Coastal States on Alert as Scientists Warn of Looming Threat and Misguided Preparedness: Report

Coastal States on Alert as Scientists Warn of Looming Threat and Misguided Preparedness: Report

Scientists have sent out a strong warning about the ongoing danger of rising sea levels caused by a climate that is always changing.

The Washington Post wrote an in-depth article about how coastal areas in eight U.S. states are experiencing “one of the most rapid sea level surges on Earth.” Since 2010, satellite data shows that the Gulf of Mexico has had twice the average rate of sea level rise in the world. More than a dozen tide gauges from Texas to North Carolina have shown that the water level is at least six inches higher than it was 14 years ago.

A lot of people think that big weather events like hurricanes are to blame for these changes, which makes sense. However, experts have found that smaller weather events are causing water to rise, which is a “newer, more insidious challenge.”

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The water level in Charleston, South Carolina, reached its fourth-highest level since records started in 1899. Since 2010, the city’s average level has gone up by seven inches. In 14 years, the elevation of land in Galveston, Texas rose by a huge eight inches, while in Jacksonville, Florida it rose by six inches.

It is very rare for water levels to rise so quickly, and to make matters worse, experts think they will stay that way even if the rate of rise slows down over time.

As temperatures rise around the world, warmer currents form that make water spread. But harmful gases released by people into the atmosphere and a lack of care for the earth have also made these problems worse.

In Louisiana, the rising water levels have had the worst effect on marshes that are supposed to protect against big storms but are now “drowning.” It’s possible that this problem will make the state more exposed to big weather events in the future.

In the rest of the American South, water sources can become dirty when septic systems fail. When there are big storms, the roads may sink below the high waves, cutting people off from medical care and other important services. Insurance rates are going up and policies are getting smaller, which is also lowering the future value of homes in flood-prone places.

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