How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years
By the Union of Concerned Scientists
Today scores of coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable — all within the time frame of a typical home mortgage.
An analysis of 52 tide gauges in communities stretching from Portland, Maine to Freeport, Texas shows that most of these communities will experience a steep increase in the number and severity of tidal flooding events over the coming decades, with significant implications for property, infrastructure, and daily life in affected areas.
Given the substantial and nearly ubiquitous rise in the frequency of floods at these 52 locations, many other communities along the East and Gulf Coasts will need to brace for similar changes.
Twice each month (during new and full moons), the combined gravitational pull of the sun and moon creates tides that rise slightly higher than normal.
In some coastal communities, these extreme tides, or spring tides, flood low-lying areas. In many locations, these floods are happening much more often than just 40 years ago. In several communities, tidal flooding has quadrupled in frequency since 1970.
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Watch this informative video from the Union of Concerned Scientists:
Study: Global warming worsening watery dead zones
WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming is likely playing a bigger role than previously thought in dead zones in oceans, lakes and rivers around the world and it's only going to get worse, according to a new study.
Dead zones occur when fertilizer runoff clogs waterways with nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous. That leads to an explosion of microbes that consumes oxygen and leaves the water depleted of oxygen, harming marine life.
Scientists have long known that warmer water increases this problem, but a new study Monday in the journal Global Change Biology by Smithsonian Institution researchers found about two dozen different ways — biologically, chemically and physically — that climate change worsens the oxygen depletion.
"We've underestimated the effect of climate change on dead zones," said study lead author Andrew Altieri, a researcher at the Smithsonian's tropical center in Panama.
Read more at The Buffalo News
Winter weather weirdness may be just beginning
Warming trend caused freak storm
by Jerry Zremski
November 22, 2014
Brace yourself. November’s white nightmare could become a recurring bad dream of varying intensity.
While last week’s winter blast appears to be the freak offspring of a typhoon-blasted jet stream and a
Meteorologists and geographers say that lake-effect snows have increased as temperatures have warmed in recent decades. That means more bizarre early-season storms, though not necessarily as bad as last week’s, are likely in the future as the warming trend continues.
“The general notion is that, as the climate warms and the lakes hold their warmth longer into the fall, you’re going to see a lot more lake-effect snow until it’s too warm to have much snow,” said Mark Monmonier, distinguished professor of geography at Syracuse University and the author of the 2012 book “Lake Effect: Tales of Large Lakes, Arctic Winds, and Recurrent Snows.”
Read more at The Buffalo News.
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
By Eric Holthaus
Jason Box knows ice. That’s why what’s happened this year concerns him so much.
Box just returned from a trip to Greenland. Right now, the ice there is … black:
The ice in Greenland this year isn’t just a little dark—it’s record-setting dark. Box says he’s never seen anything like it. I spoke to Box by phone earlier this month, just days after he returned from his summer field research campaign.
“I was just stunned, really,” Box told me.
The photos he took this summer in Greenland are frightening. But their implications are even more so. Just like black cars are hotter to the touch than white ones on sunny summer days, dark ice melts much more quickly.
As a member of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Box travels to Greenland from his home in Copenhagen to track down the source of the soot that’s speeding up the glaciers’ disappearance. He aptly calls his crowdfunded scientific survey Dark Snow.
Read more at Slate.