delware environmental institute

News Journal: Report displays future concerns on sea-level rise

News Journal: Report displays future concerns on sea-level rise

An already grim picture of global sea-level rise darkened last week, with a new federal report warning that global warming could push world average sea levels up by as much as 6.6 feet by 2100. The estimate by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration scientists – well above current state or United Nations estimates – is particularly troubling along the Mid-Atlantic, where sea-level already is rising faster than the world average because of local geologic factors.

Attention to NOAA’s finding was almost immediate in Delaware, sharpening debate over a statewide plan for adapting to rising seas – or retreating from coastal flooding. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control oversees the Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee, which on Friday was urged by some environmental and citizen groups to urgently include the new numbers into the state’s vulnerability assessment. Delaware’s current assessment, they noted, does not forecast nearly as dramatic a rise in the sea, and is based on a blending of conclusions from various climate change reports spanning two decades.