The United States, over the years since its founding, has faced many threats and encounters from other nations and is still targeted every day. However not all threats that the United States faces is from people. One main threat we choose to ignore or push to the side is the threat from nature itself. Earth’s climate is changing. Temperatures are fluctuating, seasons are shifting, and somehow this seems to be overlooked. Some of the major threats affecting the United States are flooding, sea level rising, and storms.
Flooding is caused by heavy rains, strong winds in coastal areas, dam breaking, or even ice melting in the ocean. In the United States flooding was mainly caused by heavy rain storms. These heavy rain storms caused drainage systems to back up so the water cannot be transported fast enough. The excess rain water can cause banks and rivers to overflow to cause flooding. Also known as a floodplain, when water upstream is more than usual will flow downstream to valley areas and flood the land. Strong winds have also caused flooding in the United States. This has occurred mostly in the southern coastal areas such as Florida, Texas, and California. This wind that moves the ocean water to the land causes coastal flooding. Two of the main reasons for sea level rising is the melting of ice glaciers in the ocean and thermal expansion cause by warming of the ocean. In the U.S. flooding has affected many people that live in the coastal areas. Hurricane Harvey and Irma were great examples of these flooding occurrences. These hurricanes produced winds heavy and fast enough to push ocean water over and destroy wave boundaries. According to businessinsider.com hurricane Harvey was a category 4 storm and Irma was a category 5. These storms caused over 4 feet in flooding water in southeast Texas and Louisiana. In addition to ocean waves reaching homes on the coast rainfall continued and added over 4 feet of rain over Houston.
Along with flooding, sea level rising has been affecting southern parts of the U.S. before the 20th century sea levels along U.S. coastal areas have risen 1.7 mm per year. However nature is never predictable or steady. So currently the average sea level rise is 3.2 mm per year. That’s 32mm per decade! According to most research sea levels continue to rise with no intention of receding. So it is possible that even before the years the rate could increase. The more sea level rising the easier it is for storms to move ocean water onto the land causing more flooding.