Climate Primer #25: Impacts of Climate Crisis – 8. Sea Level Rise

To summarize, climate crisis is the defining issue of the century. Buildup of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Earth’s atmosphere is driving global heating, while a convergence of global crises threatens to rupture key planetary boundaries. Although the human activities which drive these converging crises (for simplicity: the climate crisis) are diverse and complex, the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) breaks down the sources of anthropogenic GHG emissions into five high-level sectors. Similarly, the impacts of climate crisis – in their variety and complexity – are almost impossible for an individual to grasp, but so far, this sub-series has covered: global heating, Arctic amplification, heat waves, droughts and floods, disruption of oceanic and atmospheric patterns, cryosphere collapse, and declining oceanic dissolved oxygen content. In the absence of dramatic global climate action this decade, climate crisis will likely spiral out of control, rupturing key planetary boundaries and endangering the future of organized human life on Earth.

Short and not so sweet today on sea level rise. It’s happening. It’s been happening. And we all know it is going to get worse. I’ve referenced it elsewhere in writing about floods and melting ice sheets, but for those who are interested in swimming a little deeper into the topic, Climate Central released not so long ago a Risk Zone Map that shows coastal flood risk globally, while the First Street Foundation released their Flood Factor map that allows users to search US flood risk by address for more or less every structure in the country. I recommend you play around with both.

Here’s some of what AR5 has to say about sea level rise:

Source: AR5 of the IPCC (page 62)

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