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Sea levels rising to dangerous stage, warn scientists

Sea levels rising to dangerous stage, warn scientists

LONDON: Scientists will warn this week that rising sea levels, triggered by global warming, pose a far greater danger to the planet than previously estimated. They warn that coastal cities like Washington D.C. could be at vast danger for severe flooding over the rest of this century. In fact, sea levels rise in Washington D.C.—and Wilmington North Carolina—have already passed what experts call the “tipping point”. additionally other East coast cities can now expect to reach the point where they could experience at least 30 days of “nuisance-level flooding,” every year by 2050.
Lead study author oceanographer William Street says, “Coastal communities are beginning to experience sunny-day nuisance or urban flood, much more so than in decades past. This is due to sea level rise. Unfortunately, once impacts are noticed, they will become commonplace rather quickly. We find that in 30 to 40 years, even modest projections of global sea level rise—1.5 feet by the year 2100—will increase instances of daily high tide flooding to a point requiring an active, and potentially costly response and be the end of this century, our projections show that there will be near-daily nuisance flooding in most of the locations that we reviewed.”
Street, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained to reporters at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting, Thursday, “It’s an emerging flooding crisis.”
The new research uses tide-gauge data as well as mainstream sea-level-rise projections, to show that, for the most part, the frequency of coastal flooding is rising and will continue to rise faster and faster; and that means sea level is going to continue to rise as well. And, for now at least, the rise in sea level is the thing that is getting the most attention.
Sweet comments “It’s not so much the mean that we are concerned about than it is the frequency of these lesser extremes.”