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Sea Level Rise in the U.S. by City Tech Blogger Evelyn Ramirez

 

Introduction

Climate change remains a contentious topic in the media and the scientific community. It comprises two contending groups, the proponents of climate change as to be causing the vast climatic changes that the world is experiencing and the opponents who argue that global warming is not new but has already occurred at least once in the lifetime of the earth. While the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere surges, the effects of climate change become real. Since the industrial revolution, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been increasing and so has the global temperature. Such an association cannot be refuted because the last time the world’s temperature rose like now was in the medieval time (Bradley, 2001). Therefore, as the globe’s temperatures rise, ice sheets and glaciers begin to melt while at the same time the ocean waters expand to cause a sea level rise. An increase in the water volume in the oceans results in the loss of islands and coastal states in the US.

Reasons for the Rise

Sea level rise is due to thermal expansion of ocean water and the melting of land-based ice. As the global temperature rises, water molecules absorb heat energy and cause them to expand due to their increased vibration and kinetic energy. The vibration frees the molecular forces thus increasing the overall volume of the water. Comparing the phenomenon to a bathtub, an increase in the volume causes the water to overflow. Consequently, ignoring the other factors such as precipitation and evaporation, the same phenomenon occurs to the seas. Moreover, ice melts at 0oC, implying that as the global temperatures rise above this value, the ice sheets on land begin to melt causing rivers to pour water into the oceans (Douglas, Kearney, & Leatherman, 2001). As a result, an increase in the mass of water coupled with thermal expansion results in the rise in the sea level.

How the Sea Level Rise Affects My Home Area

Some states especially, California is experiencing the adverse effects of sea level rise. For example, Guerneville, a region that often experiences flooding is at risk of filling up with water due to sea level rise (Costley, 2019). Additionally, Crissy field in San Francisco is also at risk of being engulfed by the sea in the next few years. Another place that will soon be affected according to Costley (2019) is the Palace of Fine Arts. Fortunately, the rise is slow thus giving planners time to devise strategies of controlling it through the building of barriers. The worst hit states are Texas and Louisiana (Sounds, 2019). However, the costs of constructing them in California, for instance, is $150 billion. More so, the cost escalates to nearly $12 billion by 2050.

Furthermore, if these regions disappear underwater without mitigation measures, then several land masses will no longer serve the purposes intended. As a result, land meant for agriculture will disappear thus reduced food production. Tourists will seek alternative places to visit because these exciting locations are gradually going under water. Therefore, accessing them will become impossible. People will become displaced and the poor will be the most affected because they will not have enough money to restart life. Others will lose jobs when industries close due to flooding and rise in sea level.

My academic major under natural sciences relates to climate change as it touches on the physical change of the environment. My career enables me to learn and research more about the effects of climate change. I will enlighten the public about the results and the developments in climate change over time. Indeed, studying climate change involves analyzing complex models to forecast and backdate the climate in the past for cases where data is unavailable. The models will provide evidence of the current changes being observed. As a result, I can also educate the people by advising them to adopt a new lifestyle such as carbon reduction measures. Some activities that I can encourage the world through social media and community interactions include personal decision to stop using fossil fuels powered machines. I will also advise them to substitute their energy with renewables such as solar.

Moreover, the latest research is geared towards employing new techniques of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the use of natural ways. The mechanisms are like photosynthesis. According to Nace (2019), scientists have devised a step by step method of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it into coal. It is part of the Carbon Capture and Storage technology (CCS). Carbon sequestration involves converting the gas into the liquid state then injecting into the rock under the earth. This technique is significantly expensive thus restricting its widespread use. Therefore, alternative measures and technologies must be used in the US. For example, replacing fossil fuels powered cars with electric cars and the government can enforce the regulation that vehicles meet the preset emission requirement.

Conclusion

Overall, an increase in the water volume in the oceans results in the loss of islands and coastal states in the US. Several factors cause the sea level to rise. As global temperatures rise, water in the oceans undergoes thermal expansion thus increasing in its volume. Another way in which the sea keeps rising is by the melting ice sheets and glaciers. The melted ice flows into the sea thus increasing its mass and in turn raising the level. It is causing some cities and towns on the coast to go underwater. The cost of mitigation such as building restraining structures is indeed expensive for states. Therefore, in my career, I will participate in climate change research that can enlighten the public.

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