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Rising Tides45:29
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A big new prediction of coastal flooding and sea levels rise. We’ll look at the moving edge of the water.

Long Island beach homes. (Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr)
Long Island beach homes. (Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr)

The big new report out on rising seas and coastal flooding makes clear what a lot of Americans already know.  Floods and storm are getting bad.  Life near the beach is getting hit.

The new report says “just wait”.  Rising seas driven by global warming are going to bite deeper, sooner than most people imagine.  Hitting millions.  Costing billions, trillions.  Putting homes at risk, but also roads, bridges, military bases, farmland, schools, hospitals.

And the wallets of Americans far inland who are being asked to share the burden.

This hour, On Point:  surging seas, and the American coast.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ben Strauss, chief operating officer of Climate Central and director of the Program on Sea Level Rise. He's the co-author with Claudia Tebaldi and Remik Ziemlinski of the new report: “Surging Seas.”

Sharlene Leurig, senior manager of the Insurance Program at Ceres.

David Patton, owner of Two Green Thumbs landscaping company in Sarasota, Florida.

From Tom's Reading List

Climate Central "Global warming has raised sea level about eight inches since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating. Scientists expect 20 to 80 more inches this century, a lot depending upon how much more heat-trapping pollution humanity puts into the sky. This study makes mid-range projections of 1 to 8 inches by 2030, and 4 to 19 inches by 2050, depending upon location across the contiguous 48 states."

New York Times "About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research. "

CBS News "Lower Manhattan is one of the most vulnerable locations when it comes to sea level rise from global warming, according to new research."

More

Check out this interactive map and database from Climate Central, where you can see how vulnerable your zip code is to rising sea levels.

This program aired on March 19, 2012.

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