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Bill DiBenedetto headshot

Video Shows What Tidal Flooding and Sea Level Rise Will Look Like

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Maybe some visual evidence of the effects of tidal flooding and the rise of sea levels due to climate change will help transform debate and talk into action.

A video from the Union of Concerned Scientists helpfully illustrates, in about three-and-a-half minutes, the “growing impacts of global warming.”

It’s not that complicated: Water expands when heated. Sea levels are rising, and sea levels are rising faster as global warming heats up the planet.

UCS makes the point that, “Today scores of coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable — all within the time frame of a typical home mortgage.”

Give the video a view:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-fZnlR_IJ0&feature=youtu.be

UCS also published a 76-page report, Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years.

The report explains, “High tides are having a greater impact on U.S. communities today than in decades past for two reasons. First, our shores are more heavily developed, so higher tides affect more people and infrastructure. Second, these tides are now occurring on top of elevated — and rising — sea levels.”

Building coastal resilience is both a local and a national imperative: “Coastal communities, and the nation as a whole, need to start planning today to cope with sea level rise and unprecedented tidal flooding, and to take swift and decisive action to limit longer-term damage to our coasts.”

Tidal flooding “has simply become a fact of life.” By 2045, some coastal communities will face flooding 24 times a year – or twice a month, the UCS says.

For all those climate deniers out there, if you have read this far, I recommend that you read a recent article republished by Salon: “I was once a climate change denier,” by Kasra Hassani, a scientist with a PhD in microbiology and immunology.

In the article, Hassani describes his journey past all of the typical denier positions, such as the “we have bigger problems” phase, or the “it’s all a conspiracy” phase, or the “okay, it may be happening, but who knows if it’s our fault” phase.

His bottom line: “No human is free of bias. There could be certain social, political and even personal circumstances that would stiffen a thought or belief in one’s mind. It takes effort try to identify our biases and rid ourselves of them, or at least be conscious of them. But it’s definitely worth it.” Bravo!

Climate change is not something that will happen in the distant future, and even the near-term future doesn’t look very good at all; it’s happening right now, and action needs to happen right now.

Image credit: Picture extracted from the USC Encroaching Tides report

Bill DiBenedetto headshotBill DiBenedetto

Writer, editor, reader and generally good (okay mostly good, well sometimes good) guy trying to get by.

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