It’s easy to be numbed by the growing list of things that will happen if we allow global warming to continue, but unfortunately some predictions are already happening. One warning has been that ocean levels will rise, submerge islands, and flood coastal communities. Depending on where you live and what news sources reach your attention, you may be aware that coastal flooding is already a serious concern in United States coastal cities. Tidal flooding is not reserved to major storms, ‘sunny-day flooding’ is becoming a common phenomena, especially in the South. If you have time for a video, the one I’ve posted above offers an overview.
Scientists have linked rising sea levels to human induced global warming for quite some time: melting polar ice increases ocean volume as does warm water expansion. Coastal communities feel ocean encroachment the most during high tide and heavy rainfall. Now warnings are no longer predictions, the pressing questions are how fast are oceans rising, how high, and how can we slow the process?
While global sea level rose roughly eight inches from 1880 to 2009, much higher rates have occurred along parts of the East Coast, including New York City (more than 17 inches since 1856), Baltimore (13 inches since 1902), and Boston (nearly 10 inches since 1921). Union of Concerned Scientists
I was inspired to write about this by a recent article in the New York Times, which I highly recommend. The images that stuck with me were houses being raised up on stilts, flooded roads, measuring sticks in roadways to show drivers the depth of flood waters, well water poisoned with salt, storm sewers overflowing in downtown markets, and so on. The other major take away for me was the sense that even when faced with actual events of disastrous dimensions, Congress is reluctant to create a national plan for combating and coping with sea level rise—even when confronted with advice that naval bases are threatened. The stigma that continues to linger with issues linked to climate change is astounding.
… local leaders say they cannot tackle this problem alone. They are pleading with state and federal governments for guidance and help, including billions to pay for flood walls, pumps and road improvements that would buy them time.
Yet Congress has largely ignored these pleas, and has even tried to block plans by the military to head off future problems at the numerous bases imperiled by a rising sea. A Republican congressman from Colorado, Ken Buck, recently called one military proposal part of a “radical climate change agenda.” Justin Gillis, New York Times
And to conclude, my haiku comment:
Salt water flooding,
Now coast-land, in time, sea floor,
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My haiku uses ‘coast-land’ for beach and ‘time’ for Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge #113.