Probably the most pressing question of the 21st Century is: What affects will Global Climate Change have on our local community? The recent and unprecedented release of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents a bleak forecast for our future on the global scale and in our own backyards. The panel, which consists of hundreds of climate and meteorological scientists and experts from all over the world, says it is more than likely that by at least 2020 average temperatures in the northeastern United States will rise by at least 4 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature rise of this magnitude means a climate that is more like Georgia or even Florida’s climate today. Florida will become uninhabitable by scorching temperatures and drought, and the Sunshine State will become submerged by rising tides. The sea level of our oceans is expected to rise upwards of three feet because of melting glaciers and ice sheets at the north and south pole. If the oceans were to rise three feet in the next 20-40 years, much of the Village of Haverstraw and most of the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. will be inundated by seawater.
On October 10, 2010, I drove on Beach Road just north of the Village of Haverstraw and witnessed an unnerving sight. The Hudson River had poured over the sea wall at high tide (a super high tide) and flooded homes and the road. View a video of the flooding here: This is quickly becoming a major issue. The floods are not being reported by local or national media. Notice the dock ramps in the distance in the video, they are “negative,” or are leading up to their floating docks. This means that these docks were built with the historically-motivated notion that the water level would never reach any higher than a “neutral” or horizontal ramp level/angle; the builders of the docks could have never imagined a water level this high outside of a major storm event. Notice that October 10, 2010 was a perfectly calm and sunny day.
U.S. News & World Report recently conceded that the New York area has around 7 years before it is inundated by the rising tides. Other major cities across the world share the same fate. Read the article here: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-35998698
What will our government do to protect citizens’ private properties? Can they do anything? Will insurance companies continue to drop policy holders, and not offer relief when the inevitable floods come? These are all important questions to ask at this point. Now, what are the solutions? Read the report on Global Warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change here.