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Global Warming and The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Rhode Island. John King Professor of Oceanography Graduate School of Oceanography University of Rhode Island. The Problem. What’s going on?. Increased Carbon Emissions Rising Temperatures Rising Sea Level.
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Global Warming and The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Rhode Island John King Professor of Oceanography Graduate School of Oceanography University of Rhode Island
What’s going on? • Increased Carbon Emissions • Rising Temperatures Rising Sea Level
Changes in Temperature, Sea Level and Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Courtesy of IPCC, 2007
Rising Temperatures Courtesy of the Union of Concerned Scientists
Global and Continental Temperature Change Courtesy of IPCC, 2007
Rhode Island climate “migration” Courtesy of the Union of Concerned Scientists
Four contributions to sea level rise • Thermal expansion of seawater • Melting of glaciers and ice caps • Ice sheet surface mass balance • snowfall - melting • Ice sheet surface dynamical imbalance • increased flow rate
Sea Level Rise: Observed vs. Projected Interval Model Prediction Observed mm/year mm/year 1993 - 2003 2.6 3.1 1961 - 2003 1.2 1.8
Projected globally averaged surface warming & sea level rise at the end of the 21st century Courtesy of IPCC, 2007
2006 - IPCC estimate Thermal expansion of seawater .......... 28 cm Glaciers and ice caps ......................... 12 cm Mass balance ..................................... - 3 cm Increased flow ................................... + 3 cm Total: 40 cm Range of Estimates: 18-59 cm
Observed and Projected Sea Level Rise by 2100 projected observed Church & White, 2006, Courtesy of IPCC, 2007
Sea Level Rise: Observed = Projected projected observed
Sea Level Rise: New Estimates Reference By 2100 Total Rise (feet) (feet) Overpeck, et al, 2006> 313 - 20 Rahmstorf, 2007 1.6 - 4.6 ---
Greenhouse Gases in Ice Cores From Brook, E. J., 2005. Science , 25 vol. 310. no. 5752, pp. 1285 - 1287
Rising Sea Level in Rhode Island ~ Southern Coastal Ponds
Sea level rise: 3 feet Overpeck, J. T., et al., 2006. Paleoclimatic evidencefor future ice sheet instability and rapid sea level rise. Science, v. 311, p. 1747 - 1750.
Sea level rise: 20 feet Overpeck, J. T., et al., 2006. Paleoclimatic evidencefor future ice sheet instability and rapid sea level rise. Science, v. 311, p. 1747 - 1750.
Global Impacts of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Courtesy of IPCC, 2007
Planning Needs • Seamless digital terrain model for RI • LIDAR survey of coastline • High-resolution bathymetry of coastal waters • Inundation model • Storm surge with wave regime superimposed • Better understanding of coastal erosion style and rate • Expanded Rhode Island sea level and coastal erosion monitoring program
“Perhaps our epitaph will be: The good Earth. We could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut