This article discusses the impact of sea level rise on our country. The author first establishes some facts and dispels some myths:.
- Sea level has been relatively stable for about 5,000 years, leading us to believe that the coastline would never change. But the geologic record shows that sea level moves up and down hundreds of feet depending on the planet’s temperature
- We have entered a new era. The oceans have gotten so warm that ice will continue to melt, and the sea will rise for centuries. We have passed a tipping point.
- Melting icebergs and the polar icecap do not add to sea level as they are floating ice. Higher sea level will mostly come from melting ice sheets and glaciers on land, 98 percent of which are in Antarctica and Greenland.
- To slow sea-level rise, we must dramatically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases — particularly carbon dioxide — that trap heat in the atmosphere. Oceans absorb that heat. Warm water expands. It also melts a lot of the planet’s ice. We need to work vigorously to slow the warming.
- Rising sea level makes flooding from storms and rainfall worse. Also it worsens flooding from the extreme “king tides.”
- The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact’s latest projections are that sea level in our region could rise 2 to 3 feet by 2060 and 5 to7 feet by the end of the century.