Category Archives: Sea Level Rise

As SC island homes fall into ocean, owners behind them wonder if they’re next


Photo courtesy of: “the Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

Excerpts;

This small slip of land on the eastern tip of Beaufort County is the legacy of an opportunistic time when a wave of businessmen descended on the South Carolina coast keen-eyed for fragments of paradise to package and sell off…

Read Full Article; Post & Courier (02-01-2020)

Sea rise along South Carolina coast accelerating faster than realized, researcher says; Post And Courier (02-01-2019)
Within 50 years, the sea off Charleston will be rising about one inch every five years — twice as fast as it was rising about a century ago and one-third faster than it was in 2000…

Developers don’t get it: climate change means we need to retreat from the coast, Guardian UK (15-03-2016)
It is preposterous to build in areas that are bound to flood. So why are real estate companies still doing it?..

Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions: A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative: North Topsail Beach, North Carolina Case Study; by the Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (July 1, 2019)
This study is the first of several case studies to be released by the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines examining the feasibility and economics of targeted acquisition strategies in oceanfront, resort communities. Buyouts of vulnerable properties have become an increasingly popular tool for reducing future exposure in flood-prone communities across the U.S.

Sea Level Rise Will Reshape U.S. Population In All 50 States; Yale E360 (04-19-2017)
Sea level rise could cause mass migrations that will affect not just the United States’ East Coast, but reshape communities deep in the heart of the country, according to new research…

Coastal residents need to set aside money now to cope with future flooding; Sun Sentinel (07-10-2018)
Sea-level rise is a national economic insecurity. According to the National Ocean Service, 39 percent of the U.S. population in 2010 lived in counties that are on shorelines…

The only answer to rising seas is to retreat; By Orrin H. Pilkey & Keith C. Pilkey; The News & Observer (10-18-2017)
Except for the timing, there is no controversy among scientists regarding sea level rise. Defending the coast and holding the shoreline in place ultimately will be futile. With a three-foot or a six-foot sea level rise, we will retreat, probably beginning within the next 50 years…

Surrendering to rising seas; Scientific American (08-2018)
Coastal communities struggling to adapt to climate change are beginning to do what was once unthinkable: retreat…

Natural disasters could cost 20 percent more by 2040 due to climate change


Sandbagged, trashed beach at South Nags Head, N.C. in February 1987, with some evidence of bags that have been torn or ruptured and have leaked sand. The scarp under the houses indicates that storm waves are topping the bags, and buildings were damaged or lost in the end. Captions and Photo courtesy of: © Orrin Pilkey.

Excerpts;

Climate change could add more than 20 percent, or $100 billion annually, to the cost of extreme weather events around the world by 2040, according to a new analysis by researchers at Cambridge University…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (02-27-2020)

Study examines coastal erosion, drawbacks of standard setback requirements


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Research on the Big Island’s coastal erosion, led by a University of Hawaii at Hilo graduate student, is being used to shape county planning policies.

Hawaii County is the only county in the state that hasn’t done research to understand the island’s shoreline changes.

Despite the island’s differing shoreline geology, the county’s initial general plan only required a development setback distance of 40 feet from shorelines across the entire island…

Read Full Article; Hawaii News (02-24-2020)

Doubling of Coastal Erosion by Mid-Century in Hawai’i, Science Daily (03-24-2015)
Chronic erosion dominates the sandy beaches of Hawai’i, causing beach loss as it damages homes, infrastructure, and critical habitat. Researchers have long understood that global sea level rise will affect the rate of coastal erosion. However, new research indicates that coastal erosion of Hawai’i’s beaches may double by mid-century…

Living on the shores of Hawaii: natural hazards, the environment, and our communities, A book by Chip Fletcher; Robynne Boyd, William J. Neal and Virginia Tice.
“Living on the shores of Hawaii: natural hazards, the environment, and our communities” addresses a wide range of environmental concerns within the context of sustainability and their influence on the future of Hawaii…

70 Percent of Beaches Eroding On Hawaiian Islands Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, USGS (Uploaded 05-08-2012)

Series of coastal engineering projects underway amid race to save Waikiki Beach

waikiki-beach-renourishment
Waikiki beach-renourishement. A section of Hawaii’s famed Waikiki Beach is starting to erode, less than a year after the completion of a $2.2 million project to replenish the sand on about 1,730 feet of shoreline that had been suffering from chronic erosion. Captions and Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A $700,000 — 95-foot-long sand bag groin made of 83, 10,000-pound bags of sand — installed in November to restore the coastline and slow erosion at Kuhio Beach, is to be followed by another more expensive project.

The more than $2 million project — proposed by the DLNR — that will launch next month, will involve replacing the Royal Hawaiian groin with a stable, sloping rock groin, as well as pumping dredged sand in…

Series of coastal engineering projects underway amid race to save Waikiki Beach; Hawaii News Now (02-20-2020)

Engineers hope high-tech sandbags will keep the beach in Waikiki from disappearing; Hawaii News (11-29-2019)

‘Sand mattress’ technology to combat Mother Nature at Kuhio Beach; KHON News (12-17-2017)

Waikiki Beach Is Totally Man-Made And Disappearing. Can Hawaii Save It?Huffington Green (03-10-2015)

Waikiki Beach Eroding Less Than A Year After $2.2M Sand Restoration; Pacific Business News (06-24-2013)
A section of Hawaii’s famed Waikiki Beach is starting to erode, less than a year after the completion of a $2.2 million project to replenish the sand on about 1,730 feet of shoreline that had been suffering from chronic erosion…

Doubling of Coastal Erosion by Mid-Century in Hawai’i, Science Daily (03-24-2015)
Chronic erosion dominates the sandy beaches of Hawai’i, causing beach loss as it damages homes, infrastructure, and critical habitat. Researchers have long understood that global sea level rise will affect the rate of coastal erosion. However, new research indicates that coastal erosion of Hawai’i’s beaches may double by mid-century…

Terminal Groins Don’t Stop Erosion; Coastal Review (05-03-2016)

The Negative Impacts Of Groins, (02-12-2009)
The negative impact of groins on downdrift shorelines is well understood. When a groin works as intended, sand moving along the beach in the so-called downdrift direction is trapped on the updrift side of the groin, causing a sand deficit and increasing erosion rates on the downdrift side. This well-documented and unquestioned impact is widely cited in the engineering and geologic literature.

Seawalls: Ecological effects of coastal armoring in soft sediment environments; Science Daily (07-24-2017)
For nearly a century, America’s coasts — particularly those with large urban populations — have been armored with human made structures such as seawalls. These structures essentially draw a line in the sand that constrains the ability of the shoreline to respond to changes in sea level and other dynamic coastal processes…

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young; (10-03-2014)

Living on the shores of Hawaii: natural hazards, the environment, and our communities, A book by Chip Fletcher; Robynne Boyd, William J. Neal and Virginia Tice.
“Living on the shores of Hawaii: natural hazards, the environment, and our communities” addresses a wide range of environmental concerns within the context of sustainability and their influence on the future of Hawaii…

70 Percent of Beaches Eroding On Hawaiian Islands Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, USGS (Uploaded 05-08-2012)

Hawaii’s Beaches Are in Retreat, and Its Way of Life May Follow, The New York Times

Living on the shores of Hawaii: natural hazards, the environment, and our communities, A book by Chip Fletcher; Robynne Boyd, William J. Neal and Virginia Tice.
“Living on the shores of Hawaii: natural hazards, the environment, and our communities” addresses a wide range of environmental concerns within the context of sustainability and their influence on the future of Hawaii…

Rethinking Living Shorelines, By Orrin H. Pilkey, Rob Young, Norma Longo, and Andy Coburn;Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines / Western Carolina University, March 1, 2012, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
In response to the detrimental environmental impacts caused by traditional erosion control structures, environmental groups, state and federal resource management agencies, now advocate an approach known as “Living Shorelines”that embraces the use of natural habitat elements such as indigenous vegetation, to stabilize and protect eroding shorelines.

Can these giant dams keep Europe from drowning?


“Am Strand” 1870, by Dutch painter Frederik Hendrik Kaemmerer. Image source: Public Domain / Wikimedia

Excerpts;

A plan for a giant a 400-mile enclosure, The Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED), would cut off the North and Baltic Seas from the Atlantic Ocean to protect 15 European countries from those rising seas.

The project’s scale is unprecedented. Its cost phenomenal. But it’s still cheaper than all the alternatives—including doing nothing. All the alternatives except one: Taking action now against climate change…

Read Full Article; BigThink (02-22-2020)

On rising Great Lakes, backyards are disappearing overnight


Lake Michigan, Chicago. Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Document and near-record water ranges in all 5 Nice Lakes are inflicting tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in injury from Minnesota to New York as eroding shorelines and monster waves trigger properties to plummet into the water, public piers and lakeside trails to crack and crumble, and parks and properties to flood…

Read Full Article; The WSJ (02-20-2020)

20,000 deaths since 1999: New report reveals deadly impact of extreme weather in France

xynthia-mayor-official
La Faute sur Mer’s mayor (left) and Vendée’s senator (right) in front of an aerial view of the 2 inundated towns of L’Aiguillon and La Faute sur Mer, Vendée, France. Photo source: ©© Sénat

Excerpts;

France is one of the most exposed countries in the world to the risks of extreme weather, a new report has found, with nearly 20,000 deaths linked to heatwaves, floods and storms in the last 20 years.

The report from the global climate charity Germanwatch ranked 183 countries around the world according to how exposed they are to extreme weather events – such as heatwaves, storms and flooding – linked to climate change.

France was ranked in the top 20 most exposed countries in the world, in the same bracket as India and Madagascar.The worst affected countries in the world were Puerto Rico, Honduras, Myanmar and Haiti…

Read Full Article; The Local Fr (12-14-2019)

À La Faute-sur-Mer, le temps n’a pas effacé le cauchemar de la tempête Xynthia; Le Figaro (02-21-2020)
Ten years after Xynthia storm devastated France, scars still remain.

La Faute-sur-Mer and l’Aiguillon-sur-Mer beaches, Vendée, France; By Claire Le Guern (03-2010)
The very last day of February 2010. It is 4:00 am. Howling winds, whipping rains, infuriated seas, and eight meter high (26 feet) crashing waves, are muffling the desperate cries for help…4:00 am… Twenty nine human lives are being swept away, drowned in the frigid and salty ocean waters. They were in their sleep, in their beds, in the comfort of their home. They did not understand, they could not react, most of them too old, too frail, or much too little to run for safety and climb on the rooftops, like most of the survivors did…
When daylight unveiled the disaster, French Prime Minister François Fillon held an emergency cabinet meeting and afterward called the storm a “national catastrophe.” French President Nicolas Sarkhozy, declared: “We have to find out how families in France in the 21st-century can be surprised in their sleep and drowned in their own houses.” Mr. Sarkozy added, “We have to shed light as urgently as possible on this unacceptable and incomprehensible tragedy.”
As much as this tragedy is utterly unacceptable, it is all too comprehensible and sadly, previously announced by warnings from many scientists, locals, and even more relevantly by an official 2008 report from the Vendée Equipment Department, DDE. The risks of marine submersion were known to the Vendée DDE, which strongly addressed and questioned coastal safety, citing in particular the fragile sea walls in L’Aiguillon-sur-Mer and La Faute-sur-Mer, as well as their existing location and development in flood-prone areas. “There is no doubt about the vulnerability of the Vendée coast to marine submersion”…

A French beach cleared of homes shows NC the way; By Orrin H. Pilkey; News Observer (02-24-2019)

Developers don’t get it: climate change means we need to retreat from the coast, Guardian UK (15-03-2016)
It is preposterous to build in areas that are bound to flood. So why are real estate companies still doing it?..

Climate change is coming for the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.


The Tidal Basin, Washington, DC. Photo source: Wikimedia

Excerpts;

The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.

One problem is that the land is sinking. But as the climate warms, sea levels are also rising. And the flooding gets even worse during extreme storms, which are growing more common…

Read Full Article; Yale Connections Climate (02-17-2020)

Coastal erosion: The homes lost to the sea; Video

houses-coastal-erosion-uk1
Severe coastal erosion and falling houses, Happisburgh, England. Photo source: ©© Martin

Excerpts;

As sea level rise, a senior figure in the Environment Agency says he wants the country to start “difficult conversations” about which areas should be protected and which should not…

Read Full Article and Watch Video, BBC News (02-13-2020)

Sinking England, A National Geographic Video (11-25-2011)
All may seem calm on the beautiful stretches of british coastline, but there is a battle being fought on the beaches of Britain. It is a fight for survival against the mighty forces of the North Sea. Erosion of this coastline have been going on for thousands of years, but things have gotten much worst. The country is gradually tilting into the ocean.

East Riding Coastal Erosion, In Pictures; Guardian UK (06-25-2014)

One in ten historic coastal landfill sites in England are at risk of erosion; Science Daily (11-16-2017)
Coastal erosion may release waste from ten per cent of England’s historic coastal landfills in the next forty years, according to research from Queen Mary University of London and the Environment Agency…

Floods and erosion are ruining Britain’s most significant sites; Guardian UK (02-07-2017)
Climate change is already wrecking some of Britain’s most significant sites, from Wordsworth’s gardens in Cumbria to the white cliffs on England’s south coast, according to a new report…

Popular Coastal Attraction Suffered 7 years’ Worth of Erosion in 2 Months, UK; BBC News (03-02-2014)

Growing Climate Change Threat to Britain’s Historic Coastline, The Telegraph UK (06-12-2015)

This Sinking Isle: The Homeowners Battling Coastal Erosion, Guardian UK (04-17-2015)
As sea levels rise, thousands of people on the coast of Britain have been forced to move inland…

Coastal Erosion: A series of Special Reports, Guardian UK (08-17-2015)

Coastal Warning: An Unwelcome Messenger on the Risks of Rising Seas; By Orrin H. Pilkey, Yale E360 (12-06-2018)

Surrendering to rising seas; Scientific American (08-2018)
Coastal communities struggling to adapt to climate change are beginning to do what was once unthinkable: retreat…

The only answer to rising seas is to retreat; By Orrin H. Pilkey & Keith C. Pilkey; The News & Observer (10-18-2017)
Except for the timing, there is no controversy among scientists regarding sea level rise. Defending the coast and holding the shoreline in place ultimately will be futile. With a three-foot or a six-foot sea level rise, we will retreat, probably beginning within the next 50 years…