Local scientists make predictions for Miami's climate change
MIAMI (WSVN) -- There's a climate concern for South Florida, as scientists warn steps need to be taken before matters get worse.
It's an alarming report that researchers are predicting Miami may become submerged underwater within the next few decades. The ocean is rising faster and predictions made by some research scientists make the situation sound pretty dire. "By the mid-part of the century, 2050, 2060, most of the barrier islands in the world are gonna have to be evacuated," said research scientist Harold R. Wanless.
It's hard to imagine iconic Miami Beach deserted, but it is obvious that rising water is already a common problem. On a sunny day, a high tide is enough to flood the streets. "We live on limestone. Limestone is like a course sponge, so we really can't use levies to hold back the water, " said South Florida Regional Planning Council Executive Director James Murley.
While the city continues to find ways to deal with the excess water, many experts said there's no way to stop it.
Meteorologist Chad Myers said, "We saw barricades and sandbags all along Alton because the water just sits there during high tide. Let's put one more foot of water on top of this, just take one foot of sea level rise from here for Miami Beach what does that look like? So you are telling me that every single street that is here that's blue is going to have water in it if we get a one-foot rise in sea level?"
Florida International University's Research Ecologist Peter Harlem said, "Yeah, and the tides. If we get king, it will be a little bit higher than this. This is essentially showing you the places that are going to be effected first."
The effects of global warming is already evident in some places. "The important things is to keep observing what's happening, to look at all the ranges and projections, and then come back to the policy makers and say you know here's the actions you have to take," said Murley.
The Southeast Florida regional climate change compact has been created to monitor and mitigate the harsh consequences of climate change. "They're not sticking their head in the sand. They know that this is a real problem," Murley said.
The report released by the United Nations also suggests that it is extremely likely humans are mostly to blame for temperatures that have been climbing now for decades.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)