City could know as early as 2020 how high sea level will go in the next century
Miami could know as early as 2020 how high sea levels will rise into the next century, according to a team of researchers including Florida International University scientist Rene Price.
Price is also affiliated with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, one of 25 such NSF LTER sites in ecosystems from coral reefs to deserts, mountains to salt marshes around the world.
Scientists conclude that sea level rise is one of the most certain consequences of climate change.
But the speed and long-term height of that rise are unknown. Some researchers believe that sea level rise is accelerating, some suggest the rate is holding steady, while others say it's decelerating.
With long-term data showing that global sea levels are steadily rising at 2.8 millimeters per year, and climate models indicating that the rate could accelerate over time, Price posed a question to colleagues: How soon will Miami residents know what sea levels will be in the year 2100?
"In Miami, we're at the forefront of sea level rise," Price says. "With the uncertainty in what we currently know, I was looking for information that could help us plan better for the long-term."
Price and a team of international researchers set out to answer the question.
They analyzed data from 10 sea level monitoring stations throughout the world.
They looked into the future by analyzing the past.
The researchers examined historical data to identify the timing at which accelerations might first be recognized in a significant manner and extended projections through 2100.
The findings are published in this week's issue of the journal Nature Communications.
"Sea level rise will have major effects on natural and built coastal environments," says David Garrison, program director in NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences, which co-funds the NSF LTER network with NSF's Division of Environmental Biology.
"Being able to detect and predict the pace of sea level rise is critical to being able to adapt to future changes in coastal regions," says Garrison.
Price says the information provided should offer some comfort to those living with this uncertainty.
"Our results show that by 2020 to 2030, we could have some statistical certainty of what the sea level rise situation will look like," she says.
"That means we'll know what to expect and have 70 years to plan. In a subject that has so much uncertainty, this gives us the gift of long-term planning."
Conservative projections suggest that sea level could rise by .3 meters by 2100, but with acceleration, some scientists believe that number will be closer to 1 meter.
"Areas of Miami Beach could experience constant flooding," says Price.
"The Everglades and mangroves may not be able to keep up. Mangroves are very important to South Florida, and their loss would likely mean more land erosion.
"We could see large portions of the Everglades taken over by the ocean. Areas that are freshwater today could become saltwater by 2100."
As cities, including Miami, continue to plan for long-term solutions to sea level rise, Price says she was surprised to discover that in the span of 20 years, scientists would be in a position to predict the long-term situation for Miami and other coastal areas across the planet.
Scientists should continue to crunch the numbers every decade, says Price, creating more certainty in long-term planning--and helping develop solutions for a changing planet.
NSF Long-Term Ecological Research Network: http://www.lternet.edu
NSF Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) LTER Site: http://www.lternet.edu/sites/fce
NSF Publication: Discoveries in Long-Term Ecological Research: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13083/nsf13083.pdf
NSF LTER Discovery Article Series: The Search for White Gold: http://nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=127580
NSF LTER FCE News: Seagrasses Can Store as Much Carbon as Forests: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?org=NSF&cntn_id=124263&preview=false
NSF LTER FCE News: Gulf Oil Spill: NSF Funds Research on Impacts to Florida Everglades: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=117430
NSF LTER FCE News: Where Does Charcoal, or Black Carbon, in Soils Go?: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=127577
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Cheryl Dybas | Eurek Alert!
A new dead zone in the Indian Ocean could impact future marine nutrient balance
06.12.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie
NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica
05.12.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
06.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy