According to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sea level along US coastlines would rise by about 10 to 12 inches in the coming 30 years. If that is the case, that would be as much as the last 100 years of seal level rise. Although the news is undoubtedly horrible, NOAA head, Rick Spinrad believes it additionally offers a glimmer of hope.
“This report is a wake-up call for the US, but it’s a wake-up call with a silver lining,” Spinrad said in comments heard by CNN at a news conference. “It provides us with the information needed to act now to best position ourselves for the future.”
The report mentioned that damaging floods could start occurring at a faster rate. It outlined the same fact that floods would begin to hit about “10 times as often as it does today” by 2050. When that happens coastal cities such as New York City and Miami could even begin experiencing regular flooding even on clear, storm-free days.
“Today’s disruptive, sunny day high tide flooding is a growing problem in many communities, but that will become damaging flooding in 30 years time due to this increase of a foot or more in many East and Gulf Coast communities,” William Sweet, an oceanographer at NOAA and lead author of the report, told the broadcaster.
This would aggravate major storms and consequently floods and hurricanes. The report estimates that major, destructive floods will “occur five times as often in 2050”. This bleak situation only represents what we are on track for if we keep current emissions levels where they are. The more emissions will lead to more sea levels as the more emissions there are, the more warming there will be.
Some world leaders are contributing to curbing their nation’s struggles with anthropogenic climate change. So there is at least some hope we can prevent the dangerous outcome of such scenarios.
“The next 30 years are pretty well in our headlights right now,” Sweet told CNN. “We can give actionable information, but beyond that, emissions matter. It’s collectively in our hands to determine what our future scenario will actually be.”