People thought they had learned about flooding areas when Katrina hit New Orleans back in 2006.
But in 2012 things did not turn out as expected: Hurricane Isaac pushed a surge that raised lake levels up to 9 feet high, rain water had nowhere to drain and the streets and houses god flooded instantly. The population was expecting something different, but climate change had something else in mind.
Climate change is beginning to affect that lives of Americans and other peoples who live their lives close to the sea. With every year it becomes a more pressing matter and weather scientists are struggling to raise awareness about its consequences.
One of the studies that stands out was conducted by climate scientist James Hansen and colleagues. According to their findings, sea level will increase drastically even if global temperatures were to slightly increase by 2° Celsius. Hansen and his team have estimated that the sea level could rise quickly within the next century.
While Hansen’s research abides the standards of climate research, many scientists disagree with how much the sea level would rise. Hansen’s study does not tackle short-term climate fluctuations.
For example, the El Niño phenomenon is completely overlooked and taking it into account might affect calculations related to temperature fluctuation during the years.
Yet the field is also known for being ambiguous to a certain degree, mostly because opinions are so diversified. Some scientists claim that global warming is a major issue that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, while others cling to the idea that it is a problem that needs to be dealt with in due time. The rest is ultimately decided by public opinion.
On a more pragmatic tone, another article was published in Nature and it does accurately point out the difficulties that Americans will be facing due to climate change. Coastal regions are in great danger of being flooded due to the secondary effects of climate change such as increased precipitations and storm surges.
If sea levels continue to rise and Hansen’s study proves accurate, 40% of the United States’ population is in danger of having to face more and more hazards every year, the New Orleans incident being only one of many more to come.
Should this threat prove to be as dangerous as suspected, governments need to act quickly. There should be no matters more urgent than ensuring the safety of the population.
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