News Stories

Sea Rise will be Higher on East Coast

The Arctic is melting and the sea level is rising--but it won't rise evenly around the globe. In the US, oceanographers tell us that the East coast will be the first place in the US that will be inundated. From Cape Hatteras to just north of Boston, sea levels are rising much faster in the East than they are in the rest of the world. Since 1990, the Atlantic Ocean has been rising at an annual rate that is 3 to 4 times faster than the global average.

On NPR.com, Allen Reed and Jeff Barnard quote researcher Asbury Sallenger Jr. as saying that it's not just a faster rate, but a faster pace, like a car on a highway "jamming on the accelerator."

By 2100, scientists and computer models estimate that sea levels globally could rise over 3 feet. Along the East Coast, it could rise 8 to 11 inches more than that.

NPR quotes Sallenger as saying, "Where that kind of thing becomes important is during a storm "because that's when it can erode coastlines.

Climate change may drown Florida. The ancient reserves of methane gas seeping from the melting Arctic ice cap may kill off the value of real estate in Florida--by putting much of it underwater, probably within the next 50 to 100 years. Even though this seems like a long time in the future, it might be better to rent for now.

Researcher Jeff Chanton analyzed the methane and dated it to more than 40,000 years old, meaning it hasn't been released in many, MANY years. And THIS means that major changes are ahead for a state like Florida, which is a peninsula sticking out into the ocean.

Chanton says, "Methane is a very strong greenhouse gas that's grown three times faster than carbon dioxide since the industrial era. As the Arctic warms, the ice caps melt and the fissures open, so methane escapes and causes more warming."

This phenomenon causes sea levels to rise, which is particularly problematic in Florida: "Along the flat Florida coastline, a 1-foot rise in sea level could cause anywhere from 10 to 100 feet of shoreline retreat--erosion," Chanton says. "For us here in Florida, this is really important because we can expect the coast to recede."

That beach house might be in peril: "It may not be there for your grandchildren."

In 1998, Whitley Strieber had never heard of climate change, but the Master of the Key burst into his hotel room in Toronto and told him all about it, which led to the hit movie "The Day After Tomorrow."



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