The impact of global climate change on our coastlines
This assignment combines what you’ve learned from several chapters and focuses on a very specific environmental issue – sea level rise. Since we’re currently discussing coastal features, you will analyze the impact of global climate change on our coastlines.
Complete the following for your assignment:
A. Currently we are in the midst of climate change; specifically a dramatic increase in our surface temperatures. This is resulting in a net decrease of not only of sea ice, but continental ice sheets & mountain glaciers as well. As you’ve learned, sea-level rise is one of the major concerns of this melting ice trend. How much will sea level rise at our current pace? Well, there are a few scenarios based on our carbon dioxide emissions: (1) sea-levels as the course we are on now and (2) sea-levels with extreme carbon cuts. Visit the following website:
http://choices.climatecentral.org/#12/40.7116/-74.0005?compare=temperatures&carbon-end-yr=2100&scenario-a=warming-4&scenario-b=warming-2 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Here you will see the sea-level predictions of the two scenarios I previously mentioned – the image on the left is depicting the first scenario (sea-level rise at the course we are on now), which is a 4° C increase in global surface temperatures. The image on the right is depicting the second scenario (sea-level rise with extreme carbon cuts), which is a 2° C increase in global surface temperatures. Note that with both scenarios, global surface temperatures will increase and sea level will rise. The default setting is New York City. In the maps you will see urban areas shown in white/gray. The blue represents ocean water. In the case of New York City, you can see many areas where sea-level rises above, and inundates, urban neighborhoods. Now, search for San Francisco (type [San Francisco] into the search bar at the top left and hit enter). You will need to zoom out to see the entire city (click the minus symbol in the top, center of the map until you can see all of San Francisco and Oakland).
In the form of short paragraphs, (a) compare and contrast the sea-level of these two San Francisco maps. Take a look at the island of Alameda (where College of Alameda is located) – (b) what is predicted to happen to this island? Next, search for any coastal city other than New York City and San Francisco; (c) describe the sea-level change for that city as well. Lastly, consider that about 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. Therefore it’s important to understand coastal processes and how rising sea level may impact those processes. Based on what you’ve learned from this chapter, (d) describe how rising sea-levels may impact coastal areas.
Extra Credit Opportunity (optional; worth 2 points) – include a screenshot or picture of your maps to help in your response.
Your response should be in complete sentences. Remember this is an academic assignment, not a tweet or text message – proper spelling and punctuation count! See the rubric below for specifics on grading criteria. Your written response should be at least 250 words.