Sunday, February 20, 2011

How rising sea levels will affect the US coastline

Where are we headed? Well if the most recent sea-level-rise science is correct, then sea levels will rise another meter for each century at the current rate of global warming. The parts of the country that will be hit the hardest are the southern Atlantic coast and the Gulf cities. There is a chance that cities like Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Virgina Beach could lose more than ten percent of their land area by the turn of the century. Projections are calling for sea levels to rise by one meter by the turn of the century which will effect the flat and low-lying land. According to a new study led by scientist at the University of Arizona, by the time 2100 is here, the rising sea levels could cover up to nine percent of their land area in 180 cities. Of these 180 cities, twenty cities have over 300,000 people. All together, these coastal towns account for 40.5 million people. If the sea level continues to rise to a height of three meters, major northeastern cities like Ney York and Boston would lose about ten percent of their land area. The vulnerable southeastern cities would lose up to 20% of their land. If the sea level rise continues up to six meters, then one third of all land areas. The research team at the University of Arizona has developed maps of how sea level rise could affect the entire coastline. They also have detailed maps for individual cities and metropolitan regions. The sea-level rise is going to cause impacts such as erosion, temporar flooding, and permanent inundation. The sea level rise affects not only the oceanfront proerty and bust also the inland properties. Inland properties that are connected to the ocean by channels, inlets, creeks, and adjacent low-lying areas. For example, Washington DC is not my the ocean; however, the Potomac River is an inland extension of the ocean.

1 comment:

  1. Some affluent areas will be able to build walls and adjust to changes in sea level, but some of poorer countries will have to adapt by moving as sea levels rise. Some aquifers may be affected by more salt water instrusion, which raises additional considerations. One concern on all of this is that glacial melting observations seem to be exceeding the predictions of many models,so the actual effects are not yet known.