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Climate Change and rising sea levels
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EvergladesHUB > Climate Change - and sea rise and Everglades


  Permafrost thaw:

Just how scary is it ?
Washington Post,Dec.19/11
Thawing in Alaska affects Florida - very much !

  Climate Change:

The Question Of Bread
NewsJunkiePost, Aug.30/10

EVERGLADES and Climate Change
The ocean is the most powerful force and the sea levels are rising. Now what ?
This map below is a special interactive map -
Adjust the sea level [+Xm] on the map dial and see how far places in the world would flood:

The interactive map here (left) shows how certain places around the world would look like if the oceans would rise by some meters. When ?
Some meters, you would say - not in MY time !

Effects of sea level rise
Based on the projected increases stated above, the IPCC TAR WG II report notes that current and future climate change would be expected to have a number of impacts, particularly on coastal systems. Such impacts may include increased coastal erosion, higher storm-surge flooding, inhibition of primary production processes, more extensive coastal inundation, changes in surface water quality and groundwater characteristics, increased loss of property and coastal habitats, increased flood risk and potential loss of life, loss of nonmonetary cultural resources and values, impacts on agriculture and aquaculture through decline in soil and water quality, and loss of tourism, recreation, and transportation functions.
There is an implication that many of these impacts will be detrimental—especially for the three-quarters of the world's poor who depend on agriculture systems. The report does, however, note that owing to the great diversity of coastal environments; regional and local differences in projected relative sea level and climate changes; and differences in the resilience and adaptive capacity of ecosystems, sectors, and countries, the impacts will be highly variable in time and space.
Polar ice is melting away !
l The ice cap on Mount Kilimanjaro may be gone in 20 years. About 1/3 of Kilimanjaro’s ice field has disappeared in the last 12 years and 82% of it has vanished since it was first mapped in 1912.
l Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is thinning.
l Massive Antarctic ice sheets have collapsed into the sea with alarming rapidity.

Polar ice is melting away !
As water temperatures rise, oceans spread.
The 20th century has seen a dramatic rise in sea levels. Polar ice caps are melting faster and oceans are rising more than the United Nations projected just two years ago, 10 universities said in a report suggesting that climate change has been underestimated.
Global sea levels will climb a meter (39 inches) by 2100, 69 percent more than the most dire forecast made in 2007 by the UN’s climate panel, according to the study released today in Brussels. The forecast was based on new findings, including that Greenland’s ice sheet is losing 179 billion tons of ice a year.
Combined with ocean temperature expansion, the ocean level since the last ice age, 18,000 years ago, has risen by over 120 meters.
Environmental Impact and the Climate Congress

Scientists deliver a strong message for the world's leaders on climate change

NOVA Science Getting into hot water – global warming and rising sea levels
National Geographic News, Stefan Lovgren Warming and Catastrophic Rise in Sea Level?

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2005
Senarath, S.U., abstract #H53C-0483

The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Florida's Everglades. - Environment, June 19, 2009
Rising ocean temperatures near worst-case predictions.

Such an ocean level rise is not going to happen in OUR times for sure. But there is a serious evidence that sea levels are rising - slowly but distinctly. That, gradually means some disastrous consequencies for the mankind - hitting fist the low-lying areas of the world - see the map how vulnerable they are. Centimeter by centimeter, inch by inch we are getting flooded !

Sea Level Rise - measured from a satellite:
Rising sea level

Florida and its Everglades are particularly sensitive to the rise in the oceanic level surrounding the peninsula. The entire coast of Florida is threatened by rising seas and stronger surges during storms. This casts doubt on the future of the apartments and homes that crowd the East Coast. Rising sea level is also driving sea water into the Everglades, inundating mangroves, and threatening all low lying islands. We already feel the saline water pushing its way underground, contaminating the fresh water aquifers supporting the population particularly in South Florida.

- - a climate floodHow serious is the threat of rising oceans ?
It is directly connected with the climate change, the world is warming up.
And that represents a double whammy -
1) warmer oceans expand and, simultaneously,
2) the ages-old ice deposits (on the poles and in glaciers) are melting.
The surf is rising - estimates are anywhere between 7-15 mm/year. That means about a 1-2 foot rise by the end of this century. While the estimates differ widely, our children will see the results for sure - -

Along relatively flat coastlines, such as those of the Atlantic, or coastlines bordering fertile, highly populated river deltas, a 1 mm rise in sea level causes a shoreline retreat of about 1.5 meters. We are already seeing evidence of shoreline retreat in the U.S.:
l Coastal U.S. has seen beach erosion and dying coastal plants
l Along the marshy Gulf Coast of Florida, the effects of sea level rise can be observed in the number of dead cabbage palms at the seaward edge of the salt marsh
l Along the Atlantic Coast of the USA, erosion is narrowing beaches and washing out vacation houses. As sea level rises and coastal communities continue to grow and pump water from aquifers, salt water intrusion into groundwater will become a greater problem.

DOTTED=Biscayne Aquifer; RED=below 5ft; BLUE=5to11ft; GREEN=Mangroves
South Florida low-lying lands: RED = below 5ft;
BLUE = (5-11)ft; GREEN = mangroves;
= shallow Biscayne Aquifer


Florida has 4,500 square miles of land within 4.5 feet of sea level. Although that land is only 8 percent of the state, it is concentrated in South Florida. Mangrove
swamps comprise most of the land within 1-2 feet above sea level, while areas between 2 and 4.5 feet are mostly freshwater wetlands. The high water mark and the inland extent of both mangroves and brackish water tend to be about 1-2 feet above sea level. Therefore, the red represents the area that potentially could be subjected to tidal flooding or saltwater intrusion, and where mangroves might be found in the future.
The Biscayne Aquifer provides almost all of the freshwater for
the Keys, Miami, and the lower East Coast of Florida. Although a small part of the aquifer is beneath the salty mangrove area, most of it is recharged by the freshwater Everglades. If sea level rises a few feet, however, then saltwater could invade part of the Everglades, threatening both that ecosystem and the aquifer that lies beneath it. Ongoing efforts by the South Florida Water Management District and other water management districts to prevent saltwater intrusion will almost certainly have to be strengthened as the sea rises.
Fortunately, very little development is less than 4.5 feet above sea
level. The 4,500 square miles between 4.5 and 11 feet, however, are extensively developed, especially in the Keys, the bay sides of barrier islands, and the areas around Biscayne Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Those areas will not be submerged by the tides for a long time, but they are likely to experience increased flooding from both the higher sea and increased storm intensity.

Related links:

Climate scientists grapple with uncertainty (though not the kind you think)

Why the world is trying to avoid 2°C of global warming.

Why small delays in tackling climate change can be costly.

    Permafrost thaw
just how scary is it ?

2009-2014, Boya Volesky