Water, Water, Everywhere

This photo from the New York Times was taken in New York City’s Battery Park on October 30, the day after Hurricane Sandy reached the eastern coast of the U.S.

Because I’ll be focusing my white paper on climate change, this image brought up a lot of issues for me.

With the strong winds, rain, and storm surges brought on by Hurricane Sandy, entire towns flooded; homes, cars, people, and animals were lost; and coast lines were forever changed. This kind of storm is only supposed to be a once-a-century kind of thing. But because ocean temperatures have been steadily rising, and are expected to continue this warming pattern, these kinds of storms are going to become ever more frequent – and ever more powerful. A storm like Sandy won’t just be an outlier; it’ll be more of the norm.

Something else that this picture brings up is the rise in sea level. It’s already happening, and by 2020, the area where I live could be underwater. New Orleans, a city below sea-level, may be mostly gone. Many other popular U.S. cities situated near the water – New York, Seattle, Miami, and Boston, to name a few – could also see their borders shrink.

It’s weird to think that what’s here now may not be there in the future. It’s even weirder that it’ll happen within our lifetimes.


9 thoughts on “Water, Water, Everywhere

  1. It’s pretty obvious that climate change not only exists, but is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. Just last year we had an earthquake, record high temperatures, snow in October, and a flood – all within 2 months. And that’s in central PA! I’m scared to know what’s next.

  2. Hasn’t anyone on the E coast ever seen the tsunami warning signs?

    Tsunami Warning Sign- does it say run, or, you are sooooo screwed?

    I always thought as an image they say “you can run, but you won’t make it.”

  3. Amsterdam and the Netherlands have been living with this for a long time. I wonder if they have any shorter term solutions, like houses that can float. I’m not kidding.

  4. Your last point about it happening in our lifetimes is something I often think about. I have always had an interest in environmental science, so I have taken many courses focused on global warming and climate change. While it is all scary, much of it seems unlikely to happen in the near future, so I often need to remind myself that I could see some of these changes with my very own eyes. I live about 20 minutes north of NYC and both of my parents work in the city, so this past week has been a wake-up call for my family. The weather can have a huge impact on our daily lives, which will become more and more apparent as global warming persists.

  5. Some places are flooding, and other places are without water. And one common thing about all those places is most of them are either clean and green, as in the case of Amsterdam, Europe, or has little to do with emission, as in the case of Indonesia, Africa. It is sad that those people who are protecting climate, or cause minimal destruction are actually suffering from the consequences.

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