Your recent sea level article, based on a Union of Concerned Scientists report, was startling.
The report contains three scenarios for sea level rise. The “high-level” scenario says the sea level will rise and 2 feet by 2045 and 6.6 feet by 2100. This “high” scenario leads to serious real estate inundation.
NOAA sea level data exists up to 2018. The sea level rise has flattened recently and returned to its long-term (90-year) trend line. The trend is essentially linear and rising at 2 millimeters per year. It has been doing that since 1930. If the data is compared to the three scenarios, the rise is running below the low scenario.
If the rise rate were 2.5 millimeters per year, then in 10 years the sea level will rise 25 millimeters, or 2.5 centimeters. This equals one inch in 10 years. In a century, the sea level will conservatively rise 10 inches.
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The UoCS report and your associated article are biased and unnecessarily frightening.
Data says sea level is rising at the same rate it has for the last century and people still live at water’s edge. Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling must be remarkably visionary to notice one inch in 10 years through his window.
The public would be better served if the press and government worried about the next Tropical Storm Irma with a 5- to 6-foot storm surge on top of high tide. Irma did inundate island neighborhoods.
What has local government done to mitigate against an Irma recurrence?
Hilton Head Island
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