OSU OC 103 - e-OC103_Lesson19 (6 pages)

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e-OC103_Lesson19



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e-OC103_Lesson19

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Pages:
6
School:
Oregon State University
Course:
Oc 103 - Exploring The Deep: Geography Of The World's Oceans

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OC103 Lesson 19 The Dynamic Shoreline Many of the world s beaches are dynamic places of pounding surf shifting sand and potential flooding from storm surges and rising sea level This lesson covers some of the ocean processes and hazards along our coastlines and what we can do to understand and live with them The Problems Increasing population pressure people like to live and vacation near the ocean There is 3 trillion in coastal property in U S alone Steady rise of sea level Sea level is currently rising by 3 4 mm yr At that rate which is increasing sea level could be up to 1 foot higher by the time you want to retire to a beachfront home in 2050 That does not sound too worrisome if your beachfront home is on top of a 50 foot cliff in Oregon but is much more of a concern in places closer to sea level 5 ft such as Florida or Bangladesh In some island nations the entire country is within a few feet of sea level These countries are deeply concerned about their future prospects The maximum possible sea level rise is 70 m if all of the glaciers melted unlikely anytime soon but see the image below right for what that would mean for New York City Increasing storm activity Climate change and periodic phenomenon such as El Ni o bring with them more and larger unusual events such as storms and floods Increasingly common and expensive erosion and damage Government subsidies currently make it affordable to build rebuild and insure coastal structures but as erosion and property damage becomes more common it will become politically and financially more difficult to justify and afford these government subsidies If these subsidies go away people will be much less likely to build in damage prone coastal areas We need to understand how beaches work to better predict how they will change over time both slowly and with catastrophic storms Until recently we were able to observe but not predict how beaches change over time Sophisticated instruments and computer models are now making it



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