Climate change puts Atlantic coastline in crosshairs

Inch by inch along parts of the Atlantic Coast, global climate change is ... swamping and eroding beaches, wetlands and farm fields.

Along the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey coasts, sea levels could rise faster and higher -- nearly 1.5 feet by 2050 and 3.5 to nearly 5 feet by the end of the century, according to Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and other federal and science agency reports.

That could swamp tens of thousands of homes and businesses along the coasts and jeopardize big chunks of land along Maryland's fragile Chesapeake Bay.

With a higher ocean, saltier water would push farther upstream, especially in summertime and drought years, making it harder to dilute for public consumption. Water supplies for communities along the Delaware River to Philadelphia could be threatened.

Maps and forecasts of future sea-level rise, offered as guides for long-term planning, only show viewers the calm-weather level of future high tides.

Not shown is the height of storm surges pushed up from higher starting points by the more-vicious storms climate researchers say will become more common.

Tags: climate Change, sea level rise, storm surge

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The US East coast from North Carolina to Boston is a sea level rise "hot spot".

Climate change puts Atlantic coastline in cross hairs

Inch by inch along parts of the Atlantic Coast, global climate change is running in what scientists warn is geology's version of fast-forward — swamping and eroding beaches, wetlands and farm fields. Shorelines from North Carolina to Boston ... will see water levels rise at double the rate of most places on the planet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The doubling is largely because of a geologic double whammy.

Along the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey coasts, sea levels could rise faster and higher — nearly 1.5 feet by 2050 and 3.5 to nearly 5 feet by the end of the century, according to Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and other federal and science agency reports.

That could swamp tens of thousands of homes and businesses along the coasts and jeopardize big chunks of land along Maryland's fragile Chesapeake Bay.

Delaware is "extremely vulnerable,"...

An international army of scientists also warns that the world is just a few years away from a "tipping point" in carbon dioxide releases.

An Energy Department report last week showed ... it won't come close to heading off that tipping point.

Federal researchers expect entire islands to disappear in Chesapeake Bay, noting that in recent months a new channel was cut through Tangier Island off the coast of Virginia.

James Hansen made this statement at a recent conference

... Greenland's ice sheet is losing mass at about 300 cubic kilometers per year. Sea levels are going up, and there is a danger that the ice sheets will begin to collapse and we could get several meters (of rising sea levels) in one year – which would be disastrous," Hansen said. [emphasis mine]

"We Have a Planetary Emergency"Hansen, leading NASA climate scienti...

This is the first I've heard a serious prediction of sea level rise of several meters in one year. I've read that methane hydrate deposits on the continental shelf off of the Eastern US are destabilizing, and we know the Arctic permafrost and undersea deposits have begun melting, but we don't know how fast yet.

So, I'm guessing this is a worst case scenario. Could increasing sea level by itself accelerate Antarctic ice shelves melting since they float? I'm at a loss to imagine how even a methane bomb would generate such a volume of sea water so so fast.

Several meters might be enough to reverse flow in some Southwest rivers. Would below sea level areas of the US begin to flood? Many coastal cities worldwide would be finished.

This is all new to me. More research needed.

The context is clearer in his video. Hansen isn't saying this could happen soon, it's what could happen (eventually) if we continue the business as usual scenario we're now on. "When the ice sheets really begin to collapse..." It's 8 minutes in.

So this speed of ocean rise could happen if all of the positive feedbacks are in play, the ice sheets are seriously melting, and the ice streams are moving Antarctic Ice out to sea a lot faster. I could see this happening when the temperature has risen 5° C.

We've had numerous "100 year" and "500 year" climate events - from floods to hurricanes to droughts to heat waves over the past couple of decades.

It's probably too late to keep the CO2 levels down below where polar ice will melt. Not where there are developing countries using more fossil fuels faster than other countries can or will reduce theirs. 500 ppm will melt the polar ice.

With a melting of the polar ice - not just the arctic ice cap, not just the Greenland Ice sheet, but Antarctica, this could lead to about a 100 ft sea level rise! At the current rate of CO2 concentration growth, we'll get to 500 ppm in another 54 years.

More than half a billion people live at elevations under 33 feet. Refugees will be rampant - 70 countries have large populations living at or below 30 ft of elevations, and many very large cities are in those zones, including Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Shanghai. This includes the Muldives and Bangladesh. The people will try to go somewhere. Nations will be threatened with flooding, and when threatened with annihilation, there's nothing stopping them from firing whatever weapons they have. Other countries will not be able to absorb that many refugees. Poor, and low-lying nations will no longer be able to feed themselves.

This seems to indicate that global war is a likely occurrence from global warming, with 70 nations under risk of losing most of their countries to flooding. They'll have nothing to lose by going to war, using any means.

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