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Sea Levels May Be Rising Faster Than Predicted

What that means for Miami and coastal communities everywhere.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Climate scientists and researchers have spent the last 20-plus years pleading with governments and companies to reduce carbon emissions, which have been directly linked to the rise in sea levels for several years. National Geographic reports that “the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters). However, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year, roughly twice the average speed of the preceding 80 years.” And while 4 to 8 inches may not seem like a lot, this small increase adds up over time. In 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s annual Assessment Report predicted that ocean levels would rise more than 3 feet by the end of this century, according to Wired.

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Documenting a Drowning Culture

In 2007, a Bangladeshi photographer set out to meet his country’s fishermen and ended up on a sinking island.

Khaled Hasan just wanted to meet the people who make shutki, fish caught and dried by Bangladeshi tribal fishermen. But when he arrived at Ashar Chor, a small island in the Bay of Bengal, what the Dhaka-based documentary photographer actually found was far more poignant. As he writes in the project statement for Ashar Chor, a Vanishing Island, the island has become increasingly vulnerable to rising sea levels and the cyclones that plague the area, weather that Hasan and climate scientists attribute to global warming. The entire community relies on the shukti trade and doesn’t want to leave the only home—and way of life—they know. Yet dwindling access to fresh water and land (due to rising sea levels), and the devastating Cyclone Sidr, which decimated a third of Ashar Chor’s population, have left many islanders bereft. "We used to think of the sea as the thing that gave us our living. Now we are scared that another cyclone like the last one will mean we will be washed away completely," fisherman Sharif Uddin told Hasan. "I don't know what to do if this happens again." For his part, Hasan photographed this vanishing culture as a way to document it and also bring awareness to the impact of climate change. “Being a visual artist and a very small part of the society, I tried to bring out the hardship and hassles they face everyday in their life,” he wrote.

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Let’s Name Hurricanes After Congressional Climate Deniers

Extreme weather, supercharged by climate change, has been pounding the U.S. In 2012, there were 11 climate disasters that cost more than $1...

Extreme weather, supercharged by climate change, has been pounding the U.S. In 2012, there were 11 climate disasters that cost more than $1 billion each, according to NOAA. And as I write this, Yosemite—where modern environmentalism was arguably born—is on fire.

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New Sea Level Predictions: Three Feet Higher by 2100 and Rising

The glaciers are melting faster than previous models predicted, and consequently, scientists are revising their ideas about the rise of the sea level.


As The New York Times reports, the glaciers are melting faster than previous models predicted, and consequently, scientists are revising their ideas about the rise of the sea level.

As a result of recent calculations that take the changes into account, many scientists now say that sea level is likely to rise perhaps three feet by 2100 — an increase that, should it come to pass, would pose a threat to coastal regions the world over.

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