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Op-Ed: Will American Cities Sink Under Water Within The Next Century?

Sea Levels
Although the annual sea level rise of one to two millimeters may appear insignificant, the authors of the study caution that even this seemingly small amount can pose significant challenges for major coastal cities in the coming years. File photo: Victor Moussa, Shutter Stock, licensed.

NEW YORK, NY – “New York City is sinking under its own weight,” declared headlines this week. Acting either as click-bait or a serious warning, such announcements are either laughable or anxiety-inducing. But the question remains: Are parts of America bound to disappear due to sinking or rising sea levels?

According to the AD article, three University of Rhode Island oceanologists and a researcher from the US Geological Survey collaborated to publish their findings in the scientific journal Earth’s Future. “The scholars first estimated the cumulative weight of New York’s buildings to be 1.68 trillion pounds, and then calculated the downward pressure these buildings exert on the mixture of clay, sand, and slit that make up most of the ground beneath the city’s streets. ”

“Based on their model,” the article continues, “New York experiences a ‘subsidence rate’ of about one to two millimeters per year on average, though Lower Manhattan, as well as particular areas of Brooklyn and Queens, show a propensity for greater subsidence risk. As the authors note in their paper, much of lower Manhattan is currently no more than one to two meters above sea level…”

According to the Florida Climate Center, “The main contributors to changes in global mean sea level are thermal expansion caused by warming ocean temperatures, melting of land-based ice that results in the addition of fresh water into the ocean, and local land water storage (e.g., water that is pumped from land or impounded by dams or other structures). Sea level rise can vary across the coast due to ocean currents and tidal fluctuations.”

Although the annual sea level rise of one to two millimeters may appear insignificant, the authors of the study caution that even this seemingly small amount can pose significant challenges for major coastal cities in the coming years. The paper highlights the convergence of factors such as tectonic and human-induced subsidence, rising sea levels, and intensifying hurricanes, creating a compounding issue that threatens coastal and riverfront regions. According to the study, this combination implies a growing problem that is expected to accelerate over time.

So the great democrat city of New York is sinking – in more ways than one. But what about the great state of Florida? Forget the leftist garbage obsession with climate change. While it is a reality in some places and is having an effect in others, it is not necessarily the cause for change in Florida. Perhaps it is just due to the natural cycle of rising and falling sea levels over the centuries.

According to the Florida Climate Center, this looks to be the case. “It is virtually certain that global mean sea levels will continue to rise throughout the 21st century and beyond. According to the latest science on sea level rise projections for the United States, sea level rise over the next 30 years along the U.S. coastline is projected to be 10-12 inches (0.3 – 0.4 inches per year), on average, which will be as much as what has been measured over the past 100 years from 1920 to 2020. This is an indication of the acceleration in the rate of sea level rise that is expected to continue.”

Scientists expect the lower third of the state to be underwater by 2100, according to The Guardian. Not only are sea levels rising, but they are rising faster than they have in the past. According to scientists, it took 31 years for levels to rise 6 inches, but will only take 15 years for the next 6 inches, according to Green Matters. And according to the Miami Herald, many of the main roads in the Florida Keys could be underwater as soon as 2025.

A recent Newsweek article highlighted the bad plight Florida is in. “By 2050, Florida sea levels, like much of the US, are headed for a 1-foot rise on average (above 2020 levels),” William Sweet, an Oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told Newsweek. “By 2100, Florida is likely to experience at least 2 feet of rise (above 2020 levels) due to emissions to date, but that rise amount could be much higher if emissions and resulting ocean and atmospheric heating continues to increase. Up to 6 feet or so of rise by 2100 cannot be ruled out under a high emissions/heating scenario.”

Granted it is a left-wing publication also obsessed with climate change, but the reality of rising sea levels is still to be taken seriously.

The fact is there are no real solution to rising sea levels other than relocation. Those people living on the most threatened coastal areas of Florida (and other coastal cities in the US) will need to pick up and leave, moving inland or to higher ground. People will likely lose serious money since they won’t be able to sell their homes as no one will want to buy.

Scientific predictions tend to be wrong so perhaps the idea that Florida’s coastal areas will be underwater by 2050 is a bit far-fetched but could it happen by the end of the 21st century? Possibly.

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