Popular Cities Battling Sea Level Rise

2 July, 2013 Uncategorized0

Popular Cities Battling Sea Level Rise

Jul 2, 2013 06:30 AM ET // by Tim Wall
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Popular Cities Battling Sea Level Rise

New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Mark Moran, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The world’s coastal cities are some of the most beautiful, culturally vibrant and heavily populated urban areas. They are also some of the most popular places for summer vacations. However, rising sea levels threaten these areas.

The Earth’s oceans rose by an average 7.7 inches (195 mm) between 1870 and 2004, according to a study in Geophysical Research Letters. Projections by the U.S. National Research Council warn that the seas could rise a further 22 to 79 inches (56 to 200 cm) during the 21st century.

Here are nine popular areas endangered by the encroaching ocean.

New Orleans Surge Barrier Put to First Test: Analysis

New Orleans

New Orleans faces a double threat from both land and sea.

The muddy foundation of the city is not firm enough to support the city. As New Orleans sinks into its feet of clay, the Gulf of Mexico is rising around it.

The disastrous flooding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 put the Big Easy on defense mode, but even the best efforts may not be enough.

Much of New Orleans already lies 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) below sea level. A report from the U.S. Geological Survey warned that the ocean could rise 8 to 13 feet (2.5 to 4 meters) above the city by 2100.

Rockaway New York , Nov. 11, graffiti signed with the message Global Warming on Rockaway beach in front of a home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Julie Dermansky/Corbis

New York City also experienced havoc wrought by the surging seas during a storm. After Superstorm Sandy submerged parts of the city and took the lives of 43 people, Mayor Michael

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