Opinion

Greenland’s melting ice sheet has dire consequences for Miami

The melting of Greenland’s ice is accelerating. Miami, along with coastal regions everywhere, should take notice.

The rising of global sea levels has been a hot button issue for decades now, but until recent years, few imagined it could have much effect on coastal regions in our lifetime.

Now, researchers like Michael Bevis of Ohio State University have raised new concerns that Greenland’s ice melt may have crossed a threshold, meaning its rapid speed is likely only to increase in the near future. This could potentially lead to an expedited timetable for the mounting global crisis.

According to CNN’s Josh Berlinger, eight of the world’s ten largest cities are located in coastal regions, as well as nearly half of the global population. Researchers at Smithsonian Ocean add that Florida, specifically Miami, may be among the most vulnerable areas to the rising sea levels.

Scientists at the Smithsonian Ocean have stated that Florida will face the harshest consequences from sea level rise. This is due to Florida’s low elevation and limestone foundation, a porous rock that is susceptible to saltwater degradation.

These concerns are particularly worrisome for the UM community.

“It’s sad to think that this entire city could be underwater in the next few centuries. There’s too much culture here, such a great community,” said Will Riddle, a freshman at the University of Miami. “Hopefully, we are able to come together and get this under control.”

Recently, U.S. scientists released the National Climate Assessment, a comprehensive summary over 1,000 pages in length and created by over 300 professionals. The report shows that while our global footprint can no longer be erased, it can still be mitigated, with “More than half of the damages to coastal property estimated to be avoidable through well-timed adaptation measures.”

Scientists worldwide are in agreement that it is not too late to change our ways, but the U.S. government has yet to act.

Initiatives to cut U.S. emission levels made by the Obama administration have largely been undone by the current White House administration. President Donald Trump has frequently challenged the validity of scientific reports estimating the role that humans play in global warming and has shown an unwillingness to compromise when it comes to his policies on climate change.

Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, an international agreement to help curb rising temperatures, along with subsequent sea level rises, and has frequently tweeted his rejection of humans’ role in the rising global temperatures.

Maybe the fact that his prized Mar-a-Lago resort, located on the sunny seaside of Palm Beach, Florida, may soon be underwater will be enough to convince him to join the rest of the world in trying to curb our collective global footprint. Until then, Miami residents and other Floridians will have to cross their collective fingers and hope that something is done before it is too late.

January 28, 2019

Reporters

Parker Parker Gimbel


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