Rather wet news comes from the journal Geography this week. An analysis of rock core data led by Kenneth G. Miller of Rutgers University indicates that the level of Earth’s oceans will rise by between 40 and 70 feet over the next couple of generations – even if the plan to slow global warming recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is followed. If that plan is not followed, and global warming continues to run out of control, sea level rise will be even higher.
With a sea level rise of just 5 feet, the southern end of Florida will disappear, and much of North Carolina will be lost beneath the waves. The predicted 40 to 70 feet of sea level rise will reach far beyond what is now the coast, going up major rivers to engulf major cities. Consider Washington D.C., most of which is less than 30 feet above sea level.
Thanks to global warming, this is what the National Mall will look like in the future, with barnacles covering the first 20 or 30 feet of the Washington Monument. All of Washington D.C. will be under water, having become a gigantic reflecting pool, with no cherry trees by its side in the springtime.
Remember that this is a best-case scenario. We have already waited too long to prevent this catastrophe. Will we now continue to delay efforts to prevent additional damage to our country?
Global warming is real. The changes have already begun. It’s time to take action.
Our way of life needs to change, and here’s a good start: Put your car keys in a little box. On that little box, put a lock. On the top of that little box, stick yourself a note: “Our planet needs a better form of transportation than this. Walk. Bike. Take a bus or a train.”