Professor Amr M. Baz





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By the end of this century, some estimates suggest at least 100 million people worldwide will be affected by rising sea levels. This number, large as it may be, hinges on the relatively conservative upper end of scenarios for future sea level rise of the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes (IPCC 2007). Among many climate scientists there exists considerable disquiet that this top end estimate could prove woefully too low, as the contribution from polar ice melting still remains highly uncertain. The resulting impacts on global sea levels could be a rise on the order of 19.6 feet. It is reasonably certain that an increase in the global trend is very likely, and that this increase will be on the order of two to two-and-a-half times what occurred in the 20th century, historically a period of the highest rate of sea level rise in the last thousand years (Kearney 1996). The challenge of such a sea level rise is indeed formidable, and requires immediate attention.  The Sea Level Challenge Initiative of the CTSM was undertaken in 2008 with the objective of taking logical and necessary steps to develop timely engineering infrastructure solutions that could alleviate real hazards of climate change to society by planned phased-in construction and targeted retrofitting. 

"The study, led by Bilal Ayyub of the University of Maryland, found that even if sea level rise turns out to be at the very low end of projections, it would still cause significant damage in Washington. For example, if the local sea level were to rise by just 0.1 meter, or about 4 inches, by 2043, nearly 68,000 people would be affected, and property damage would total upwards of $2 billion - without including damage to military bases and government property." Click here for the full article on Washington Post.

January 18, 2012

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