2016-02-22. Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries.

posted Feb 24, 2016, 8:49 AM by Alan Gould
By Justin Gillis, The New York Times. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday. Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling. The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days. ...Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes stranding entire island communities for hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland. ...if emissions were to continue at a high rate over the next few decades, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100. ...the situation would then grow far worse in the 22nd century and beyond, likely requiring the abandonment of many coastal cities. ...roughly three-quarters of the tidal flood days now occurring in towns along the East Coast would not be happening in the absence of the rise in the sea level caused by human emissions. ...it has a bigger effect on the nuisance floods that can accompany what are known as king tides. ...in the decade from 1955 to 1964 at Annapolis, Md., an instrument called a tide gauge measured 32 days of flooding; in the decade from 2005 to 2014, that jumped to 394 days. Flood days in Charleston jumped from 34 in the earlier decade to 219 in the more recent, and in Key West, Fla., the figure jumped from no flood days in the earlier decade to 32 in the more recent. ...“Physics tells us that sea-level change and temperature change should go hand-in-hand,” Dr. Kopp said. “This new geological record confirms it.” ...“Ice simply melts faster when the temperatures get higher,” Dr. Rahmstorf said. “That’s just basic physics.”...  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/science/sea-level-rise-global-warming-climate-change.html