Some coastlines are more resilient to sea level rise, whereas others just plain drown. A new study by geologists at the United States Geological Survey evaluate how coastlines along the northeast United States will respond to sea level rise.
Will salt marshes survive sea level rise? Previous studies have emphatically answered “No!” suggesting a 20-50% loss by the year 2100. However, Kirwan and colleagues have challenged this notion, finding that salt marshes are not nearly as fragile as previously thought, and that salt marshes will not succumb to the rising sea without a fight!
Source: Fürst et al. (2016), The Safety band of Antarctic ice shelves. Nature Climate Change The shrinking Antarctic As our planet warms, the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps is causing sea level rise, threatening the future of coastal cities and low lying areas around the world. This melting includes Antarctica’s ice shelves, which add […]
Future sea level rise poses many challenges for communities on barrier islands. However, sea level rise alone may not be the only factor that determines the fate of barrier islands in a future of rising seas.
Barrier Islands support local economies, residents, tourism, fragile environments, and sometimes valuable resources. Yet, they are extremely susceptible to storms and sea level change. A new study examines the past 12,000 years in sediments to try to understand how these coastal landforms may be affected in the future.
The coral reefs protecting many islands in the Pacific need to grow quickly in order to keep up with the rising sea levels and increasing ocean temperatures. As of now, researchers are optimistic that some species of corals are up to this challenge, but that relies on the rate of sea level rise.
Ocean circulation plays a major role in delivering heat to the subpolar North Atlantic and influence long-term changes in sea surface temperatures. A cleaver use of tidal gauge data shows that we are in for a natural transition to cooler temperatures in the North Atlantic with unfavorable consequences for coastal sea level rise along the US northeastern seaboard.
Satellite altimetry: talk about a game-changer! Measurement of the oceans’ sea surface height by satellite altimetry has revolutionized the study of sea level rise. But even the most precise measurements are prone to error, which can drastically impair our understanding of sea level rise.
Calculating a global average change in sea-level over the twentieth-century is no walk in the park. This study uses a new technique to critically look at previous estimates of sea-level rise. The findings suggest that previous estimates may have been too high, but what does this mean for future sea-level rise projections?
Like the West Antarctica Ice Sheet, East Antarctica is home to glaciers thinning at an alarming rate. The east’s Totten Glacier stores enough water to raise global sea level by 11 feet, similar to projected amounts in West Antarctica. Researchers conducted a study to find out what is causing Totten to melt so quickly. The answer lies beneath the ice.
Through biogeochemical analysis, researchers found that mercury levels in ancient Pacific Cod bones peaked at a time of deglaciation and sea level rise. Read more about the study, and what it may tell us about future climate change.
From 2009-2010, the Northeast coast of North America experienced approximately four inches of sea-level rise, quite the departure from the 2.5 mm per year annual average rate of rise. Researchers link this leap in sea-level to changes in Atlantic Ocean circulation and atmospheric pressure gradients. Will extreme sea-level rise events continue to be the exception, rather than the rule?
The Mekong Delta in Vietnam is subject to groundwater salt intrusions due to sea level rise, damaging vital crops. Agricultural production will continue to take a hit unless something can be done to either fight or adapt to this phenomenon. Researchers are using modeling to try and find cost-effective and long-lasting solutions.
How stable are the barrier islands that outline many coastal communities around the world? To answer this question, scientists look at the relationship between barrier island elevation and the plant life that populates the dunes.
As a poster child for conservation, threats to sea turtles, such as fishing nets and coastal development, have been highly publicized. But recent research has shown that sea level rise, as a function of climate change, is affecting the emergence of turtle hatchlings.
What is natural and what is human induced climate change? A controversial topic indeed, determining when a natural process has been drastically altered by human activities is best left to the scientists! In this study, scientists use climate model simulations and sea level projections to estimate when human induced climate change emerges from natural variability.