Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Are rising seas in SWFL worthy of concern?

January 24, 2018
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

If you're like me, then you live a very busy life. It's tough enough to juggle current and near-term obligations, let alone think seriously about possibilities down the road.

But most of us do plan for the future - on major things - like saving to buy a home, putting aside money for our kids' college education, and planning for retirement.

All of those things are personal. But what about community issues? That's where scientists' warnings about rising sea levels come into play. Coastal communities - including those in SWFL-aren't in serious danger now. But what about the future?

That's where there are concerns. Michael Savarese, FGCU professor of marine science, told TV-2 recently that sea levels in SWFL have risen about a foot over the last century. He also says that seas are rising at well above historic rates. Jeremy Mathis, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic Research Program, told USA Today recently that changes in Arctic sea ice can alter the jet stream and influence U.S. weather and climate patterns. And Stanford University scientist, Noah Diffenbaugh, found that rising seas make for an atmosphere that is heavier with water - a phenomenon that can contribute to storm severity, including hurricane strength.

What about SWFL, specifically? The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has published a report, When Rising Seas Hit Home: Hard Choices Ahead for Coastal Communities, which includes pages of data and projections about rising seas across the U.S., including for communities in SWFL. The data include projections of possible land inundation over an extended period of time using multiple trajectories (from less severe to more severe impact).

To put the report in perspective, UCS scientists, Dr. Astrid Caldas and Ms. Erika Spanger-Siegfried, were in town this week to answer questions and interact with citizens and public officials about this important subject.

It's frightening to think about the possibility of rising seas interfering with our lives, especially when none of us knows if it will actually happen. But, then again, what if it does? That's why it's a good idea to become more knowledgeable now.

It certainly can't hurt to learn more. It might even do a lot of good.

Frank Fear

Cape Coral



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web