Global Warming: What Me Worry?

Road In Front of My House
Road In Front of My House

This is the road in front of my house at high tide. On the left, where there are now recently-planted trees you can’t see in this photo, I’ve been told there were once houses, but the flood zone claimed them.

Several locals tell me that it was foolish of people to build homes in a flood zone, but it just didn’t make sense to me that people would be so short-sighted. It’s not just a flood zone across the street from me, it’s a swamp.

So I did some research and found that sea levels have increased more than 10 cm (almost four inches) since 1950, around the time when the houses were built, and are expected to rise another 280 to 340 mm (nine to 11 ft) by 2100–if this average rate of increase remains constant.

So the swamp was four inches drier 57 years ago, a significant difference, but people don’t remember this. Dr. Jared Diamond refers to this as landscape amnesia or creeping normalcy, that we remember the past the way things look today instead of the way they looked back then.

You can see how you’ll fare with rising sea levels with this interactive online map (You have to scroll across the Atlantic from Britain). There are also these maps of the East Coast showing different sea level rises in detail.

You can check your current flood risk by entering your home address at this FEMA map service center.

Cross-posted at GO.





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