What will California look like if a massive glacier melts? Here's your answer | Toni Koraza

What will California look like if a massive glacier melts? Here’s your answer | Toni Koraza

Image by Ssalonen

California, known as the Golden State, stretches around 900 miles along the Pacific coast. Close to eight million California residents inhabit areas where the land is already sinking. Many of these people are in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

As the sea level rises, it will continue to threat communities and essential infrastructure due to water inundation and frequent flooding. There will be increased dune, bluff, beach, and cliff erosion.

The problematic glacier in the western Arctic

The exact size of Florida—Thwaites Glacier contains an immense amount of ice capable of raising global sea levels by two feet. It functions as a bottleneck protecting the West Antarctic ice sheet, which is more extensive. If this were to melt completely, it would raise the sea level by ten feet.

Rising sea levels

Propped up on a floating ice shelf is the eastern third of Thwaites. This section juts out into the sea as an apparent extension of the glacier. Unfortunately, two-thirds of the ice shelf beneath has already fallen apart.

Researchers in the United States declared that a vital section of the Thwaites Glacier will probably have collapsed within five to ten years.

How the California coast looks currently is drastically different from how it will look with a sea-level rise of two feet and how it will look under the worst-case scenario of ten feet underwater.

Local Impacts

Global sea levels are rising due to warming oceans and melting glaciers. The chosen sea ​​level scenario indicates a 100 percent risk that at least one flood over two feet will occur between today and 2050 in the area of ​​California.

Currently, homeowners in Stockton, Long Beach, San Jose, San Diego, and San Francisco are at risk of their homes being affected by rising sea levels within 30 years. That includes central counties in the state, such as San Mateo County, Marin County, San Joaquin County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County.

Are you worried about the surging sea level?

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