Sea Level Rise
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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Many of the most threatened sites in North America lie along the East Coast between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and southern Maine, where the rate of sea level rise is among the fastest in the world.
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How science works: Research indicating faster rates of sea-level rise along North Carolina coast may influence state actions affecting coastal properties.
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Miami Beach flood events have significantly increased over the last decade due to an acceleration of sea-level rise in South Florida, a new report warns. The researchers suggest that regional sea-level projections should be used in place of global projections to better prepare for future flood hazards in the region.
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Global sea level rise is one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st Century, and Greenland is central to the problem. That massive ice sheet touches the sea along more than 44,000 kilometers of jagged coastline, and the ice sheet is not just melting from warm air temperatures above; it is also likely being melted from water below.
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New research factors in collapsing Antarctic ice sheet that could double the sea-level rise to two metres by 2100 if emissions are not cut
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Coastal erosion is claiming more than a metre of land every year from parts of a seaside city on Western Australia’s Mid West coast, and the rate has increased significantly in recent decades, a new study has revealed.
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That combination of rising populations and rising seas could see millions of Americans living in homes that flood regularly during the decades ahead, according to a nationwide analysis.
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Important new research shows that sea levels are rising at unprecedented rates, and will have tremendous costs if we don’t slow them.
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As our planet continues to warm, coastlines worldwide will retreat inland — in the long run, maybe by a lot. It seems doubtful that we can defend all of the many coastal zones that will be at risk. But in a new study just out in the open access journal Earth System Dynamics, scientists have actually published an idea for doing that and provided some calculations regarding the scale of what it would take.
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