ISSUE | CLIMATE CHANGE
No time to wait
It is important that we take seriously the predictions of sea-level rise cited in last week's edition of the journal Nature ("Alarm on sea level rises to new heights," Thursday). The study illustrates that climate disruption can have a greater impact in a shorter time frame than had been projected: Oceans could rise by more than 6 feet by the end of the century if high levels of greenhouse-gas emissions continue.
Many researchers have cautioned that conditions in the Mid-Atlantic region are likely to be worse than the global average. New studies and planning tools were developed for the coast after Superstorm Sandy, but more needs to be done on the Delaware River. This includes flood mapping for different sea-level-rise and storm-surge scenarios; assessments to protect drinking water; and analysis of impacts on freshwater tidal and salt marshes, which are critical to flood protection, water quality, and fishery and estuary ecosystems.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and its partners are working on these critical issues, but more funding is needed. Now is the time not to sit on our hands but to intensify our efforts.
|Carol Collier, senior adviser, watershed management and policy, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia