According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, global sea levels are currently rising at the highest rate of increase in 6,000 years. After a period of little change in sea levels or an increase in rates, the global average sea level rose significantly throughout the 20th century – accelerating more in recent years, says the EPA.
Although Earth goes through natural periods of minor climate change shifts, scientists attribute this rapid and unusual change in sea levels to global warming. Kurt Lambeck, a professor at Australian National University, told the Guardian that the sea level increase of the past century is “beyond dispute” and that “what we’ve seen is unusual, certainly unprecedented for these interglacial periods.”
The rise of global sea levels is guaranteed to have adverse effects around the world. For example, most major coastal U.S. cities will see ten times more flooding by the year 2045, according to ThinkProgress. One-third of the cities and towns studied could start experiencing tidal flooding more than 180 days each year.
The spike in sea levels and potential tidal floods are without a doubt caused by global warming, a man-made phenomenon widely accepted by scientists and environmental professionals.
Even with study after study that prove humans have indeed caused this climate change and sea level rise, Republicans are still insistent in their climate change denial.
Current Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) argued, “Our climate is always changing,” noting that human activity is unrelated and that any efforts to do something about it “will destroy our economy.”
Ironic, because Florida is one of the states that would see the most numerous and disastrous flooding, destroying the economy more than any environmental protection measures would.
Alex Chastain is a writer with Ring of Fire.