The Atlantic: Preparing for the Inevitable Sea-Level Rise

February 29, 2016

Read the full story by Amy Lieberman here:

The IPCC estimates a maximum 2.69-foot increase over the next hundred years or so, though other estimates are as high as three or four feet. In the meantime, some places have already begun to feel the impact. In southeast Florida, for example, four counties—including Miami Dade and Palm Beach—have formed a coalition called the Southeast Florida Regional Compact to develop strategies for problems like nuisance flooding, land subsidence, and saltwater intrusion into fresh water sources. Similar local efforts are taking place in the communities surrounding the Chesapeake Bay, and in other flooding hotspots around the country.


At the southern tip of the United States, meanwhile, the Miami chapter of the Southeastern Florida Compact—the local climate-change coalition composed of city officials, community members, and scientists—is laying out city plans on five-year cycles. Anything further out may be rendered irrelevant by the rising seas.

“Nobody knows what things are going to look like in 50 to 100 years,” said Nicole Hefty, who heads up Miami-Dade county’s office of sustainability. “We can speak for smaller years and adapt in that way.”