New report: Outlook grimmer on South Florida sea levels

November 6, 2015

Article appeared in the Sun Sentinel. Read the full article here.

The outlook for South Florida’s rising sea levels has turned potentially catastrophic, as new long-term projections estimate the ocean will be six and a half feet deeper by 2100 under a worst case scenario.

The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, consisting of Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, calculated that seas could rise 31 inches by 2060, about two inches more than was estimated five years ago. It predicted seas up to 46 inches higher by 2075, enough to submerge a large chunk of coastline.

Even if seas rise three to five inches, which is expected within the next 15 years, South Florida would face a range of hardships, from endangered drinking water supplies to a degradation of public services.

“What we’ll see is systematically more flooding, deeper flooding and more pervasve flooding – and with lesser events,” said Jennifer Jurado, Broward County‘s director of natural resource planning and management. “It will take less in the way of rainfall before you flood.”