As the global temperature a hit record for the 11th month in a row, far faster than many experts had worried, the odds that coastal flooding in cities around the world has almost certainly clicked higher as the timeline of the problem has shortened.
Remarking on the temperatures, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists wrote:
For March, the average temperature for the globe was 2.20 degrees F above the 20th century average. This was not only the highest for the month of March in the 1880-2016 record, but also the highest monthly temperature departure among all months on record, surpassing the previous all-time record set last month by 0.02 degrees F. March also marked the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, and is the longest such streak in NOAA’s 137-year climate record.
The Arctic was also impacted by record global heat. Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent for the year at 5.61 million square miles March 24, the lowest annual maximum extent in the satellite record. This was 431,000 square miles below average and 5,000 square miles below the previous record from 2015.
Several pieces of research have forecast the dangerous flooding of the world’s coast cities. Among the best known of these are from the Office of Coastal Management and the U.S. Geological Survey. A study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change change is extremely pessimistic:
The most recent IPCC assessment based on the most gloomy scenario puts predictions of 21st century sea level rise at between 26 and 59cm (10-23 inches)
If the sea level rises five feet, New Orleans would be 88% underwater. The forecast is for 100 years out and based on information from the U.S. Geological Survey. Once again, as global warming picks up, the date moves closer to the present one, so the time frame may be much shorter.
Under the same circumstance, Miami Beach would be 94% flooded. Atlantic City would be 62% flooded and St. Petersburg 32%.
Objects in the mirror may be closer than they seem.
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