By Julie Cart, Marin Independent Journal

April 30th, 2017


A slow-moving emergency is lapping at California’s shores — climate-driven sea-level rise that experts now predict could elevate the water in coastal areas up to 10 feet in just 70 years, gobbling up beachfront and overwhelming low-lying cities.

The speed with which polar ice is melting and glacier shelves are cracking off indicates to some scientists that once-unthinkable outerrange projections of sea rise may turn out to be too conservative. A knee-buckling new state-commissioned report warns that if nothing changes, California’s coastalwaters will rise at a rate 30 to 40 times faster than in the last century.

The potential result: crippled economies, compromised public safety, submerged infrastructure, and a forced retreat from our iconic Pacific coast.

No state has done more than California to curb greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and sea-level rise. But experts say that even if carbon reductions continue, residual warming of the ocean will continue unchecked, breeding surges that will impact the state’s coast and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.of Last month the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that without concerted intervention, as much as 67 percent of Southern California’s beaches could be lost to rising seas by the end of the century.

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