Sea level rise is a symptom of a warming planet.
For millions of years, the average temperature of Earth has allowed a certain amount of moisture to be locked up in frozen reservoirs: glaciers and polar ice caps. This is changing very quickly due to the extreme volume of greenhouse gases humans are releasing into the atmosphere.
Additionally, as the ocean warms, it expands and it’s volume increases.
People will experience the impacts of sea level rise to varying degrees.
While those living directly on the coast will feel the impacts most directly, others will suffer from coastal flooding. Some examples:
- If you pay taxes to a regional government that has infrastructure on the coast, your taxes will likely go up (whether or not your home is on the coast) or other public services provided by that government will be stressed.
- Sunshine destinations with economies reliant on beach going tourists, and tourism travel industry, will suffer the costs of reduced visitation in addition to adaptation measures.
- Food production in coastal flood plains can be adversely affected by flooding and saltwater intruding groundwater irrigation sources, impacting worldwide markets for produce.