Image Caption: View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and surge cut across the barrier island at Mantoloking, NJ, eroding a wide beach, destroying houses and roads, and depositing sand onto the island and into the back-bay. Construction crews with heavy machinery are seen clearing sand from roads and pushing sand seaward to build a wider beach and protective berm just days after the storm. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. Credit: USGS

Climate Change Impacts Will Threaten Economy, Public Health

January 29, 2013

April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

A leading group of scientists and experts from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released a report that emphasizes the need for increased coordination and planning to ensure U.S. coastal communities are resilient against the effects of climate change.

The report, titled “Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment,” examines and describes climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems, as well as human economies and communities. It also assesses the kinds of scientific data, planning tools and resources that coastal communities and resource managers need to help them adapt to these changes.

“Sandy showed us that coastal states and communities need effective strategies, tools and resources to conserve, protect, and restore coastal habitats and economies at risk from current environmental stresses and a changing climate,” said Margaret A. Davidson of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. “Easing the existing pressures on coastal environments to improve their resiliency is an essential method of coping with the adverse effects of climate change.”

The report found that all U.S. coasts are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise, erosion, storms and flooding – especially in the more populated low-lying parts of the U.S. coast along the Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, northern Alaska, Hawaii, and island territories. The financial risks associated with both private and public hazard insurance are expected to increase dramatically, the report claims.

“An increase in the intensity of extreme weather events such as storms like Sandy and Katrina, coupled with sea-level rise and the effects of increased human development along the coasts, could affect the sustainability of many existing coastal communities and natural resources,” said Virginia Burkett of the USGS.

Read more: Public Health, Economy Threatened By Climate Change – Science News – redOrbit.

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