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Global climate change

Large portion of the Southeast U.S. coast will be highly vulnerable to rising tides by 2030

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
5/01/2019, 12:21:38 PM

A new study from the University of Central Florida indicates that 75 percent of the Southeast U.S. coast from central Florida to North Carolina will become highly susceptible to inundation and erosion from rising tides by the year 2030.

Coastal species such as the loggerhead and green sea turtles could be especially at risk, as the sea level rise will increase the risk of erosion in about 50 percent of the nesting areas along the coast.

Seabird nesting areas may also be severely impacted by coastal erosion and inundation, as the study projects an increased risk of 70 to 80 percent in the next 10 years.

Key excerpts from the UCFtoday report.....


“When there is erosion and inundation during the reproductive seasons, it has large impacts on species,” said Betsy Von Holle, a biologist at UCF and the lead author of this study. “A lot of these species that we studied are threatened and endangered species, so just knowing that sea level rise will be a threat to certain species in the future helps managers figure out how to prioritize their management actions.”

Although sea level rise is a threat to coastal species, experts say so are human-made structures, such as sea walls, as they prevent the beach from naturally migrating inland. Without those types of structures, the shoreline and coastal species could better adapt to the rising seas, as they have done when faced with the threat in the past.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Global climate change