Coastal American cities are sinking into saturated new realities, new analysis has confirmed. Sea level rise has given a boost to high tides, which are regularly overtopping streets, floorboards and other low-lying areas that had long existed in relatively dehydrated harmony with nearby waterfronts. The trend is projected to worsen sharply in the coming years.
The increase of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, as recently reported by researchers.
It is documented in these reports that emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at a most incredible rate. It is further mentioned that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling.
In the new report, released by the Union of Concerned Scientists, forecasts that by 2030, at least 180 floods will strike during high tides every year in Annapolis, Md. In some cases, such flooding will occur twice in a single day, since tides come in and out about two times daily. By 2045, that’s also expected to be the case in Washington, D.C., Atlantic City, N.J. and 14 other East Coast and Gulf Coast locations out of 52 analyzed by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are hurting life in many towns by lawns and foliage, wildlife, hindering neighborhood streets and obstructing storm sewer drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes marooning entire island communities for hours by covering the roads.
In the most recent reports, global temperatures have jumped about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century due largely to human emissions. The sea is rising at what appears to be an accelerating pace, lately reaching a rate of about a foot per century. As stated by Dr. Kopp” Physics tells us that sea-level temperature should go hand-in-hand and our current geological record confirms it.”
The new report provides examples in which hard-hit communities are already adapting to rising seas, such as working to raise homes, roads and schools in New York City. In Annapolis, along the vulnerable Chesapeake Bay coastline, a partnership between the Navy and local authorities has also produced an approach to adapting to rising seas, partly because the floods are being viewed as a national security threat.
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