The Washington Post yesterday reported that the East Coast may face the greatest relative sea level rise in the states.
The reason: projected changes in ocean currents, which are currently keeping sea levels on the mid-Atlantic coastline well below what they might otherwise be. If those currents change, sea levels in the region may rise as much as 20 inches on top of whatever other sea level rise may come with expanding oceans and melting ice caps and glaciers.
This is all based on models, of course, but it’s enough to get some folks worried. For while it seems unlikely that we’d ever walk away from major metropolitan areas without exhausting every option, there may not be enough resources to take radical steps protecting all communities. As Rob Young, a geosciences professor at Western Carolina University puts it:
“We’re going to be spending so much money protecting metropolitan areas that it’s hard to imagine we’d have enough left over to protect resort communities.”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.