The world’s rising tides have something for everyone to worry about

December 15, 2014

It has  always struck me as an odd contortion of logic that the same voices that condemn the crippling effect that America’s mounting debt will have on future generations should also turn such a willfully blind eye to issues concerning the physical world in which those same generations will live.

On Friday, Alister Doyle and Ryan McNeill added another chapter to Reuters’ Water’s Edge series on the crisis of rising sea levels. While earlier installments focused on American issues with subsidence, “the process by which geological forces and the extraction of groundwater cause the land to sink,” last week’s report highlighted the global reach of fluctuating sea heights.

As this graphic shows, a Reuters analysis of 50 years worth of tidal readings reveals that in some parts of the world, tides have increased by almost three feet, with the U.S. Gulf Coast and East Coast joining Southeast Asia as the regions most dramatically affected. Globally, about 200 million people live within 30 miles  of the sea, with at-risk areas ranging from big cities to fishing villages.

Also earlier this month, in another act of comprehensive journalism, ProPublica and The Lens released an interactive report titled Losing Ground. In it, they report that Louisiana is drowning and that most of the southeastern part of the state could be underwater by 2100. This problem, says the report, is compounded by the effects on the Mississippi River Delta due to “climate change, drilling and dredging for oil and gas, and levees on the Mississippi River.”

Why should you care? This impending disaster has a little something for everyone. Both the series from Reuters and the report from ProPublica and The Lens are replete with data and are certainly worth a read, but here’s just a taste of the range of implications:

  • According to the Reuters analysis, at least $1.4 trillion worth of at-risk real estate is located along America’s shores, and at least 5.6 million jobs are found in areas at risk of hurricane-related flooding.
  • This Reuters graphic helps visualize how the $7 billion that U.S. taxpayers have spent dumping sand into eroding coastlines since 1990 has been distributed, and Losing Ground describes Louisiana’s $50 billion plan to save the coast.
  • In October, the Pentagon released a report highlighting the security concerns entailed in climate change.

Disappearing coastlines and rising tides hit the superfecta: they hurt the environment, they are bad for business, they are bad for government, and they pose a national security risk. Surely one of these is important enough to care about.

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On Rising Sea’s.
I am constantly amazed by the media’s focus on rising sea levels as the main consequence of the man made global warming trend we are in today.

I suppose that is because it presents a simple image of disaster in the readers mind.

But long before the sea levels rise other more subtle or at least, less visual changes will occur that are far more catastrophic and should move up the time line of this impending disaster.

The changes in sea salinity caused by the massive ice freshwater melt off will create layers of less and more salty water in the oceans disrupting heat exchange cycles. This is the global conveyor belt that regulates temperature across the hemispheres.

Along with this conveyor belt are the organisms that survive off of this heat and movement.

With the movement and the heat patterns of the oceans changed the food cycle will become disrupted and even collapse

The disruption of movement and increased carbon will cause greater ocean acidification – killing off the micro organizes which start the food chain and some of which are the source of the net oxygen in not just the oceans but the atmosphere…… not forests and plants which just breath it in and out in their cycle….. it is the phyto planktons which produce our net O2.

So lets see, we have collapse of food chain, stagnant dead oceans, more carbon less o2, scorching summers, ice hole winters and category 5 storms in between….

Compound these factors with our penchant for industrialized fishing and well….

We will be lucky if anyone is around to CARE if surfs up

but yes, flooding New York is kinda five star

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