Then there is fear for your children, which, loosed from the confines of one body to worry about, magnifies and outstretches both time and specifics. I suspect that many parents are towed by an invisible thread of fear for their children pretty much their whole lives. Beyond the usual worries about illnesses and accidents, I came to notice my own parental fear when I began to hallucinate snakes. Living as we were then in a small village in the Highlands of Scotland, it was my daily habit to take my first young son for a walk along a thin, muddy path that overlooked a rocky beach and the sheltered waters of the firth.
The final installment in the CE series on sea level rise. Introduction Global mean sea level GMSL has increased by about 8—9 inches sincewith about 3 inches occurring since As discussed in Part VIscientists expect that GMSL will continue to rise well beyond the 21st century because of global warming that has already occurred and warming that is yet to occur.
The recent NOAA Report Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States has stated that even the relatively small increases in sea level over the last several decades have been associated greater storm impacts at many places along the U.
Further, the frequency of intermittent flooding associated with unusually high tides has increased rapidly in response to increases in local sea level, becoming a recurrent and disruptive problem. Millions of people in the U. Rising seas will dramatically increase the vulnerability of this growing population, along with critical infrastructure related to transportation, energy, trade, military readiness, and coastal ecosystems and the supporting services they provide.
It has been estimated in the NOAA report that 35 inches of sea level rise would permanently inundate areas currently home to 2 million Americans. This essay addresses the U.
Apart from the issue of the extent to which global mean sea level rise can be attributed to human caused warming, this essay provides regional and local contexts for sea level rise against the broader context of global sea level rise.
The analysis includes a focus on: Mississippi delta region Cities: San Francisco, New York, Miami 2. Chapter 18 includes an assessment of the challenges of attributing any of these impacts to human-caused global warming.
While it is likely that extreme sea levels have increased globally since the s, mainly as a result of mean sea level rise due in part to anthropogenic warming, local sea level trends are also influenced by factors such as regional variability in ocean and atmospheric circulation, subsidence, isostatic adjustment, coastal erosion, and coastal modification.
As a consequence, the detection of the impact of climate change in observed changes in relative sea level remains challenging. Subsidence rates may also be sensitive to the rates of oil and gas removal.
Many large cities on deltas and coastal plains have subsided during the last years: Loads from massive buildings and other large structures can also increase sediment compaction and subsidence. Owing to the multiple natural and anthropogenic stressors contributing to coastal erosion, confidence in detection of a climate change contribution to observed shoreline changes is very low, with the exception of polar regions.
Natural drivers combined with over-extraction, pollution, mining, and erosion compound groundwater supply problems. However, the primary drivers of widespread observed changes in those systems are human drivers other than climate change so that there is very low confidence in the detection of impacts related to climate change Section 5.
There is no question that local sea levels are increasing in some locations at rates that are causing damage in coastal regions.
However attributing these changes to human caused global warming even if you assume that recent global sea level rise is caused entirely by greenhouse gas emissions is very challenging. This is because there are much larger impacts on local sea level rise from local geological processes, land use practices and coastal engineering.
Causes of regional sea level change Sea levels have not been rising uniformly across the globe over the last century. One reason for regional variations in rates of sea level rise is dynamic redistribution of ocean mass via ocean circulations.
There are two regional patterns that impact U. Along the Northeast Atlantic coast, sea level trends have been higher than the global rate in recent decades.
The relatively high rates have been attributed to changes in the Gulf Stream.
In these regions, glacial isostatic adjustment GIA and sediment compaction add about 0. Glacial Isostatic Adjustment GIA is the ongoing response of the solid Earth to land-ice shrinkage since the end of the last ice age.
Future RSL rise is partially reduced by intermediate-field static-equilibrium effects associated with relative proximity to Greenland and many northern glaciers.
Pacific Northwest coasts due to proximity to the Alaskan glaciers from both ongoing GIA to past glacier shrinkage and projected future losses. Pacific Coast due to far-field static-equilibrium effects of Antarctic ice sheet melt.
Coastline addresses the issues surrounding high tide flooding. High tide flooding affects low-lying assets and infrastructure such as roads, harbors, beaches, private and commercial property, and public storm- waste- and fresh-water systems.
High tide flooding occurs more often in certain seasons and during certain years. Over the last several decades, annual frequencies of high tide flooding have been increasing along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The Report concludes that the U.
X-factor in coastal flooding: Excerpts from the article:Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state.
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This essay appeared originally on the Powell's Books Blog.. The most frequent question readers ask about An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is: "Why hasn't this book been written before?" I'm flattered by that question, because it's the one I ask about texts that deeply move me; at the same time the information, argument, or story is new to me, it seems that it was already.
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