Thanks to The York Dispatch for the March 29 article "National Survey: Storms, oceans, beaches."
Global warming is driving some major change in sea levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's leading authority on climate science, had projected in their 2001 report an annual sea level rise of less than 2 millimeters per year. But from 1993 through 2006, the oceans actually rose 3.3 millimeters per year, more than 50 percent above that projection, according to an article in Scientific American.
Sea levels are rising due to thermal expansion (warming ocean temperatures causing water to expand in volume) and land-based ice (glaciers and ice sheets) melting into the oceans.
Studies show that sea level rise is accelerating, unless you live in North Carolina, where climate change deniers in state government insanely passed a law last year forbidding the use of current science in planning for sea level rise, instead only allowing the use of historical data. North Carolina scientists predict a rise of 39 inches, but planners are only allowed to plan for 8 inches (as measured in the last 100 years).
Good luck to homeowners on North Carolina's coastline.
According to NOAA, in 2010, 123.3 million people, or 39 percent of the nation's population lived in counties directly on the shoreline. Sea level rise is making planners redraw flood plain maps, affecting many more people. The cause of this major sea level rise is the burning of fossil fuels, releasing CO2, which is warming our planet and is another example of the hidden costs of burning fossil fuels.
It's a failure of the free market to not factor the costs of rising sea levels into the price of fossil fuels, and keeping up the charade that there is no problem is putting Americans and all of life on the planet at considerable risk.
A steadily rising tax on carbon-based fuels with 100 percent of the revenue returned to every household is a simple and fair solution that Congress can implement immediately to address global warming's devastating impacts on our coastlines by beginning to wean us from fossil fuels.
Mid-Atlantic regional coordinator
Citizens Climate Lobby