A new study from researchers at the University of Arizona and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and published in Nature Communications shows
Sea levels across the Northeast coast of the United States rose nearly 3.9 inches between 2009 and 2010. The waters near Portland, Maine, saw an even greater rise — 5 inches — over the two-year period.
While scientists have been observing higher sea levels across the globe in recent decades, the study found a much more extreme rise than previous averages. Such an event is “unprecedented” in the history of the tide gauge record, according to the researchers, and represents a 1-in-850 year event.
Unlike storm surge, this event caused persistent and widespread coastal flooding even without apparent weather processes. In terms of beach erosion, the impact of the 2009-2010 [sea level rise] event is almost as significant as some hurricane events.
The report follows a new report from the New York City Panel on Climate Change. There the panel projects that if greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are not curtailed, seas will rise by an additional 11 to 21 inches by the middle of the century, by 18 to 39 inches by the 2080s, and by as much as 6 feet by the end of the century.
I’ve been beating this particular drum on this blog for some time now and will continue to do so hoping people will write, call, email their representatives in Congress and demand action.
We better learn how to mitigate disaster now and plan how to deal with the consequences.