The sea level rise of the world affects San Francisco

August Ackley, Caboose Editor

It’s counterintuitive that during a time of global warming and drought in California, the Pacific Ocean is rising. Sea level rise is hugely exhibited in many regions of the Pacific, such as Hawaii.

  When Urban students were asked about their knowledge on sea level, 94 percent of students identified it as an important issue, although 88 percent of students did not consider themselves well-informed on the issue.

  So what is sea level rise? There are two main causes of sea level rise, both relating to global warming. The first is due to thermal expansion, or the warming of the oceans. As water heats up, it expands. Secondly, the decrease in ice-based land due to increased melting of glaciers also adds to the rising seas.

  According to Wired Magazine, “More than 20,000 people from [The Marshall Islands] moved to an unremarkable corner of Arkansas.” There are many other people like the Marshallese who are currently battling the rising levels, such as the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, a Native American tribe living in coastal Louisiana.

  In a study done by Northern Arizona University, it was found that Isle de Jean Charles shrunk from “some 15,000 acres to a strip of about a quarter-mile wide by a half-mile long.”

  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicts that “almost 40 percent of the population lives in relatively high-population-density coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding, shoreline erosion, and hazards from storms.”

  The SF Curbed published an article on the areas of the city that will eventually be hit the hardest. One large issue is the possibility of Mission Creek flooding: “ … with a little bay rise added, it becomes an avenue for floods that could swamp a significant chunk of the waterfront during storms and high tides.”

  As climate change raises sea levels, The San Francisco Bay Area’s risk of flooding increases. The SF Chronicle published a project called “Rising Reality”, in which John King, an urban design critic outlines these challenges. In a portion of the project dedicated the response of the city, King estimates that  “$35 billion worth of public property in San Francisco is at risk if sea-level rise by 2100 reaches 66 inches.”

  66 inches may not seem like a lot, but in actuality, it could “affect 1,160 San Francisco buildings”, SF Curb estimated.

  The rise in sea level throughout the world may seem arbitrary right now, but the list of affected areas will get longer as time goes by.