Study: Tangier, the Sinking Island in the Chesapeake

This article discusses how Tangier Island is sinking into the Chesapeake.

These days, it appears that he may outlive it. Tangier has lost two-thirds of its land since 1850. This is, in part, because of a ten-thousand-year-old phenomenon known as glacial rebound, which has caused the island to sink a millimetre or two each year. But the more urgent problem is a combination of storm-driven erosion and sea-level rise, which are both increasing as climate change advances; scientists who study the region estimate that sea-level rise is tripling or even quadrupling the rate of land loss. Without climate change, the island would have remained above water for perhaps another century; now the cutoff date is only a few decades away, if not sooner. David Schulte, a marine biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the co-author of a study in Nature’s Scientific Reports on Tangier’s fate, told me, “They are literally one storm away from being wiped out.”

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