Nothing can resist the power of climate change, not even the US Coastal Military, which risks losing land because of the sea level rise.
The US Coastal military installations include training and testing grounds, housing and infrastructure.
A recent study explains the effects of tidal flooding, hurricane strikes and storm surge flooding.
The US East and Gulf Coast already had placed devices that help deal with flooding and extreme tides. In some areas, the tidal flooding will become a habitual fact in the second half of the century. As the sea takes over more and more of the land, the installations need to adapt.
The study had analyzed 18 US coastal military installations which were selected to be representative in terms of size, location and military branch.
The data on tides came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration measurements in Maine and Florida, and that on storm surge came from NOAA SLOSH model. As the ice sheet loss accelerates, the highest scenario may prove to be plausible.
The study shows that by 2050 half of the installations will have more than 270 flood events each year, as opposed to just ten today. Nine of the facilities will have daily floods.
By 2070, half of the sites would experience 520 floods annually.
By 2100, eight of the facilities will lose at least a quarter of their land and half of their total number will experience constant flood conditions.
In just 20 years, most of the sites will be exposed to ten times more floods than today.
Some installations are more vulnerable than others. For example, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Naval Air Station Key West in Florida, Marine Corps Recruit Depot in South Carolina and Dam Neck Annex in Virginia could lose more than 75% of their land by the end of this century.
The flooding will also affect the surrounding communities, on which the installations rely on.
The military sites have already taken measures to fight the land loss, such as shoreline seawalls, door dams, pump systems, and even rock dunes.
The authors of the study recommend the Pentagon to make a climate change preparedness plan as well as individual assessments for each of the seaside sites. Furthermore, there is the need for more studies on how the climate change could influence the rising sea levels.
The measures should be implemented taking into consideration the fate of their surrounding communities, with a particular regard to housing, infrastructure and transportation systems.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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