A new report warns that Maryland will face a dramatic increase in the rate of sea level rise later this century, with nuisance flooding becoming a daily occurrence in many waterfront areas if nations fail to curb greenhouse gas emissions.It's easy to bet when it's other peoples money, and the bet will be settled after you're dead.
A crab crosses a road during high tide in Dorchester County, MD. (Dave Harp)
If emissions continue to rise, sea level in Maryland would likely increase 2.0 to 4.2 feet by 2100, which is two to four times the rate seen during the last century, according to the report from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science that was released in December. There is an outside chance the rise could exceed 5.2 feet, the report said.
If countries meet commitments in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the sea level would still rise, but at a slower rate, with the likely increase ranging from 1.2 to 3.0 feet, with a 1-in-20 chance that the increase could exceed 3.7 feet.
“It actually has some good news and bad news,” said Donald Boesch, lead author of the report and former UMCES president. “The bad news is that there’s more evidence that unless we really limit warming to the Paris Agreement level… sea level rise could be higher than we thought. The good news is that if we’re on the emissions pathway that get us to the Paris Agreement, it’s much more manageable.”
The reality is that sea level rise in the Chesapeake Bay area (including a healthy portion of land settling) has been less than a foot per century, and shows no sign of the predicted acceleration:
That could change, but I'm not putting my money on it.
Besides, according to Occasional-Cortex, we only have 12 years to live , so why worry about sea level rise?