Sea Level Rise
Climate change is increasingly becoming a local issue as cities and counties consider its affects and implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in an attempt to limit its potential damage. Florida is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The state has over 1,200 miles of coastline, almost 4,500 square miles of estuaries and bays, more than 6,700 square miles of other coastal waters, and a low-lying topography. In addition, most of the state’s 18 million residents live within 60 miles of the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico. Florida’s diverse and productive coastal and marine ecosystems are imperative to the state’s present and future. These ecosystems provide food and other products for its …show more content…
Florida, with almost 1,200 miles of coastline, is more vulnerable to rising sea levels and violent weather patterns than any other state. Many communities in Florida will be affected by these violent climate changes since a majority of them reside near the coast.
It is evident that there has been a steady increase in sea level at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters per year since 1900 . Scientists project sea level along Florida’s coast will rise about 18-20 inches by 2100 . The expected future consequences of the rise of sea levels include inland inundation, increased shoreline retreat, higher storm surge during tropical storms and hurricanes and saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers and estuaries. Increased erosion threatens beaches and coastal structures while saltwater intrusions could contaminate drinking water supplies and adversely affect agriculture. The effects of global sea level rise is non uniform because of the presence of local vertical crust movements, differential resistance to erosion, varying wave climates and long shore currents.
Research shows that “hurricanes and other major storms have increased in intensity and duration by about 50 percent since the 1970s and are linked to increases in average sea surface temperatures. Warmer ocean temperatures could cause longer, more intense algal blooms,