A consequence of global warming is the rising sea level all over the world, which it won’t just affect coastal cities but even a number of military bases along the US East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Although the rising sea levels is a global phenomenon, it doesn’t occur evenly worldwide. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the East Coast of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico has seen some of fastest increases in sea level. Its main consequence is the loss of land. This allows high tides to reach farther inland, and the flooding that comes with it will become increasingly frequent and extensive. This will also empower the storm surge flooding specific to hurricanes.
The Union’s analysis found 18 military installations all over the coast are vulnerable to rising sea levels, including the US Naval Academy in Maryland. They are at risk of losing land where training and testing grounds, housing and other infrastructure is currently located.
Their projections include that by 2050, most of the 18 military bases will experience ten times more floods than they currently do. That statistic will only become increasingly worse if the current pace of the rising sea level is maintained. By 2070, half the sites could experience more than one flood per day, up to 520 annually. By the end of the century, eight bases will lose 25 to 50 percent of their land, while four installations- Naval Air Station Key West in Florida, Join Base Langley-Eustis and Naval Air Station Dam Neck Annex in Virginia, and Marine Corps Depot Parris Island in South Carolina- are in danger of losing 75 to 95 percent of their land.
These predictions are very worrying as the US Armed Forces require safe and functional bases to operate and maintain national security.
“Our defense leadership has a special responsibility to protect the sites that hundreds of thousands of Americans depend on for their livelihoods and millions depend on for national security.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists’ report recommends Congress and the Department of Defense the following measures:
- Support the development and distribution of high-resolution hurricane and coastal flooding models
- Adequately fund data monitoring systems such as our nation’s tide gauge network
- Allocate human, financial, and data resources to detailed mapping and planning efforts at military installations.
- As adaptive measures are identified, allocate resources for these projects, many of which will stretch over decades.
Climate change and its effects are contested issue in Congress, as the Republican Party currently controlling the House of Representatives is actively denying climate change and even trying to stop any attempts by the military to use federal funds for climate change research and preparedness.
What do you think about climate change and the rising sea level?
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