Tuesday, June 4, 2019

This is what sea level rise will do to coastal cities

Sea level rise is already redrawing coastlines around the world.
What happens when the coast retreats through a major city?
We look at how the world map will change in the year 2100, and what coastal cities can do to defend themselves.

From The Verge by Mary Beth Griggs

By the year 2100, swollen seas and rivers will redraw shorelines as climbing temperatures melt ice caps.
In one of the most extreme scenarios, waters globally could rise by as much as eight feet, and even a smaller amount of flooding would inundate low-lying areas of the coast.
In places like New York, which is home to around 8.6 million people, even moderate flooding could drastically impact the city’s population and infrastructure.

The city got a taste of its future after Hurricane Sandy struck New York City in 2012.
Soon afterward, the city announced several resiliency projects, which are all designed to keep water away from New York’s streets.
While inspired (in part) by the dramatic onslaught of a storm, many of these projects are also designed to keep the Big Apple as dry as possible as sea level rise eats away at coasts around the world.

Sea levels are rising due to global warming, and part of the reason for this is ice on land is melting and flowing into the seas.
Tide gauges can measure the rising sea level, but different tide gauges show the sea level is rising at different rates in different places.
Why is this?
Ars looks at why sea level rise is more complicated than filling a bath tub.
How can that happen?
It happens because the Earth's not a bathtub—adding more water doesn't increase ocean levels evenly.
As this video details, there are lots of factors that add a local twist to the overall rise of the oceans. These factors range from the strength of ocean currents to the gravitational pull of large ice fields. The net result is that the US has some areas where ocean levels are actually falling a bit and many others where they're rising even faster than the global average.
While the effects are small, they can make a huge practical difference, determining whether your neighborhood is flooding now, or if you have decades to prepare for problems.
- courtesy of Ars Technica -  

The latest plan involves spending $10 billion to extend part of Lower Manhattan out into the East River, in addition to shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars on other resiliency projects.

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