Friday, March 13, 2009

California sea level rise may threaten $100 billion of property

Bloomberg: The California dream, which has led 30 million people to make their homes near its 2,000 miles of coastline, may sour as global warming triggers rising sea levels during coming decades. A gain of 1.4 meters (5 feet) possible by the end of the century might flood almost $100 billion worth of property, from luxury homes to 330 hazardous-waste sites, the Pacific Institute estimated in new research done with state energy officials. The San Francisco Bay area would be most affected, the report said.

“Flooding and erosion pose a threat to communities along the California coast, and there is compelling evidence that these risks will increase,” the Oakland, California-based group said using data prepared for the state’s Energy Commission.

Scientists forecasting climate change are increasingly gauging how much warmer temperatures can expand the volume of water and melt edges of land-based ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica. Higher sea levels don’t spread uniformly across the globe due to natural causes, including ocean-current variations. The estimated sea-level increase for California was higher than the global average gain of 18 to 59 centimeters projected for this century by United Nations scientists in 2007….

View of Venice Beach in Los Angeles, shot by sombrero2003, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5, Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 and Attribution ShareAlike 1.0 License

No comments: