These days, worldwide flooding is a big problem. More severe hurricane seasons, longer periods of heavy rainfall, and melting glaciers are causing sea levels to rise, leading to floods covering cities, destroying crops, and damaging trees.
Globally, as cited by the United Nations’ Atlas of the Oceans, eight out of the top 10 largest cities are located on a coast. Over one-third of the U.S. population lives within relatively dense coastal areas, where rising sea levels impact flooding, shoreline erosion, and storm hazards in the event of a storm. Toward the mid-Atlantic, sea levels are rising fastest in the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the Mississippi.
In 2020, total ocean levels set a new record high— 3.6 inches (91.3 mm) above 1993 levels. Along the U.S. coastline, high-tide flooding is now 300% to over 900% more frequent in many locations than it was 50 years ago. The global sea level is likely to rise at least 12 inches (0.3 meters) beyond 2000 levels by 2100, regardless of how greenhouse gas emissions are controlled. We cannot rule out the possibility of emissions falling by as much as 8,2 feet, or 2.5 meters, by 2100 if we continue down this path.
The magnitude of the ocean thickens because the water is warmer. Additionally, the amount of water on land flows to the ocean. This is leading the sea level to rise, thus causing floods.
Furthermore, the areas near waterways and towns are often at risk for flash floods.
Global warming is causing the water to get warmer temperatures than usual, causing the sea level to rise. This, in turn, causes floods. Floods are the most common cause of weather-related death, especially when there are vehicles present.
One of the top reasons for rising sea levels and floods is heavy rainfall. Earth’s surface sometimes is unable to soak rain into the soil, resulting in a runoff (overflow).
In other words, there would be more rain falling on the ground than the surface can absorb. This means that heavier rain continues to overflow and draw out farm-based topsoil. This increases the flow of toxic waste into our water systems.
Rising Sea Levels also cause hurricanes which flood our homes and through towns, additionally taking down habitats and food sources. Hurricanes obtain energy by absorbing precipitation and heat from warm water, which is getting worse by global warming. Storms like these are becoming more frequent and destructive as time goes on.
We’ve seen a lot of Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms in the year of 2021. Hurricane Elsa, Hurricane Ida, Hurricane Henri, Hurricane Larry, and recently, Tropical Storm Nicolas and Odette, to name a few.
Hurricanes have been stronger than in previous years. The year of 2020 had the most tropical storms on record, reaching a total of 30 storms in the ocean.
Due to these hurricanes, people lose power, unable to heat their homes. Otherwise, people were losing their homes, lives have been lost, poverty increased in some areas, and diseases began to spread. Many times, people are unable to find food and are stranded. So, these tropical storms are dangerous. And those who live in those communities are at risk.
These storms are creating multiple floods in the streets, entire towns, homes, and apartments.
At most, evacuations are mandatory as towns are at high risk of being wiped out and buried underneath levels of water.
People are losing their homes and their families from these hurricanes and tropical storms. Properties and businesses are getting destroyed. Roads are overwhelmed alongside homes and basements. Furthermore, even crops and animal’s habitats are getting destroyed.
This limits our supply for food and water.
In turn, this causes disease to spread quickly through toxic water pollution. Floods increase the amount of harmful waste to flow throughout a community, which helps support the spread of viruses and deadly diseases. People’s health is also at risk as starvation leads to more poverty.
Aside from all this, the rising sea levels is also caused by the melting of ice. Therefore, I should discuss what happens when glaciers melt into the oceans and land.
Glaciers and Ice Caps Melting
The melting of glaciers and ice caps can affect the planet in many different ways. When ice caps and glaciers melt, they add extra water into the ocean. This increases the sea level, including rising the groundwater. However, glaciers do not only melt and rise the ocean levels. It also shifts the planet. How? Earth’s crust moves horizontally, but doesn’t lift. When glacial ice increase sea levels, it also leads to quicker warming of the planet. We know that carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases heat the planet, and hence, Earth is heating up at a faster rate. Greenhouse gases heat ice, therefore melting glaciers and ice caps.
Sea level rise projections generally focus on the second half of this century, but we all know that sea level will continue to rise for centuries or millennia into the future.
Rising temperatures pushing much more freshwater towards poles than climate models previously estimated.
To conclude, fossil fuels such as carbon emissions leads to the overly warm temperature of our planet. This consequently expands sea water and contributes to the flooding in communities. That said, it would it be especially beneficial to prevent the amount of carbon emissions from rising into our atmosphere, so the water doesn’t warm and expand, causing the rise in sea levels.
Man-made greenhouse gas contributes to the melting of polar ice, which rises sea levels. This leads to flooding among other things such as heavy rainfall and tropical storms. Flooding further adds to contamination to the water we drink as well as destroying crops and washing away our food sources. Finally, scientists are doing their best to test and make sure we have clean water and good air quality. We have weather stations and atmospheric ocean scientists warning us of these potential dangers. Radars and testing equipment will continue to be used to predict these events as technical advancements become available.
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