Archive for February 25th, 2011

Friday, February 25th, 2011 | Author:

Since we’ve been talking about the impacts of global warming and climate change in class this past week, today I’ve decided to address the global warming induced rising sea level problem. Dr. S mentioned that sea level will rise almost twice as fast along the U.S. Northeastern coastline compared to global sea levels. This is pretty disheartening news considering me and millions of Americans could experience these effects sooner rather than later. This site lists the Top 10 U.S. cities most vulnerable to rising sea level. Seven out of the ten cities are along the East coast, and Virginia Beach is #5!

Now, this may just have been me, but (ignorantly) I always figured that sea level rise due to global warming was caused by the melting of glaciers and ice caps. However, in class I learned that the main contributors to rising sea level are sea ice melting in Antarctica, and the fact that as the ocean warms, the water expands. Therefore, as the earth continues to warm, the ocean continues to rise…and since no one is sure how much the earth will warm, no one can say for sure how little or how much the ocean will rise.

This interactive map allows you to zoom in on any coastline on the Earth and see (depending on sea level can choose between 0-14m) what areas/cities will be “washed away”.

Sea Level Rise Impacts on Florida and Miami

According to the above video, our generation is going to have to find a new state to retire in! Just kidding….maybe. Florida, recognized as being very vulnerable to sea level rise, has numerous famous and historical cities that would be devastated by the effects of sea level rise. These cities include (but are not limited to) historical St. Augustine, FL (the oldest city in the U.S.), Miami, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, and Tampa. Billions upon billions of dollars would be lost, along with millions of homes, businesses, and lives if we continue to allow global warming to warm the ocean.

Therefore (as repeated ad nauseam) as part of the global community we all need to embrace a lifestyle that includes using renewable energy, having an efficient car, etc. It will take each individual, each community, each city, and each nation if we want to stop global warming and rising sea level in it’s tracks.

Otherwise, make sure you sign your posterity up for swim lessons. 😉

-Kristen Callahan

Category: Uncategorized  | Tags:  | 2 Comments