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ABC News reports that there is a creeping underground invasion of our coasts, and it is moving inland much faster than had been previously thought, according to new research funded by the National Science Foundation. The stealth invader? Saltwater, which is infiltrating our coastal communities and creating unseen risks well in advance of the surface floods that drown our homes and businesses. Climate change is elevating sea levels, increased the number and intensity of severe storms, and now we are beginning to see that saltwater has seeped into the land itself, which is soaking it up like a sponge, destroying coastal forests, crops, medicinal plants, and even groundwater supplies. With the Trump administration in climate denial, four Louisiana Native American tribes even took the unprecedented step of asking the United Nations to compel the U.S. government to take action on salt that is invading their lands.
Why this Matters: This problem will become more and more common as climate change continues, causing widespread displacement across the world. Seawater moving inland would poison a number of essential natural resources for those who live on the coasts — which comprises 40% of Americans.Experts say in the short term we can’t stop the seas from rising, but we can manage the problem if we have buy-in from farmers, coastal communities, and local governments and if we use science-based solutions.
“It’s like the early stages of cancer,” Daniel Cozad, executive director of the Central Valley Salinity Coalition, told ABC. “You don’t feel it, you don’t see it and everything seems to be pretty normal. But if you’re not keeping track of it, it can get much worse.”
To Go Deeper:This video from Atlas Pro, a geographer and scientist who makes climate change youtube videos, shows the scope and consequences of coastal flooding.
A new paper released by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in collaboration with seven other environmental organizations outlines the ways that the ocean, often thought of as a victim of climate change, can be utilized to best combat global rising temperatures.
Why This Matters: We’ve written a lot about how the sea level is rising, and the ocean is warming, fueling stronger storm systems, and declines in biodiversity.
One of our nation’s best-kept secrets is that we have national parks in the ocean — not right offshore — but out in the blue. And yesterday, one of them was tripled in size after years of work by non-profits, the Texas and Tennessee Aquariums, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, that supports these blue […]
New York state selected Norwegian energy giant Equinor to build and supply clean energy from two offshore wind facilities in one of the largest renewable energy deals ever in the United States, according to Reuters.
Why This Matters: Offshore wind projects are a highly anticipated source of clean, renewable energy — but have been hard to get off the ground so far.
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