Rising sea levels due to global warming are threatening coastal countries and regions, according to experts.
The Cayman Islands has a government determined to remove natural ocean barriers and export mega quantities of quarried fill that the next generations will need in their mitigation and adaptation process needed for the Cayman Islands to remain habitable, according to environmentalist William Adam.
“Other jurisdictions have adopted national policies to mitigate and adapt the effects of the rising sea levels as a result of global warming (whether from natural or man-made sources, it is occurring), the mitigation strategies include building higher and filling coastal areas,” said Mr. Adam.
He added: “Believe it or not, the climate is changing and one of the results will be rising sea levels, no politician can change that fact, no PR campaign can change that fact, no businessman or group can change that fact.”
Other scientists have weighed in on the sea level rising issue, as well.
“Western Carolina University’s Rob Young and I have argued that seas will rise at least three feet in this century and that, for coastal management purposes, as rise of seven feet (two metres) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure,” said Orrin Pilkey, a James B. Duke professor and co-author of The Rising Sea.
A blue ribbon panel of scientists from Miami — the US city considered most vulnerable to sea level rise — predicted that the sea will rise a minimum of three-to-five feet by 2100.
Sea level rise is causing natural barrier islands not artificially stabilized by coastal engineering to narrow, according to Mr. Pilkey.
“We need only look to Florida to see the problem,” Mr. Pilkey said.
“There, hundreds of miles of beaches are lined with high-rises and, as a result, seawalls.
“Because seawalls allow no flexibility to respond to a rising sea, Florida, is the state most poorly positioned to respond.”
“Florida faces a future of shorelines lined with failed seawalls, no beaches and the wreckage of abandoned high-rises,” he said.
A. Anthony Chen of the Climate Studies Group at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, weighed in.
“If we in the Caribbean wish to stay where we are then a binding agreement or a workable mechanism, which will lead to the reduction of greenhouse gases must materialize,” he said in a statement. “Specifically, I refer to the thousands, if not millions, of our coastal inhabitants whose lives are threatened by the sea level rise.”
Adaptation and mitigation, according to Mr. Chen, is the answer.
“Common sense and the science dictates that we need to adapt to reduce the harmful impacts,” he said.