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Climate sea level rise due to climate change  so what  | Upload General

Sea Level Rise Due To Climate Change: So What?

by: Sharai Hoekema
sea level rise due to climate change  so what  | Upload

We human beings have a funny way of dealing with anything potentially harmful or negative that is thrown our way. If it is staring us right in the face, we are all too eager to get away from whatever it is that we identified as a threat. However, if it is somehow obscure and invisible, for now, we are more than happy to turn a blind eye. Ignore it, so to speak.

Sea Level Rise Due To Climate Change: So What?

This very much applies to the most dire consequences of climate change. One of those crucial benchmarks of climate change is the rising sea level. And if the news would start to broadcast right now that there’s a massive tsunami heading our way, we would definitely be fleeing our coastal regions, or throwing up huge dykes and dams. Yet unfortunately the message that we will be facing a much higher sea level in decades does not seem to hit home in any sense.

pamtrees, road, water, beach, buildings

Recommended: Our Food With Rising Sea Levels. Never Give Up

The Reality Of Rising Sea Levels

The reality is that the global sea levels already rose some 25 centimeters since 1880. About a third of this happened during the last 25 years. Just another sign that we are speeding up our own demise. This rise can mostly be contributed to melting glaciers and ice sheets, along with the thermal expansion of warming seawater. And this process is definitely not about to stop, as the last year alone already saw an increase in global average sea levels of almost 7 millimeters.

The projection is that we will be looking at a 30 centimeters increase before the end of this century compared to the levels in 2000. That is, provided that our greenhouse gas emissions are cut significantly - if not completely - in the next decades. 

high rise buildings, water
Miami! Where to go?

Recommended: CO2 At Current Levels Causes A 16 Meters Sea Rise

Regional Differences Are No Excuse

One way in which people obscure those findings, is by claiming that it does not apply to their region. This is only partially true. There can indeed be regional differences, as caused by a number of things: including the ground settling, upstream flood control, erosion, and the ocean currents. 

This should not be a reason to say that rising sea levels are not real, or not an actual threat. Quite the contrary. If empathy with others does not do the trick, the realisation that it will ultimately harm you as well might. 

Threatening Our Livelihood

As the U.N. Atlas of the Oceans points out, 8 of the 10 largest cities in the world are near a coast. Traditionally, people have opted for living in marine regions as those saw a greater prosperity - close to industry and infrastructure - as well as a higher standard of living. This might all just start to fall away, though, as projects all over the world are postponed out of fear for rising sea levels. 

Roads, bridges, subways, power plants, sewage treatment plants, landfills: these are all threatened by the rising sea levels. As the sea level rises, entire areas become more prone to flooding, as demonstrated by Hurricane Katrina, “Superstorm” Sandy and Hurricane Michael. Even areas in-land are now at risk for extensive damage. This includes residential and commercial areas, which is bad for our wallets, but also natural areas, where entire ecosystems are ruined. Rising sea levels would harm both our economic and natural treasures. Now that is something to be concerned about.

Houses, coast, beach, sea, waves
California's new reality!

Recommended: Madness Or Visionary? A Floating Airport

The Future Is Uncertain

How concerned should you be, exactly? Well, there is really no way of knowing how grim the future might look. Most of it depends on what we do today. How quickly can we cut back on our harmful emissions? What are we doing to prevent further warming of our planet? These actions are determinant for how much sea levels will rise. 

Another way of looking at it is by trying to estimate how fast sea levels will rise. This depends on the rate of glacier and ice sheet melting. In recent years, this process seemed to accelerate, although this does not necessarily mean it will continue to do so - there might be some internal glacier and ice sheet dynamics working together with natural climate variability, which could lead to intermittent slowdowns in melting activity.

This means that we do not know exactly when we are in for wet feet. The estimates vary, mostly due to the uncertainty on actions taken now and tomorrow. Experts found that, even at the lowest possible greenhouse gas emission level, we would be looking at a rise of at least 30 centimeters above the 2000 levels by 2100. 

If this emission level would be higher, we could potentially be in for a rise of up to 2,5 meters by 2100, as compared to the 2000 levels. Much higher would be unlikely, no matter our actions in the remainder of this decade.

Recommended: Stop Rising Seas With Manmade Snowstorms

We Cannot Prevent Rising Sea Levels

Extensive modeling and observations of ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland led to this estimate, that should be worrying to everyone. We cannot prevent a rise in sea levels, so we will at least find ourselves dealing with some of the consequences towards the end of this century. Yet this does not mean that we should sit back and throw our hands up: the difference between a rise of 30 centimeters and 2,5 meters is much more than the 2,2 meters that the math proffers us. 

It might be the difference between life and death, prosperity or poverty, for millions and millions. This is the time to accept our responsibility and cut our losses. We are in this together - all to prevent a scenario where Iowa would suddenly find itself with a coastline. 

Before you go!

Recommended: Global Cooling Or Warming: Will It Kill Us?

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your article about rising sea levels and climate change?
Send your writing & scribble with a photo to [email protected], and we will write an interesting article based on your input.

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More like this:

Sea Level Rise Due To Climate Change: So What?

We human beings have a funny way of dealing with anything potentially harmful or negative that is thrown our way. If it is staring us right in the face, we are all too eager to get away from whatever it is that we identified as a threat. However, if it is somehow obscure and invisible, for now, we are more than happy to turn a blind eye. Ignore it, so to speak. Sea Level Rise Due To Climate Change: So What? This very much applies to the most dire consequences of climate change. One of those crucial benchmarks of climate change is the rising sea level. And if the news would start to broadcast right now that there’s a massive tsunami heading our way, we would definitely be fleeing our coastal regions, or throwing up huge dykes and dams. Yet unfortunately the message that we will be facing a much higher sea level in decades does not seem to hit home in any sense. Recommended:  Our Food With Rising Sea Levels. Never Give Up The Reality Of Rising Sea Levels The reality is that the global sea levels already rose some 25 centimeters since 1880. About a third of this happened during the last 25 years. Just another sign that we are speeding up our own demise. This rise can mostly be contributed to melting glaciers and ice sheets, along with the thermal expansion of warming seawater. And this process is definitely not about to stop, as the last year alone already saw an increase in global average sea levels of almost 7 millimeters. The projection is that we will be looking at a 30 centimeters increase before the end of this century compared to the levels in 2000. That is, provided that our greenhouse gas emissions are cut significantly - if not completely - in the next decades.   Miami! Where to go? Recommended:  CO2 At Current Levels Causes A 16 Meters Sea Rise Regional Differences Are No Excuse One way in which people obscure those findings, is by claiming that it does not apply to their region. This is only partially true. There can indeed be regional differences, as caused by a number of things: including the ground settling, upstream flood control, erosion, and the ocean currents.   This should not be a reason to say that rising sea levels are not real, or not an actual threat. Quite the contrary. If empathy with others does not do the trick, the realisation that it will ultimately harm you as well might.   Threatening Our Livelihood As the U.N. Atlas of the Oceans points out, 8 of the 10 largest cities in the world are near a coast. Traditionally, people have opted for living in marine regions as those saw a greater prosperity - close to industry and infrastructure - as well as a higher standard of living. This might all just start to fall away, though, as projects all over the world are postponed out of fear for rising sea levels.   Roads, bridges, subways, power plants, sewage treatment plants, landfills: these are all threatened by the rising sea levels. As the sea level rises, entire areas become more prone to flooding, as demonstrated by Hurricane Katrina, “Superstorm” Sandy and Hurricane Michael. Even areas in-land are now at risk for extensive damage. This includes residential and commercial areas, which is bad for our wallets, but also natural areas, where entire ecosystems are ruined. Rising sea levels would harm both our economic and natural treasures. Now that is something to be concerned about. California's new reality! Recommended:   Madness Or Visionary? A Floating Airport The Future Is Uncertain How concerned should you be, exactly? Well, there is really no way of knowing how grim the future might look. Most of it depends on what we do today. How quickly can we cut back on our harmful emissions? What are we doing to prevent further warming of our planet? These actions are determinant for how much sea levels will rise.   Another way of looking at it is by trying to estimate how fast sea levels will rise. This depends on the rate of glacier and ice sheet melting. In recent years, this process seemed to accelerate, although this does not necessarily mean it will continue to do so - there might be some internal glacier and ice sheet dynamics working together with natural climate variability, which could lead to intermittent slowdowns in melting activity. This means that we do not know exactly when we are in for wet feet. The estimates vary, mostly due to the uncertainty on actions taken now and tomorrow. Experts found that, even at the lowest possible greenhouse gas emission level, we would be looking at a rise of at least 30 centimeters above the 2000 levels by 2100.   If this emission level would be higher, we could potentially be in for a rise of up to 2,5 meters by 2100, as compared to the 2000 levels. Much higher would be unlikely, no matter our actions in the remainder of this decade. Recommended:  Stop Rising Seas With Manmade Snowstorms We Cannot Prevent Rising Sea Levels Extensive modeling and observations of ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland led to this estimate, that should be worrying to everyone. We cannot prevent a rise in sea levels, so we will at least find ourselves dealing with some of the consequences towards the end of this century. Yet this does not mean that we should sit back and throw our hands up: the difference between a rise of 30 centimeters and 2,5 meters is much more than the 2,2 meters that the math proffers us.   It might be the difference between life and death, prosperity or poverty, for millions and millions. This is the time to accept our responsibility and cut our losses. We are in this together - all to prevent a scenario where Iowa would suddenly find itself with a coastline.   Before you go! Recommended:  Global Cooling Or Warming: Will It Kill Us? Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about rising sea levels and climate change? Send your writing & scribble with a photo to [email protected] , and we will write an interesting article based on your input.
Stay Updated on Environmental Improvements And Global Innovations