Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
The seas are rising, and they’re inching upward much faster than anticipated. According to a new study published in the journal Ocean Science, climate change is causing the ocean to rise even quicker than the most pessimistic prior forecasts.
This research finds that just a 0.5 degree Celsius increase in temperature could lead to a half-meter rise in sea levels, and with a full meter in our future of urgent action on climate change isn’t taken.
Warmer temperatures have already melted 28 trillion metric tons of ice. That’s the same amount as a 100 meter-deep ice sheet the size of the United Kingdom.
Why This Matters: Forty percent of people on Earth live near the coast, putting much of the world at risk of water damage in some form.While the increased risk of floods and storm surges are certainly concerning,saltwater intrusion can cause a lot of damage, like contaminating aquifers and farmland and flooding wetlands. For coastal communities, these impacts could drive people from their homes, contributing to the massive climate migration of 13 million Americans expected by 2060. It’s all the more reason to implement adaptation measures in coastal communities.
The water temperature, wind, and currents in individual locations contribute as well.
All of this adds up to some areas with much higher sea-level rise than others.
Along the east coast of the U.S., one meter of sea-level rise is likely a low estimate, while in places like Scotland and Iceland, the number could be much smaller.
As Ronald Stouffer, a climate modeler at the U.S. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ, explains: “ if you own beachfront property in Iceland, and all of the ice on Greenland melts and adds seven meters to average sea level, you end up with more beach. But in Hawaii, you get your seven meters of sea-level rise plus an extra two or three on top of that. It’s phenomenal to me that it matters that much.”
Oysters are the unsung heroes of our oceans and estuaries. A single oyster can filter 50 gallons of water each day, while oyster reefs help protect coastal communities from erosion and storm surges and provide other marine species with habitat. In Pensacola, FL, The Nature Conservancy is leading the effort to place 33 oyster reefs […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new study has found that half of the nation’s tidal marshes are at risk of being destroyed by sea-level rise, most of them along the southern coasts of the contiguous U.S. Now, members of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, whose one million residents live along coastal areas stretching from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer St. Petersburg, Florida, has fallen victim to what could be one of the most prolonged red tides in recent history. Hundreds of tons of dead sea life have washed up on shores as the ecological disaster takes root, and experts say the end isn’t yet in sight. Officials are trying to pinpoint […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.