Bridges, military facilities, national monuments and as much as 70,000 residents would be devoured by flood in Washington D.C. in the immediate years to come. The city is said to be sinking into the ocean faster compared to any other area in the country. Scientists are telling everyone that there is no better timing to prepare for the deluge other than today.
Washington D.C. being devoured by the ocean
The land underneath Washington D.C. is sinking at the rate of 6 inches every year for the next 100 years, CNN reported, citing a new research released from the University of Vermont and the U.S. Geological Survey. To put that in context, Washington D.C. could be submerged under the ocean by 16 centimeters in the 21st century, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The city will keep sinking 40 meters or more over 80,000 years. A graphical representation of that would be having a fifth of the Washington Monument under the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
The said phenomenon is different from the sea level rising which is widely attributed to climate change. According to the scientists, the Washington D.C. is sitting on a spot known to geologists as the “forebulge.” This spot is formed after a mile-high of ice sheet pushed the Chesapeake Bay region up.
The ice sheet, unfortunately, has started melting down 20,000 years ago. Hence, the land that had become elevated when the ice formed will naturally crash down.
“It’s a bit like sitting on one side of a water bed filled with very thick honey… when you stand, the bulge comes down again,” former USGS geologist Ben DeJong told CNN. DeJong is one of the lead authors of the new research.
Prepare for the deluge now
DeJong urged everyone to start making preparations as early as now.
“Six inches does not sound like much, but when you’re in a landscape like the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, that’s a lot of sea level rise,” DeJong told CNN.
“I have worked alongside private land owners who have had family farms in the area for years and they are the first to tell you they are losing land,” he said.
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