Portfolio: New Work: Sea Level Rise
On the shoreline of the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida, rising salt water will impact over 100 million people. As a result, our nation will spend unimagined fortunes to adjust both gradual and abrupt disruptions of rising ocean waters.
Sea level rise occurs when warmer temperatures associated with climate warming melt land ice and thermally expand the volume of seawater. Although sea level is now rising in fractions of inches, the impact will accelerate, with mean sea level predicted to be 3 to 6 feet higher by the end of the century.
Even though many people are skeptical of climate change, and certainly not engaged in actions to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gasses, there is no denying that sea level rise, enhanced by storms and storm surges, causes erosion, flooding, dislocations, and will result in catastrophic damage along our coastlines. This problem is a significant cost factor reflected in financial markets for hazard insurance and appraisal of real estate values. Sea level rise is a relentless, visible indicator of a warming climate, which cannot be ignored.