The only question is?when? – Global warming is expected to cause the sea level along the northeastern US coast to rise almost twice as fast as global sea levels during this century, putting New York City at greater risk for damage from hurricanes and winter storm surge. Much of the city is less than 16 feet above the mean sea level, with some parts of lower Manhattan only about 5 feet above the mean sea level, so a rise of 8.3 inches in addition to the global mean rise would pose a threat to this region, especially if a hurricane or winter storm surge occurs.
Climate modeler Jianjun Yin says there is a better than 90% chance that the sea level rise along this heavily populated coast will exceed the mean global sea level rise by the year 2100. The rising waters in this region?perhaps by as much as 18 inches or more?can be attributed to warmer weather and the slowing of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation due to warmer ocean surface temperatures. The melting of land ice, such as the Greenland ice sheet, are expected to be part of the cause the global sea-level rise.
Yin says, “The northeast coast of the United States is among the most vulnerable regions to future changes in sea level and ocean circulation, especially when considering its population density and the potential socioeconomic consequences of such changes. The most populous states and cities of the United States and centers of economy, politics, culture and education are located along that coast.”
Yin and his team found that the rapid sea-level rise occurred in all climate models whether they depicted low, medium or high rates of greenhouse-gas emissions. In a medium greenhouse-gas emission scenario, the New York City coastal area would see an additional rise of about 8.3 inches above the mean sea level rise that is expected around the globe because of human-induced climate change.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
When Whitley met the Master of the Key, he had one overall message for him: Things are going to change.
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