Global warming is likely to bring climate chaos to the state of the ocean

The Earth is on a “highway to climate hell”.

That’s the message coming out of the ongoing COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, as world leaders and diplomats engage in talks to try to halt the disastrous effects of climate change. Despite decades of annual talks and negotiations, world leaders have said the apparent lack of progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is grim news for the future of humanity.

“Time is running out, we are in the fight of our lives,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his opening remarks. “And we lose. Greenhouse gas emissions are rising, global temperatures continue to rise, and our planet is rapidly approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos inevitable.

Global temperatures have already risen 1.1 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, and much of the conference discussion is expected to focus on how to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

A global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions published this month by the Climate TRACE coalition revealed that global emissions from oil and gas production were “significantly underreported”, and that countries required to regularly report emissions data to the United Nations have emissions up to three times higher.

Coalition data was gathered from more than 300 satellites, some 11,000 air, land and sea sensors, and additional public information troves. Climate TRACE is a non-profit organization comprised of AI specialists, data scientists, researchers, and non-governmental organizations dedicated to refining climate emissions data.

Using state flood forecasts derived from STORMTOOLS shows Rhode Island’s South Shore, containing many of its famous beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean, will be unrecognizable after a sea level rise of 2 feet coupled with a storm once a century. The darkest blue is 4 feet underwater, the light blue is 8 feet, the yellow is 16 feet, and the red is over 24 feet underwater. (STORM TOOLS)

Hurry up. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has published its latest climate change mitigation report earlier this year, warning that greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest level ever, and that countries need immediate and deep cuts in emissions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The assessment showed that limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius requires a 25% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Through a lack of reduced emissions, the impacts of climate change on coastal states such as Rhode Island would be enormous. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in a report released earlier this year, said it expects at least 2 feet of sea level rise along the US coast by 2100. If global emissions are not reduced, there could be an additional sea level rise of 1.5 to 5 feet by the end of the century.

“By 2050, moderate flooding – which is typically disruptive and damaging by today’s weather, sea levels and infrastructure standards – is projected to occur more than 10 times more often than it does today. ‘today,” NOAA National Ocean Service Director Nicole LeBoeuf said in a statement. Release. “These numbers mean a chance of a single event every 2-5 years to multiple events every year in some locations.”

Two feet of sea level rise would dramatically transform the coastline, but inside Narragansett Bay and along the state’s southern shore, Rhode Islanders can expect more. As the planet warms, Atlantic storms will become stronger and more frequent, and some municipalities across the state could find themselves underwater.

The state’s Coastal Flood Forecasting Tool, STORM TOOLSshows that with 2 feet of sea level rise and a once-a-century storm, large portions of Warren, Barrington and Bristol will be flooded.

Warren officials have proposed moving the city’s Market Street neighborhood further south, as the area is expected to flood more frequently in coming decades due to climate change. (STORM TOOLS)

Downtown Warren is less than 20 feet above sea level, and parts of town already experience damaging flooding on a regular basis. The city one Market Street District will see 356 properties flooded and 57 homes lost for a total of 86 residents displaced, according to projections. The corner of Market and Redmond streets would be flooded daily and cost $8.1 million to repair in today’s dollars.

“We’re not here to scare people,” Warren city planner Bob Rulli said last year. “These are realities.”

The city plans to move homes and businesses in the Market Street area further south to Metacom Avenue, which is expected to be refurbished in a mixed-use neighborhood.

It’s not just the East Bay. Under similar storm conditions, most of Charlestown’s south shore, including the beaches at the Breach State and the city beach, will be 16 feet under water from a storm. which happens once a century. The outlook is similar for downtown Providence, with areas near the river from the Providence Place Mall to the Port of Providence also expected to be inundated with more than 12 feet of water, according to STORMTOOLS.

And Rhode Island is perhaps better off than most developing countries. Reuters recently reported that developing countries will need up to $1 trillion a year for external financing, as many of these countries are hardest hit by global warming.

US climate envoy John Kerry has proposed allowing companies to buy carbon credits to finance the greening of power grids in developing countries. Rich countries like the United States face increasing pressure to fulfill their previous pledge to mobilize $100 billion for climate resilience in the Global South.

COP27 until November 18.


Teresa H. Sadler