BBC Report Shows Rising Waters of Chesapeake Bay

Jan 30, 2009

Sea level rise from global warming is thought to be a future danger, but this report from the BBC shows how the rising waters of the Chesapeake Bay are already engulfing islands and communities along Maryland's coast.

This house once stood back from the bay. Now the water is lapping at its foundations.

As the camera pans across the water from a boat:

This island was once connected to this island ... which was connected to this island ... which was connected to the mainland.

See the report with your own eyes and hear the British correspondent refer to rising levels of "C.O. twos" in the atmosphere.

Maryland's bay area is espeically vulnerable to rising sea levels because the ground is slowly subsiding, a lingering effect of the last ice age. Over the past century, the land sunk about 6 inches while the water rose about 6 inches. Combined, that's a 1-foot rise in sea level for the region.

The rate of subsidence is slowing, but officials with Maryland's Commission on Climate Change say the acceleration of melting ice elsewhere could mean another 1-foot rise in sea level by mid-century and as much as 3 feet by 2100. They estimate that a 3-foot rise in sea level would swallow 200 square miles of land in the Chesapeake Bay area. The rising waters of the bay are barely 50 miles from the White House.

(Hat tip: Mike Tidwell, Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network)


See Also

Job Preservation Comes First in Maryland Climate Bill


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