Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Troubling Predictions for the Jersey Shore

Just a year after Sandy, and scientists are giving us some pretty glum predictions about future flooding possibilities for the middle of this century.
Rutgers and Tufts scientists have just published a study (link here) suggesting that sea level could rise by 1.5 to 2.3 feet at the shore by 2050.  In addition to climate change (including changes in the Gulf Stream), other factors at work include such esoteric forces as sediment compaction and adjustments following the last ice age!  You would have thought climate change was scary enough!
Fortunately, planners in New Jersey and elsewhere in the middle Atlantic area are taking the issue very seriously.  Still, I don’t think anyone has really mentally processed the enormity of large portions of the densely populated East Coast potentially disappearing into the surf.

At a minimum, it seems to me, transportation planners need to seriously focus on building “allweather” transportation systems to provide travel during emergencies.  A hundred years ago, that meant paved roads.  Now it needs to be much more.

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