By Hannah Hickey and edited by MaryAnn Wagner
A new report by the Washington Coastal Resilience Project team, entitled Projected Sea Level Rise for Washington State – A 2018 Assessment, provides new projections for more than 150 different sites along the Washington coastline, from all marine shorelines in Washington state.
The report incorporates the unique geology-driven land motion, with uplift at Neah Bay and sinking in Seattle. And it provides the latest, probabilistic estimates to let planners weigh the risks of different scenarios.
From the Center for Climate Change communication:
"...Global warming and climate change are used differently and mean different things in the minds of many Americans. Scientists often prefer the term climate change for technical reasons, but should be aware that the two terms generate different interpretations among the general public and specific subgroups. [...]
It is important to note, however, that connotative meanings are dynamic and change, sometimes rapidly. It is possible that with repeated use, climate change will come to acquire similar connotative meanings as global warming, that the two will eventually become synonymous for most people, or that climate change will supplant global warming as the dominant term in public discourse. In the meantime, however, the results of these studies strongly suggest that the two terms continue to mean different things to many Americans."
Which do you prefer to use, global warming or climate change? To me, climate change seems to better encompass phenomena like ocean acidification, which is not temperature-dependent, as well as the secondary processes that result from warming, like decreased photorespiration in plants. There's a time and a place for both climate change and global warming, and it never hurts to ask what each term means to your audience.
Surging Seas announces their web tool is now available for 11 states including Washington. The Surging Seas team has announced their willingness to do an explanatory webinar; if one is planned, we will announce it through the Coastal Resilience listserv.
The tool can show up to ten feet of sea level rise as well as added map layers like infrastructure, income and contamination risks.
• "Fast Look" pages are printable PDF summaries for each place analyzed that integrate diverse findings and key explainers into one-stop destinations.
• New map layers show race, ethnicity and per capita income of exposed populations.
• Embedding the map for your website is now fast, easy and flexible. Set the map how you want it, and click on "Embed" in the lower right-hand corner.
• Comparisons for total vs. unprotected exposure allow quick assessment of potential protection from levees, ridges and other major features.
One of their new findings for Washington: more than $5 billion in property and 11,000 people occupy Puget Sound area land that would be exposed below 4 feet, a flood level likely to be seen by midcentury under mid-range projections.
Personally, I've had some difficulty getting the tool to work on state computers, so let me know if you've had better luck.
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