News Stories

Sea Levels on the Rise

Despite the fact that talk radio is still denying it, new research reveals that About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in the future, due to global warming. Maybe it's time to move to higher ground before more than just your mortgage is "under water."

The most vulnerable state is Florida, where almost half of the population that's at risk lives near the coast on a porous, low-lying limestone shelf that makes up most of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also vulnerable, and almost the entire US coastline--on both sides of the country--has some degree of risk.

In the March 14 edition of the New York Times, Justin Gillis writes: "The ocean has been rising slowly and relentlessly since the late 19th century, one of the hallmark indicators that the climate of the earth is changing. The average global rise has been about eight inches since 1880, but the local rise has been higher in some places where the land is also sinking, as in Louisiana and the Chesapeake Bay region." Coastal flooding at levels that were once rare could become a common occurrence by the middle of this century (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).

Gillis quotes researcher Benjamin H. Strauss as saying, "We have a closing window of time to prevent the worst by preparing for higher seas. Sea level rise is like an invisible tsunami, building force while we do almost nothing."

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