The alarming rising level of seas will sink Miami and New Orleans, a study has found.
The October 12 edition of the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” has revealed that carbon cuts and adopting renewable sources of energy could save millions of residents of coastal locations in the U.S. The study also suggests that the sea levels could rise by 14 to 32 feet if no measures are taken to reduce the burning of fossil fuels by the year 2100.
Lead author, Ben Strauss, who is also the vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, said that the sea levels could rise “as early as next century.”
“But it might also take many centuries,” he said. “Just think of a pile of ice in a warm room. You know it is going to melt, but it is harder to say how quickly.”
The sea level will keep rising for centuries. A 2013 study by Anders Levermann of the Potsdam Institute, Germany, revealed that every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature could raise the sea level by around 2.3 meters over the next 2000 years, New Scientist reports.
The study by Strauss and Levermann are based on the assumption that the West Antarctic ice sheet will collapse, the inevitability of which several studies have suggested. With this, the sea levels could rise by as many as five meters, with more to account for if carbon emissions aren’t kept in check.
An online tool at http://choices.climatecentral.org shows how different cities in the country are being impacted. The study says that the tool has been designed to show which cities could experience “lock-in dates beyond which the cumulative effects of carbon emissions likely commit them to long-term sea-level rise that could submerge land under more than half of the city’s population.” It further adds that “Norfolk, Virginia, for example, faces a lock-in date of 2045 under a scenario of unabated carbon emissions.” The same limits have already exceeded for Miami and New Orleans.
“In our analysis, a lot of cities have futures that depend on our carbon choices but some appear to be already lost,” Strauss said. “And it is hard to imagine how we could defend Miami in the long run.”
According to the Sun Daily, most number of cities under the threat of being affected by rising sea levels – which accounts for almost 40 percent or more of the U.S. population living on land at potential risk – are in the state of Florida. After Florida, the most likely to be affected states are California, Louisiana and New York.