Rising Tides Ahead
“Our coastlines are not static, they are dynamic in every way — people, tides, sediment, currents, species. Our coastlines have, are, and always will respond to change.”
--Dr. Adam Whelchel, director of science, The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut
Why Are the Tides Rising?
The finite amount of water on our planet exists in three forms: solid, liquid, and gas. Our oceans absorb nearly 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases. Warming oceans cause sea level to rise when ice melts from glaciers, polar ice caps, and the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica. The warming of the ocean itself causes sea levels to rise, since warmer water takes up more space than cooler water (this is known as thermal expansion). Thermal expansion is thought to account for about half of sea level rise, with melting accounting for most of the rest.
Based on the evidence, 97% of climate experts have concluded that climate change is happening, caused by the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmophere from our burning of fossil fuels. Changes in air temperature, ocean temperature, humidity, snow, glaciers, sea ice, and sea levels in the past sixty years all point to a rapidly warming planet.