Thursday, August 1, 2013

Flooding from Climate Change will Submerge 1700 US Cities by 2100

According to a study published at the end of July, more than 1,700 US municipalities and a quarter of Americans will be submerged under water due to climate change by 2100. Without a major reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, more than 1300 cities and towns may be under water within a decade. Even with significant emissions reductions it is already too late for many cities including Fort Lauderdale and Miami Gardens.

These are the findings of a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Some of America's greatest cities including New York and Miami could be submerged under water before the end of the century.

As reported in the Guardian, “Even if we could just stop global emissions tomorrow on a dime, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Gardens, Hoboken, New Jersey will be under sea level,” study author and Climate Central researcher Benjamin Strauss said. "Hundreds of American cities are already locked into watery futures and we are growing that group very rapidly. We are locking in hundreds more as we continue to emit carbon into the atmosphere."

Flooding is "locked in" because even if we were able to eliminate all GHG emissions overnight a certain amount of additional warming and concomitant sea-level rise is now "baked into" the system.

The study concludes, the longer we wait to dramatically cut emissions the worse it will get.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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