Military bases along the East and Gulf Coast are at risk of losing large chunks of land as rising sea levels from climate change swamp installations from New Hampshire to Florida, according to Stars and Stripes.
The onslaught of water will come from both tidal flooding and hurricane storm surge and could cause a 2,600 percent increase in the number of annual flooding events on several bases in the United States in coming decades, according to a report released Wednesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Sea level increases — already up 8 inches globally since 1880 — are the result of warming temperatures and ice melt caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The phenomenon, which scientists say is primarily caused by global warming, doesn’t occur evenly worldwide. The East and Gulf Coasts in the U.S. experience some of the fastest rates of sea-level rise, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Union of Concerned Scientists found that by 2050, half of the 18 East and Gulf Coast military installations it analyzed would experience 270 or more flood events per year — up from just 10 events annually today.
Four bases in Florida, Virginia and South Carolina could lose 20 percent or more of their land in the same time period, said Erika Spanger-Siegfried, lead author of the report, which used peer-reviewed scientific research and other projections to make the predictions.
(c) 2016 the Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.) at www.bnd.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.