Threat of Rising Sea Levels Ivy Koy

Glossary:

Anthropogenic: Environmental pollution caused by humans.

Fluctuations: unnatural sudden changes in numbers.

Estimates: To calculate something but not be exact, a guess based on information given.

Satellite: A thing placed into orbit by the government to watch our every move.

The oceans are rising due to melting ice caps and increasing temperatures.

Oceans are rising due to changing climates and human pollution. According to the article 2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records, “Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record” (Nasa). Recently the climate have been suddenly changing and the Arctic is becoming warmer than ever, and so the ice caps are starting to melt into the ocean. Another reason to why the ocean is rising is due to human pollution. According to the article Antarctica's melting ice caps ‘at point of no return’, “By failing to limit global carbon emissions we are driving up temperatures on land and in the sea, and threatening to produce massive impacts from melting ice”(Times, The (United Kingdom)). We are created lots of carbon dioxide in the air that warms the atmosphere and makes temperatures warmer. This rising temperature warms the oceans and makes the water expand which that plus added water from melting ice caps causes the oceans to rise and threaten to cover land areas that are near the sea. But the question is how much will the sea levels rise?

The sea levels will rise to dangerous levels that will affect us greatly.

It has been established that the ocean will rise but how much? According to the video Melting Ice, Rising Seas if all the ice on earth were to melt then the sea would rise about 70 meters. That would cover a lot of land that many people, animals, and ecosystems currently inhabit. According to the video Melting Ice, Rising Oceans “As the temperature increases so does the temperature of the oceans, when the water heats up it expands”(Nasa). This means that on top of the estimate 70 meters of water from melting ice caps, but that water will also expand making the sea level rise even higher. These are some example as to why we should start doing something about the rising ocean and soon for it will be a great impact on our society.

The sea levels rising will affect us in many ways.

Sea levels rising will greatly impact us and the environment around us in many ways. According to the article Antarctica's melting ice cap ‘at point of no return’, “The researchers are now forecasting that sea levels could rise by up to ten feet as a result, threatening low-lying land”(Times, The (United Kingdom)). Many areas that are considered of low-lying land are going to start disappearing due to rising seas, this can also cause a loss in native plants, and animals that inhabit those coastal areas. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “We rely on coastal and marine ecosystems, for food, recreation, transportation, and more”(NOAA). These ecosystems are also important to us, as we use it for food and transportation, transportation we use to ship products that we sell to support our economy. Losing this natural resource could make a big impact on our society economy wise. These are just a few examples as to how the rising ocean can create a big impact and these impacts are soon to be current events.

The problems that this will cause will come sooner than you think.

Eventually we are going to have to know how much time we have to prepare for when sea levels rise to a point where we have to take action. According to the video Melting Ice, Rising Seas, Predicting future sea level rise is a great challenge because the rate increases over time. Because of this we won't be able to make an exact prediction as to when and how much sea levels will rise. All we have is some estimated numbers that may or may not be correct. According to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “we can expect the oceans to rise between 11 and 38 inches (28 to 98 centimeters) by 2100, enough to swamp many of the cities along the U.S. East Coast. More dire estimates, including a complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, place sea level rise to 23 feet (7 meters), enough to submerge London”(National Geographic). From what this explains, we don’t have much time before this becomes a big problem, we need to come up with an idea as to how we are going to stop or even postpone the flood before we lose major cities.

We are currently trying to come up with ideas to solve this problem.

Now that we know how serious this situation is what are we currently doing to help prepare ourselves? According to the article Sea Level Rise: Risk and Resilience in Coastal Cities, “Officials should take guidance from Boston’s plan, which emphasizes promoting community education about the flood threat and devoting special attention to vulnerable populations that rely on public services”(Climate Institute). For coastal cities it’s especially important for residents to understand how severe this is and that they should be aware as to what's happening and what they should do when the time comes. Another example as to how cities are preparing for future rising waters is barriers, according to Climate Institute, Catalyzing Climate Solutions, “First, coastal cities at particular risk of flooding should protect any natural barrier islands that are present. These islands are the first line of defense against storm surge, whether from tropical cyclones or other storms at sea. Cities that can afford it, and can do so in an environmentally friendly way, might follow the example of New York City and erect artificial breakwaters offshore if they do not have any natural barrier islands. These structures could also serve as artificial reefs for marine life if oceanic conditions permit.” By making natural island barriers around coastlines, it can postpone the rising levels so that we have enough time in order for people to evacuate low-lying land.

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