November 17, 2016
Georgetown Climate Center Adaptation Manager Jessica Grannis spoke with Climate Central for an article discussing recent coastal flooding caused by king tides linked to the supermoon, which underscores the need for improved coastal infrastructure at a time of faster rising seas. ...
As Climate Central reports, the potential costs of higher sea levels are staggering - in terms of jeopardized property and infrastructure, the costs of adapting to the changes underway and human lives and suffering. Research published in 2014 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences projected that global damages from sea level rise could reach $19 trillion a year by 2100 - which would be more than American’s GDP last year.
As sea level rise accelerates, “we see more impacts along our shorelines,” said Jessica Grannis. “The level of effort is going to have to increase as well, to make sure that we don’t have people and property in harm’s way.”
Adapting to rising seas can involve abandoning some infrastructure and neighborhoods. It can involve figuring out how to live with regular floods, such as by raising houses on stilts, or by building ground floors that can withstand water damage. It can also involve building wetlands and concrete walls to keep water away from buildings and roads. The role of federal agencies in helping local communities adapt to sea level rise is “not primary,” Grannis said - but it is “huge.”
“They provide a lot of the data and technical analysis that the state and local governments are relying on,” Grannis said. “They provide a lot of the tools they’re using. They provide a lot of the funding that they’re relying on to not only plan but also to implement projects.”
Read the article here.