Sea Level Rise – Already Obvious in Norfolk, VA

From James Fossett, the following note regarding a June 1 article in the WashPost titled In Norfolk, Evidence of Climate Change Is in the Streets at High Tide.

For those of us on the East Coast who worry about sea level rise, the area around Norfolk Virginia is emerging as a poster child for where the rest of us are going to be in twenty or thirty years. Sea level is rising faster in this area than anywhere else on the East Coast, partly because the land is also sinking. As this article from the Washington Post notes, the population in the Norfolk area at risk from sea level rise is second only to New Orleans. Flooding of surface streets during high tide is common—one local church even prints tide tables on its Web site, so that parishioners know if they can get to church on Sunday.

It’s happening faster in Virginia than elsewhere, but the entire East Coast from Cape Hatteras to Boston has been designated a “sea level rise hotspot” by the US Geological Survey, with projected rates of rise well above the global average. Possible solutions, ranging from sea walls to buyouts, are all very expensive and beyond the capacity of the affected state and local governments. In the current budget environment, substantial federal support seems unlikely as well.

4 thoughts on “Sea Level Rise – Already Obvious in Norfolk, VA

  1. For a more accurate view, see Watts Up With That for 6/1. It appears from real data (as opposed to dubious models) that
    A) there is no acceleration in the rate of sea level rise;
    B) subsidence is the real problem for what’s happening now.

    Conclusion: doing anything about carbon will do nothing to solve Norfolk’s problem.

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