Saturday, July 5, 2014

Everglades Restoration needed in face of sea level rise

Other views on sea level rise, Everglades restoration and future investments in our coastal cities. Click title for link. From the article:
"The timing of sea level rise is crucial. A slow rise will allow plant communities to more easily shift to new areas as the balance of saltwater and freshwater shifts inland.
Beever [Jim Beever, planner at the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council] said the worst-case scenario shows a 9 foot or so rise in sea levels by 2153, while other models show that level by the year 3324.
'It all depends on if the ice sheets fall off Antarctica, will it melt off Greenland,' Beever said. But in any case, sea level has been rising in Florida since the end of the last ice age. (But) that did not prevent people from making investments on the coast.' "
 This is the graph of "possible" outcomes of sea level rise according to the study shown above.

With such uncertainty in the range of outcomes, it is almost a game of pick a point on the graph after 2012, the year of the report. Presented with these possibilities does not mean that suddenly we should do no infrastructure investment in south Florida. In fact, it probably indicates that we should be investing in new infrastructure in order to address the uncertainties. Just like Commissioner McVoy said the city is doing when it comes to its water supply, which will benefit from the LW 2020 plan.