All over the U.S. tomorrow, people concerned about the fact that our dear planet Earth will be getting hotter and hotter every year will take to the streets for “jobs, climate, and justice,” as part of the People’s Climate Movement. In Miami-Dade – ground zero for climate change in the U.S., ICYMI – hundreds are expected to turn out to march from Little Havana to Overtown. Need a ride? New Florida Majority is also providing buses. More info here.
These are just a few of the reasons why.
We’re less than a foot above sea level.
About a tenth of Miami-Dade County’s land area is less than a foot above sea level. That means as sea levels start to rise we’re going to see a whole lot more flooding, especially in those low-lying areas.
There’s going to be at least 6 more inches of water by 203o.
The South Florida Regional Climate Change Compact projects at least 6 to 10 inches more of water by 2030. It would take only 6 inches to render our drainage systems useless.
We’re going to start seeing land go under.
By the year 2030, we could lose up to 1 percent of our land mass. From a business sense, that could seriously disrupt our channels of distribution and transportation.
The ocean is holding most of the heat.
More than 93 percent of the heat in our atmosphere has transferred to the ocean. That means the water is being affected most by global warming. That’s bad because water has a pretty high heat capacity — aka it can hold and transport a LOT of heat. That means our warmed ocean is going to be melting glacial ice for centuries, causing sea levels to keep rising and rising.
South Florida’s water drainage system won’t work pretty soon.
South Florida’s water drainage system is gravity-powered. It which operates based on a gradient — the difference in height between the water in the canals and the water in the ocean. As sea levels rise, that gradient is shrinking. Without it, the drainage system doesn’t work.
Natural defenses like coral reefs can help protect against storm surge
Coral reefs are first line of defense against storm surge because they help dissipate a wave’s energy. Rough reefs close to the water’s surface are the most effective at this — the rougher the reef, the better it is at cutting through the wave and absorbing its energy and the higher it is, the more of the wave it can stop.
Agriculture is going to be affected by saltwater intrusion and rising temperatures.
In Miami-Dade, agriculture produces more than $2.7 billion in economic impact every year, and it’s exceptionally vulnerable to changes like rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns.
A three foot rise in sea level would make it incredibly difficult to live here.
A two to three foot rise in sea levels will make nearly all the barrier islands in the world uninhabitable and make living in low-lying coastal zones like south and central Florida increasingly unviable.
We’re gonna need a bigger boat.