Macalester Sustainability Office
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SUSTAINABILITY NEWS

How will rising sea levels effect YOU?

Among the environmental consequences of climate change is rising sea levels. This phenomena occurs as a result of melting ice sheets and glaciers and the expansion of sea water as it warms, known as thermal expansion. Consequently, as the global temperature rises, so too does the earth’s sea levels.

Island countries and coastal communities will be the first to suffer from rising sea levels. By 2100 in the United States alone, places including South Florida, Hampton Roads in Virginia, parts of Washington D.C., and New Orleans could either be completely or partially engulfed in water.

Recently, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report on global warming of 1.5 degrees celsius. Global temperatures have already risen past 1 degree celsius since the pre-industrial era. The environmental consequences of a rise of 1.5 degrees are extreme, and exponentially worse at 2 degrees. This must be a call to action at the global level. Major legislation must be passed and lifestyles, especially in high income countries, must change in order to prevent further irreparable changes.

Look at this map to see how coastal areas and islands that matter to you will be affected by rising sea levels.





Sam Zieve