Florida is a coastal state. Nearly 80% of its 20 million residents live near the coast on land just a few feet above sea level, and over a hundred million tourists visit the beaches and stay in beach-front hotels every year. The coastal economy in Florida is estimated to account for 79% of the state’s gross domestic product,直接收入到经济的措施。

人民生活和对飓风和风暴潮佛罗里达海岸面对威胁工作,有时超过一年一次。 风和海浪沙滩冲刷带走沙和海滩必须用新砂得到滋养,尽可能多年度,在高腐蚀的地方。 现在迈阿密 - 戴德,布劳沃德和棕榈滩县 有获得近岸问题,低成本砂。 这意味着,他们将不得不使用昂贵得多的替代天然砂,可能会产生负面海龟或海滩植物产生影响,削弱海滩环境质量并有当地社区的沙滩再付滋养不利影响。

这些威胁不只是沿海的居民保留。 在南佛罗里达州的人谁住更远的内陆有在20th世纪中叶被倒掉,前湿地的家庭和企业。 一个大雨后,运河提水到大海。 如果这些运河失败,就不会有大规模洪水。 这些运河也保持淡水的“头”,或缓冲区,以防止海水侵入的供应饮用水的几百万居民的井场。



一个重要的现实是,海平面上升是不是一个未来的现象。 它已被慢慢发生在过去的几十年中,在约 一英寸每十年。 这是因为1960的半脚已经被敲响了警钟。 迈阿密地区现在有涨潮时的洪水 - 过去没有发现的情况。 在南佛罗里达州的排水系统 启动失败。 有时候带走雨水通过重力防洪结构不能流动,当水闸门的远洋一方有 盐水的更高水平的 比上游淡水侧。

佛罗里达seas1大部分佛罗里达州中部的是上排干,并且依赖于运河沼泽地开发。 风暴引起的洪水和海平面上升使之更难以保持海水渗入淡水井。 菲尔/ flickr的,CC BY-NC-SA 为什么一英寸事? 当我住在佛罗里达州海岸,一次一大雨天活动正值涨潮,这使得它很难水分迅速离开大海。 当水位从风暴蔷薇英寸的一半,我的整个街区被淹,水几乎进入了我的房子。 由于我们贸然尝试阻止所有用胶带和毛巾的门,它击中家什么区别海平面的一个更英寸将意味着 - 无损伤也许数千到我们家损害元之间的差。 然而,几十年来,我们是 看着脚下不海平面上升英寸。


三年前,主要研究人员召集在 气候变化峰会 由佛罗里达大西洋大学的研究项目主持 Florida Sea Grant and the University of Florida to discuss the future of Florida under projected climate change and sea-level rise conditions. The picture these researchers paint is bleak. Between now and 2100, floods that happen every 100 years are projected to start happening every 50, then every 20, then every 5, until large areas of coastal Florida are under water.

These experts' discussions considered such dire things as: how to strategically abandon large areas of the Florida Keys; how animals that now live in low-lying areas will move to higher ground when human populations are vying for the same territory; and even how to reconfigure Miami into a series of islands on a historical ridge along the southeast Florida coast, knowing that at some point, even those ridges will be part of the ocean.

佛罗里达seas2A coastal state: a photo of Florida from space at night shows how much of the state’s population is around the ocean – and vulnerable to sea level rise. NASAA report by the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council, a body established by the state’s legislature and on which I serve, developed a comprehensive report on the probable and possible effects of sea-level rise on coastal Florida. Major findings of that report included:

  • Sea level is likely to rise by 20 to 40 inches by 2100. If there is major melting of polar and glacier ice, sea level could rise as much as 80 inches this century

  • During hurricanes, higher sea levels may boost storm surge, causing greater scouring of beaches and in the worst case scenario, inundation of barrier islands and loss of coastal properties

  • There will be increased pressure to armor shorelines with seawalls to protect buildings from waves, but at some point this may not be effective because of escalating costs and the porous rock that underlies most of Florida, which will allow sea water to seep under seawalls.

  • Rising seas will shift the beach inland, imperiling coastal roads, homes and businesses.

  • Rising seas will stress coastal infrastructure (buildings, roads and bridges) because salt water will affect structural integrity.

  • Saltwater intrusion will become more common in freshwater well fields near the coast. A sea rise of just six inches will require water conservation, waste water reuse, stormwater storage facilities and alternative water supplies including desalinization.

It now is widely accepted that climate change is causing an unprecedented rise in sea levels around the world, and that locations such as Florida, where huge infrastructure and large populations live right on the coast, are especially vulnerable.

As noted in the Oceans and Coastal Council report, the risks compel us to seek a more thorough understanding of the impacts, and provide current and future generations with the information needed to adapt. Ignoring climate change or dismissing it as ‘not settled science’ will only lead to more costly and complex decisions in the future and cause greater harm to our people and our economy.

Future Communities

While the challenges presented by climate change and sea-level rise are great, challenges also bring opportunity.

As Florida seeks to adapt to the changing future, it is an opportunity for us to engage in vibrant discussions at the local, regional, state and federal levels about the nature of our communities, how we want them to look in the future, and how to achieve our goals. Engaging in such conversations will help us learn and work together for the best possible future for our communities.

佛罗里达seas3Storms and risings seas are scouring sand from beaches that attract tourists, forcing some communities to import sand, some of it not native. Tpsdave/PixabayMany communities around the state are already doing this. Southeast Florida has its Climate Change Compact, northeast Florida is working together under the Public Private Regional Resilience Initiative, southwest Florida and Punta Gorda as far back as 2009 developed the City of Punta Gorda Adaptation Plan. With such work, we can move towards a future which, while filled with challenges and different than the past, need not be only about loss, but also about what we can accomplish.


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havens karlDr. Havens is a professor at the University of Florida's IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the director of the Florida Sea Grant. He has 25 years of professional experience in aquatic research, education and outreach, and has worked with Florida aquatic ecosystems and the use of objective science in their management for the past 15 years.