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Basics of Sea Level Rise along the Mid-Atlantic Coast

This page is meant to be a source of references on basic climate change issues affecting Downe Township NJ for those who may not be familiar with the current position of the science, government and law.

Free online education

Coursera.org offers a nine week course called "Climate Change" taught by Melbourne University of Professors Jon Barnett, John Freebairn, David Jamieson, Dr. Maurizio Toscano, and Rachel Webster. The course is free but the work is intense; estimated at 6-8 hours per week over the nine weeks. Upon completion you will receive a certificate from the instructors. No specific background or prerequisites are required. The starting date will be announced.

Primary resources

The Climate Change and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mission Considerations report of 2010 titled “Defining Coastal Vulnerability along the Delaware Bay” available online at http://chl.erdc.usace.army.mil/dirs/events/319/15%2087th%20CERB%20DFrizzera.pdf

The New Jersey Office of Coastal Management Program’s most recent publications including their coastal risk assessment and strategy. The 2011 publications are available online at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/cmp/czm_309.html

The June 24, 2012 U.S. Coast Guard press release titled “Sea Level Rise Accelerating in U.S. Atlantic Coast” available at http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3256&from=rss_home#.UIKmAcXA-Sp

The resources published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency including the topics of interaction of storm surge, coastal water temperature and ocean acidification on the impact of sea level rise. There is a wealth of information, resources and citations on the agency’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/coasts.html.

Primary research

The June 2012 article in Climate Change Journal titled “Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America” available at http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1597.html. This article on Nature.com has been the most carefully analyzed research to date on the topic. Tony Novak's short review of this article is published here.

The September 2012 article from researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary that will be published in the next issue of the Journal of Coastal Research titled “Evidence of Sea Level Acceleration at U.S. and Canadian Tide Stations, Atlantic Coast, North America”. This article is not yet available online but important because it independently confirms the important Nature.com article. An abstract is available at http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-12-00102.1.

Delaware Bay local and regional media

Some communities feeling forgotten

Climate concerns have no easy fix

Special report: Climate Change on the Coast

Interactive: Managing sea level rise for the bay shore beaches

A neighborhood heading underwater

BaySave's Med-Atlantic Sea level response blog

Governmental implications

Summary for Policymakers: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation  A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY. 2012(PDF)

The Wall Street Journal published an article and video report on public policy issues related to the redevelopment of NJ coastal communities on November 17, 2012 at .

Legal implications

Hurricaine prediction tooks a giant step forward when the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming  called "Yellowstone" launched in October 2012. "Yellowstone not only allows researchers to predict whether it's going to be warmer in a century, they can also look 10 or 20 years into the future and make a probabilistic prediction as to what the weather will look like in a given region.  "When you talk to government officials, city planners, state water boards, or insurance companies, they want to know specific information on a regional level. You can't answer those questions with a coarse-grain model," said Loft. "Yellowstone is going to give us answers to some very important unfinished business in atmospheric science.""