California May Sink Five Feet Into Ocean In Next Century

The future effects of climate change are beginning to be studied, and they're far from encouraging.

Some sobering news has arrived for sunshine-loving West Coasters from a National Research Council report.Via the LA Times:

Sea levels along the California coast are expected to rise up to 1 foot in 20 years, 2 feet by 2050 and as much as 5 1/2 feet by the end of the century, climbing slightly more than the global average and increasing the risk of flooding and storm damage, a new study says.

That's because much of California is sinking, extending the reach of a sea that is warming and expanding because of climate change, according to a report by a committee of scientists released Friday by the National Research Council.

Some of the damage to people living on the coast could be soon and striking:

The report is the latest to warn that the rising sea will place coastal communities at increasing risk, with most of the damage caused by a combination of big waves, storm surges and high tides. The warm ocean conditions of a strong El Niño can magnify those effects, the report says, expanding sea water and raising sea levels by about a foot for several months.

Coastal California could see serious damage from storms within a few decades, especially in low-lying areas of Southern California and the Bay Area. San Francisco International Airport, for instance, could flood if the sea rises a little more than a foot, a mark expected to be reached in the next few decades. Erosion could cause coastal cliffs to retreat more than 100 feet by 2100, according to the report.

What amazes me is that even as these reports come out, many politicians and officials still deny the reality of climate change.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at June 25, 2012, 5:14am

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018
Today's Top Stories