Category Archives: Sea Level Rise

As climate risks worsen, U.S. flood buyouts fail to meet the need


North Carolina. Photograph courtesy of: © William Neal, Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo.

Excerpts;

The U.S. approach to buying out properties vulnerable to flooding is rife with uncertainty and delays. Now, as climate change drives more extreme coastal storms and precipitation events, the system must undergo a drastic overhaul or risk stranding millions in flood-prone homes.

Buyouts are just one piece of the managed retreat puzzle, but they’re an essential one. If we aren’t able to provide timely and equitable assistance to those who need it to move out of harm’s way, then we don’t have managed retreat – it’s more similar to a domestic refugee crisis…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (01-23-2020)

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…

Coastal homes could see flood insurance premium going up again, and that’s only the beginning; Miami Herald (07-24-2018)

Coastal policy needs dose of reality; Op Ed by Orrin Pilkey; Star News Online (02-02-2017)

Who will pay for the huge costs of holding back rising seas? Yale E360 (08-05-2019)

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…

Sea level rise could reshape the United States, trigger migration inland; Science Daily (01-22-2020)

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…

Is Your Home At Risk Of Flooding From Rising Seas By 2050? Check This Map.; BuzzFeed News (11-13-2018)
Even if the world more aggressively tackles global warming, about 350,000 homes across the US, worth about $190 billion at today’s prices, are built on land that’s at risk of annual flooding by 2050. And if no steps are taken to curb carbon emissions, the number of at-risk homes jumps to about 385,000…

The next five years will shape sea level rise for the next 300, study says; The Washington Post (02-20-2018)
Peaking global carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea-level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2 degrees C. A new study analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement…

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…

Rising seas already overwhelm the Bay Area. Time is running out for California to act


Butterfly Beach, California. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
“King tide” is the informal term generally used to describe an exceptionally high tide, which most often occurs when the Moon and the Sun are aligned and their gravitational pull on the Earth is at its strongest.NASA, AeroTech News

Excerpts;

In Foster City, where the ‘king tide’ over the weekend reached 9 feet, the answer is a taller levee, costing $90 million. The plan comes as legislators warn that California is running out of time to prepare for sea level rise…

Read Full Article; LA Times (02-11-2020)

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim; LA Times (07-07-2019)

Sea level rise could reshape the United States, trigger migration inland; Science Daily (01-22-2020)

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…

The next five years will shape sea level rise for the next 300, study says; The Washington Post (02-20-2018)
Peaking global carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea-level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2 degrees C. A new study analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement…

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…

Californians Fight Over Whether Coast Should Be Rugged or Refined, The New York Times (02-09-2016)

California prepares policy for coastal ‘retreat’; E & E News (12-07-2018)
Oceanfront homes could be demolished along California’s coastline under a groundbreaking proposal to preserve the state’s made-for-movies beaches before they’re destroyed by rising seawater. The California Coastal Commission plans to release guidance early next year for dealing with sea-level rise in residential areas…

A huge iceberg just broke off West Antarctica’s most endangered glacier


Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is known for dispensing icebergs into the Amundsen Sea, but the frequency of such events appears to be on the rise.Calving that used to happen about every six years has become a near-annual event. Captions and image source: NASA/Earth Observatory

Excerpts;

On the ice-covered edge of a remote West Antarctic bay, the continent’s most imperiled glaciers threaten to redraw Earth’s coastlines.

Pine Island Glacier and its neighbor Thwaites Glacier are the gateway to a massive cache of frozen water, one that would raise global sea levels by four feet if it were all to spill into the sea. And that gateway is shattering before our eyes…

Read Full Article; National Geographic (02-11-2020)

Scientists alarmed to discover warm water at “vital point” beneath Antarctica’s “doomsday glacier”; CBS News (02-01-2020)
Scientists have found for the first time, warm water beneath Antarctica’s “doomsday glacier,” a nickname used because it is one of Antarctica’s fastest melting glaciers…

The New Video of One of the Scariest Places on Earth, The Atlantic (01-30-2020)
For the first time, scientists have a clear view of the line where the giant Thwaites Glacier is leaking water into the ocean…

New research supports previous studies on global sea level rise


Coastal erosion, California. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A new study has demonstrated that the global sea level rise has accelerated over the past four decades. In other words, as a result of global warming, the oceans are rising faster every year…

Read Full Article, Phys Org (02-10-2020)

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

Scientists alarmed to discover warm water at “vital point” beneath Antarctica’s “doomsday glacier”


Antarctica. Photo courtesy of: © Denis Delestrac.
There are two primary causes of global mean sea level rise — added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers, and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The melting of Antarctica’s ice sheet is currently responsible for 20-25% of global sea level rise. Captions: NASA

Excerpts;

Scientists have found warm water beneath Antarctica’s “doomsday glacier,” a nickname used because it is one of Antarctica’s fastest melting glaciers.

While researchers have observed the recession of the Thwaites Glacier for a decade, this marks the first time they detected the presence of warm water – found at a “vital point” beneath the glacier…

Read Full Article, CBS News (02-01-2020)

Sea level rise to cause major economic impact in the absence of further climate action

coastal-flooding
Aerial pictures of North Carolina’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015 by 175 parties, aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. However, the period 2010-2020 was the planet’s hottest decade on record and the long-term trend is upward. Sea level rise is one of the most severe impacts of climate change, with rising waters amplifying coastal floods, threatening coastal communities, infrastructure, and agriculture…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (01-27-2020)

Beach access is a line in the sand that needs revisiting by Florida lawmakers


A Gulf Coast of Florida community. Photograph courtesy of: © Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

Excerpts;

The beach belongs, by law, to the people of Florida — the part that gets wet, that is. This is because the idea of the seashore as belonging to “the public trust” is grounded in an era before anyone ever considered sunbathing or swimming in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico.

The state’s prime attraction — 825 miles of Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway sand and surf — is secondary only to its subtropical climate.

However, some 60 percent of Florida’s beaches front private lands, and even renourishment projects funded by taxpayers do not guarantee access to the beach.

As more beaches wash away, individual landowners are unlikely to see this loss as theirs alone…

Read Full Article, the Herald Tribune (01-25-2020)

Does new law restrict public access to Florida’s beaches? Miami Herald (04-06-2018)

Portions of beaches across FL could soon be restricted to public; ABC Action News (03-30-2018)
Beaches across Florida are about to see a major change. Stretches of sand behind condos, hotels and homes, could soon be off limits to the public…

Who owns Florida’s beaches? Private landowner rights can clash with public beach access; Naples Daily News (11-16-2017)
In a State known for plenty of beautiful shores, the clash over who owns Florida’s beaches pits residents against tourist for access to the sand…

Shifting Sands, Shifted Rights: The Beach as Contested Space; UF Law (01-28-2016)
Determining rights to Florida’s sandy beaches has presented a thorny set of issues. But for many years, the public and private interests have co-existed. Now, along with population growth, sea level rise and relentless erosion have become an uncomfortable reality. The infinite variety of scenarios that sea level rise is presenting and will present along the coast will challenge our legal system in many ways…

Column: The future of Florida’s beaches and the public’s right to know; Op Ed. by Orrin Pilkey (12-07-2015)

‘Sand wars’: the battle to replenish Florida’s beaches amid climate crisis; Guardian UK (10-25-2019)

Disappearing beaches: a line in the sand; ABC News (06-07-2016)
The forces chewing away at the nation’s beaches are only getting worse as climate change fuels rising seas. Rob Young, a coastal geologist from the program for the study of developed shorelines at Western Carolina University, said “Coastal communities have to understand that any of the solutions that they’re thinking of to hold the beach in place for a little while are all temporary solutions…”

Catalan coast and Balearic Islands have been ravaged by Storm Gloria


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The Catalan coast and Balearic Islands have been ravaged by Storm Gloria.

A storm surge on the east coast of Spain has swept 3km (two miles) inland, devastating rice paddies in the Ebro river delta south of Barcelona.

The mayor of the delta region, Lluís Soler, said “we’ve never had anything like this before”…

Read Full Article: Storm Gloria floods major river delta in eastern Spain; BBC News (01-22-2020)

Sea foam floods Spanish town, CNN (01-22-2020)

Interactive: See how Storm Gloria ravaged this Spanish river delta; EuroNews (01-22-2020)