Is Florida already feeling the early effects of global warming? Can we safely say that Florida is sinking into the ocean? The rumors I heard as a child, that such a thing could happen, seemed like folklore. If you listen to the many experts on the subject though, that seems to be the case. Beans that I'm a citizen of the Sunshine state, as one would imagine, this issue is of great concern to me.
In this article, we will look at the severe impacts that have yet to hit us. There were conclusions layed out in an October 2001 scientific study published
by NRDC in conjunction with research scientists at Florida universitie. The study found that the far-reaching effects of global warming will transform Florida's climate, coastline and treasured natural areas. Such impacts will hit in ways that are expected to profoundly affect the state's economy, agriculture, and ultimately, the health of its people. Global Warming Threatens Florida
Does global warming have the potential to affect everything that defines Florida today? Will it really alter the lives of many Floridians? Scientists have already been observing changes in Florida consistent with the early effects of global warming. Such changes would include: Retreating and eroding shorelines, Dying coral reefs, saltwater intrusion into inland freshwater aquifers, An upswing in forest fires, Warmer air and sea-surface temperatures. Click here to view Map of climate change in Florida. Florida Warming, A Global Problem Hits Home
As we are well aware, global warming is an increase in the earth's average temperature caused by a build
up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. As the atmosphere warms, glaciers melt and warming waters expand. If this scenario should happen, sea levels will rise anywhere from eight inches to two-and-a-half feet over the next century.
That's all fine, well and good, but what does this mean for Florida directly? Global warming poses a direct threat for Florida's people as well as it's resources. For example, seawater is projected to advance inland up to as much as 400 feet, potentially creating the erosion of Florida's beloved beaches. Such a catastrophe could have a severe impact on low-lying areas. If this were to take place, there will be flooding of shoreline homes as well as hotels, limiting future development.
As a result of this rise in sea levels, salt water will encroache inland on freshwater supplies feeding Florida's cities, agriculture and tourist centers. Such saltwater encroachment will also likely inundate coastal wetlands, gravely threatening
the lower Everglades and its wildlife. To learn more about this, please go to October 2001 report by the Florida Climate Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Just like the above study, others have presented similar findings. the biggest danger, many experts warn, is that global warming will cause the sea levels to rise dramatically. the oceans have already risen 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) as it is! Jonathan Overpeck, director of the Institute for the Study of Planet Earth at the University of Arizona in Tucson, states the following: "The consequences would be catastrophic," "Even with a small sea level rise, we're going to destroy whole nations and their cultures that have existed for thousands of years."
Overpeck and his colleagues have used computer models to create a series of maps that lay out just how volnerable coastall cities and island countries are to rising sea levels. These maps demonstrate how a 1-meter (3-foot) rise would swamp cities all along the U.S. eastern seaboard. Most noteable, is the fact that A 6-meter (20-foot) sea level rise would submerge a large part of Florida." To read more about this, please check out Warming to Cause Catastrophic Rise in Sea Levels? In conclusion
Given all of this that has been revealed, is there anything that we can do to stop this all from happening? I'd like to think we can do some things, however, I do believe that we've passed the point of no return. We can come up with ways to cope. Next time, we will look at ways that one can cope with such catastrophic situations.