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On Rising Sea Levels

There is a lot of talk about rising sea levels. We hear about it in the news (occasionally), on nature shows and on the internet, but is this something we should really be concerned about? How fast are sea levels rising and what difference, if any, will this make to our coastlines and our lives?

To get a better idea take a look at this graphic created by eC02 Greetings, which shows just how much sea levels will rise over the coming years, at the current rates of climate change.
sea-levels

OK, so these dramatic changes will take some time, but if we don’t act now be sure that they will happen. As the graphic shows, in coastal areas like Florida future citizens will have a huge fight on their hands to survive if they don’t move further inland. So, do we leave this for future generations to deal with or do we act now while there may still be time to do something about it?


Ashley Fleming

Ashley Fleming is a writer and content creator who uses all the opportunities at his disposal to spread the word about ecological issues. His contributions on the environment and business ethics can be found on the blogs he edits at eC02 Greetings and Ecardshack.


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3 Comments »

  1. I thought it would have been worse. I figured sea level could rise up to 60 meters. This isn’t just contributions from melting ice, or pumping out aquifers, but also from water expanding as the oceans warm up.

    There are two possibilities
    1. Sea level is rising due to a global warming trend that is mostly part of a natural cycle.
    2. Sea level is rising due to a global warming trend that is part of a natural cycle , but it is exacerbated by human activity.

    The rather rate implied (20 meters in 1000 years = 2 centimeters/year) is actually double what it is at present according to NOAA data. There is too much conflicting data, and prognostications cannot be trusted.

    My prognostication: Sea level is going to rise. It has been rising for 10,000 years and will continue so long as we are in this part of the Earth’s cycle. It will rise whether we continue to burn fossil fuels or not. We cannot assume a constant rate of increase, nor can we assume that after fossil fuels are exhausted that it will continue to rise – the earth may start to cool – it depends on what man’s contribution to the warming trend really is, among about 1000 other variables. To adapt to our environment is going to mean we retreat as sea levels rise. Just like the Greeks, the Cimbrians, the Jutes and many others before us have had to do. Or we can try to play King Canute and suffer the same fate.

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  2. This does seem a very mild, conservative view of the time frame compared to others I have seen. There are a multiplication of factors that are/will create(ing) acceleration, a feedback loop.

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