New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any state bordering an ocean but it’s still long enough and has enough development that sea-level rise and erratic storm surges will cause gazillions of dollars in damage down the road. So what should we do?
A new report has been released about what’s likely to happen (here) – it includes lots of scientific wonkery about how to model the future – and there are going to be public meetings to discuss possible action. NHPR has an interview with Cameron Wake (here), a UNH researcher who has been beating the beware-of-climate-change drum for two decades.
Of course, it’s obvious what to do in general: Remove development that’s too risky, maintain or replace natural elements that can slow the advance, build hardened infrastructure as a last resort (e.g., higher seawall at Seabrook nuke plant). Most of the argument will be over who pays and in what order we do things. That leaves a lot of room for argument.
One thing I learned from the report: It’s not sea-level rise, it’s relative sea-level rise, abbreviated as RSLR, because the land is rising in some places and falling in others, which alters the effect of higher water levels.