warming planet means rising oceans, but the majority of seaports around the world are unprepared for the potentially damaging impacts of climate change in the coming century, according to a new Stanford University study.

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Renewables key for climate, world energy supply: IPCC

Renewable energy could meet nearly 80 percent of the world’s energy needs by mid-century and play a crucial role in fighting global warming, the UN’s climate scientists said Monday in a major report.

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Vatican Science Panel Calls Attention to the Threat of Glacial Melt

A panel of some of the world’s leading climate and glacier scientists co-chaired by a Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego researcher issued a report commissioned by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences citing the moral imperative before society to properly address climate change.

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After a Three-decade Hiatus, Sea-level Rise May Return to the West Coast

The West Coast of North America has caught a break that has left sea level in the eastern North Pacific Ocean steady during the last few decades, but there is evidence that a change in wind patterns may be occurring that could cause coastal sea-level rise to accelerate beginning this decade.

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The Coming Storm

The people of Bangladesh have much to teach us about how a crowded planet can best adapt to rising sea levels. For them, that future is now.

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Report: Hurricanes Pose Risk to 1.8M US Coastal Homes

More than 1.8 million homes along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are at great risk of being damaged by a hurricane, three times the number located in federally defined flood zones, according to a report released Tuesday.

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Seas could rise up to 1.6 meters by 2100: New Report

Quickening climate change in the Arctic including a thaw of Greenland’s ice could raise world sea levels by up to 1.6 meters by 2100, an international report showed on Tuesday. The study is yet another reminder of how pressing it has become to tackle climate change.

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Sea Level Rise Could Turn New York Into Venice

Higher sea levels will give severe storms much more water to funnel toward the city. A lot of New York City is less than 16 feet above mean sea level,” he said. “Lower Manhattan, some points are five feet above sea level. These areas are vulnerable and New York City knows it.

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Nauru use UN spotlight to confront developed world over climate change

The smallest nation in the UN is about to take the AOSIS chair at a time when low-lying coastal countries are gravely threatened. Nauru is among the islands most threatened by rising sea levels and its economy has been almost wholly dependent on phosphate, which has led to environmental catastrophe on the island, with 80% of the nation’s surface having been strip-mined.

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Recent / Sea Level Rise

Melting sea ice forces walruses ashore in Alaska

walruses

September 14th, 2010

Massive super-herds of walrus are being forced onto dry land because of a lack of sea ice, the World Wildlife Fund reports. Discovery News UGC video shows an estimated 10,000 animals gathered in Point Lay, Alaska. This massive move to shore by walruses is unusual in the United States.

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New York City and Risk of Higher Seas

September 12th, 2010

Sea level may rise faster near New York than at most other densely populated ports, thus it has become an urban experiment in the ways that seaboard cities can adapt to climate change over the next century.

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Coral Reef and Planet’s Changing Sea Levels

September 10th, 2010

By studying ancient coral, scientists are hoping to put together the most accurate picture yet of how sea levels have changed over thousands of years.

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Barrier islands and sea-level rise

September 5th, 2010

Over the next 100 years, according to recent estimates, we should expect 5 to 6 feet of sea-level rise.

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In Low-Lying Bangladesh, The Sea Takes a Human Toll

August 27th, 2010

Danish photographer and filmmaker Jonathan Bjerg Møller recently spent nine months in Bangladesh, chronicling the lives of people struggling to survive just a few feet above sea level.

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Sea Level to Rise Even With Aggressive Geo-Engineering

August 25th, 2010

150 million people could be affected as ocean levels increases by 30cm to 70cm by the end of this century.

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Kingscliff Battles Beach Erosion, Australia

August 24th, 2010

Coastal residents fear their idyllic seaside town may never be restored to its former glory after the besieged coastline just copped further battering.

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Erosion doubles along Alaska’s Arctic coast:: Cultural and Historical Sites Lost

August 2nd, 2010

Around the world, as many as 150 million people may become “climate refugees” because of global warming, according to an Environmental Justice Foundation report, which attributes some of the moves to rising sea levels.

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Indian Ocean Sea Level Rise Threatens Millions

July 22nd, 2010

Indian Ocean sea levels are rising unevenly and threatening residents in some densely populated coastal areas, particularly those along the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra, and Java.

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Sea carves new island from Prince Edward Island shore

July 20th, 2010

The sea carved a channel about 100 metres wide through the five-kilometre stretch of sand dunes, cutting it roughly in half.

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