Scientist: ‘Miami, As We Know It Today, Is Doomed”…

miami skyline

Scientist: ‘Miami, As We Know It Today, Is Doomed. It’s Not A Question Of If. It’s A Question Of When.’

Jeff Goodell has a must-read piece in Rolling Stone, “Goodbye, Miami: By century’s end, rising sea levels will turn the nation’s urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin.”

Goodell has talked to many of the leading experts on Miami including Harold Wanless, chair of University of Miami’s geological sciences, department, source of the headline quote. The reason climate change dooms Miami is a combination of sea level rise, the inevitability of ever more severe storms and storm surges — and its fateful, fatal geology and topology, which puts “more than $416 billion in assets at risk to storm-related flooding and sea-level rise”:   

South Florida has two big problems. The first is its remarkably flat topography. Half the area that surrounds Miami is less than five feet above sea level. Its highest natural elevation, a limestone ridge that runs from Palm Beach to just south of the city, averages a scant 12 feet. With just three feet of sea-level rise, more than a third of southern Florida will vanish; at six feet, more than half will be gone; if the seas rise 12 feet, South Florida will be little more than an isolated archipelago surrounded by abandoned buildings and crumbling overpasses. And the waters won’t just come in from the east – because the region is so flat, rising seas will come in nearly as fast from the west too, through the Everglades.

Even worse, South Florida sits above a vast and porous limestone plateau. “Imagine Swiss cheese, and you’ll have a pretty good idea what the rock under southern Florida looks like,” says Glenn Landers, a senior engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This means water moves around easily – it seeps into yards at high tide, bubbles up on golf courses, flows through underground caverns, corrodes building foundations from below. “Conventional sea walls and barriers are not effective here,” says Robert Daoust, an ecologist at ARCADIS, a Dutch firm that specializes in engineering solutions to rising seas.  [ read more]

Read full article by Jeff Goodell in Rolling Stone:

Goodbye, Miami by Jeff Goodell

By century’s end, rising sea levels will turn the nation’s e urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will beginRead more:
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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 06/24/2013 at 10:21 pm

    Denial is much easier than accepting the need for change.

  • de castro  On 06/25/2013 at 10:01 am

    Well well…there goes Obamarama”s victory votes…
    Dem Latinos gay fuh find sum way else fun live…..
    Georgetown have similar problem aid the flooding also.
    Upper demerara NEW CITY will surely accept dem even as “aliens”

    At my cynical best….
    Guyana needs people but no guns or drugs dealers please ……
    If deh wan fun settle in Guyana dem ah ga fuh lef deh guns and drugs
    behind….vetting is cruitial to mass migration.

    Kamptan. One bad potato or apple can spoil the whole crate…..

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