Wednesday, November 10, 2010

South Florida water managers weigh costly consequences of sea level rise

Andy Reid in the Sun Sentinel (Florida): For millions of South Floridians, life on a peninsula means melting icecaps in Greenland aren't just something for polar bears to worry about. South Florida's coastal flood-control structures, counted on to protect low-lying communities from getting swamped, already are at risk from sea level rise due to climate change, according to scientists for the South Florida Water Management District.

In the coming months, the district's governing board will be asked to endorse more scientific studies and potentially costly flood-control construction projects aimed at preparing for the rising sea levels expected to come.

A district proposal outlined Tuesday calls for the agency over the next five years to buy more land for flood control, design improvements for 50-year-old drainage structures and start building pumps that could keep discharging stormwater out to the ocean even as sea levels continue to rise.

While politicians and world leaders debate the causes of climate change and how to respond, district scientists are adopting a "no-regrets strategy" to get ready, even if the worst-case scenarios don't come to pass. "This is an issue of global importance that will have regional impacts," said Jayantha Obeysekera, who is leading the district's response to climate change and sea level rise. He briefed the district board Tuesday. "All aspects of water management would be impacted."…

Storm surge flooding from Hurricane Alberto, 2006, image from NOAA

1 comment:

0s0-Pa said...

Yeah I dont think that the ocean level will rise too quickly, at least not for awhile. I do think it's better to err on the side of caution (better safe than sorry as people say)!
-Jack @ Stormwater Control