Rising Seas to Claim Miami, New Orleans, Study Warns

Additionally, more than 400 other U. S. coastal communities are at risk of losing a battle with the ocean.

by Citiscope / November 2, 2015
A hypothetical spatially uniform sea level rise scenario. NOAA
It’s only a matter of time before Miami and New Orleans are claimed by rising tides. That’s the conclusion of a sobering new study on the impact that sea-level rise could have on America’s coastal cities, Raveena Aulakh reports for the Toronto Star.

More than 400 U. S. cities and towns could eventually be submerged, the report warns. Anders Levermann, a co-author of the study, says there is no hope for Miami and New Orleans even if pollution from fossil fuels were to cease today.

Levermann, a climate systems professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, worries about more than losing cities. He’s concerned about the disappearance of precious cultural heritage. The study also emphasizes that today’s emissions will have consequences for future generations. “The emissions that we produce now will impact climate in about 15 to 20 years,” Levermann tells the Star.

The study, Carbon choices determine US cities committed to futures below sea level, published by the National Academy of Sciences, is available here.

This article originally appeared at Citiscope, a nonprofit news outlet that covers innovations in cities around the world. More at Citiscope.org.

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