I love to travel to different places, and Florida is a city that catches my attention in no time. The town boasts beautiful theme parks, including Universal Studios, top-notch malls, shopping centers, and exotic wildlife, but its beaches capture my heart. Relaxing waters, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and positive vibrations force me to spend time on these beaches again and again. However, it is unfortunate that global warming and changing climatic patterns are causing a grave threat to beaches, shore communities, and surrounding areas. Life has already been altered in many places, and a vast population has been rehabilitated owing to destructive storms and hurricanes in part years. The situation is not hopeful for the future. Scientists have already warned about grave threats resulting from sea-level rise and other associated issues.
Global climate change is likely to have a profound effect on Florida’s coastal and marine ecosystems. A rise in sea levels will enhance erosion of beaches, let the saltwater intrude into water supplies, and inundate coastal marshes making coastal property vulnerable to flooding and erosion. With scientists stating that the rise in sea level, caused by global warming, threatens around 30 percent of the beaches in the next couple of years, Florida’s tourism can also expect a significant decline in the years to come (AIP Conference Proceedings). Beaches are dynamic ecosystems that need good space to respond to natural drivers and pressures. As the land surface is likely to sink with high water levels, it is probably that rising sea levels will submerge surrounding drylands and exacerbate flooding.
Scholarly articles have further highlighted that hurricanes have already become more powerful. Hurricane Michael surprised millions of residents by turning from a tropical storm to a major hurricane, leaving little time for preparations. A Union of Concerned Scientists report states that by 2100, around one in ten homes will become vulnerable to flooding (“Climate change and Florida: What you need to know”). With such a massive spell of flooding, the city is liable to face significant changes in terms of rehabilitation, shrinking sea space, thereby altering my activity significantly.
Research studies expose that temperature rise can also affect coral reefs, thereby leading to acidification of oceans. Florida has extensive formations of coral reefs near its coasts, and they provide suitable habitat, shelter, and food to numerous animals and plants. Acidification can further damage corals, fishes, and many other marine species. By killing the algae that live inside corals and provides food to them, rising temperatures will prove detrimental to the marine ecosystem, fisheries, and tourism (Environmental Protection Agency).
Thermal expansion of the sea and melting of glaciers and ice caps will lead to rising sea levels. With it has already been increased by 8 inches since 1970, studies have projected that it can further increase up to 2.5 to 6 feet by 2100 (Environment Florida Center). Rising water levels will threaten the surrounding population and increase the frequency of coastal storms and hurricanes. Scientists have further warned about the contamination of the freshwater aquifers from Palm Beach to the Florida Keys that will considerably affect drinking water in these areas (Environment Florida Center).
A scholarly article published in the reputed journal mentioned that flooding frequency has significantly increased in Miami Beach since 2006. While rain-induced events have increased by more than 30 percent, tide-induced events have increased by a whopping 00 percent (Wdowinski, Bray and Kirtman 1).
To conclude, the paper has thoroughly discussed the impacts of global warming on beaches. The effect is manifold, ranging from the shrinking seashore, decreasing tourism, declining marine life, rising surface, and more. While these facets don’t directly impact my visiting Florida beaches, indirect implications are no less.
Decreasing tourism might discourage me from actively taking part in beach sports, and hot days can prove disturbing to have a prolonged relaxing time. After ten years or so, I might not find the overall ambiance as soothing as now. It is also likely that the coming years will witness severe storms and flooding, and spending time on beaches will become a riskier affair. Overall, though slow, I would say that these impacts can have a negative effect not only on beaches but also on my temperament to visit this place.
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AIP Conference Proceedings. "Adapting to rising sea level: A Florida perspective." AIP Conference Proceedings. 2009.
Climate change and Florida: What you need to know. 16 October 2018. 20 April 2019 <https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/how-climate-change-affecting-florida>.
Enviornmental Protection Agency. What climate change means for Florida. August 2016. 18 April 2019 <https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/climate-change-fl.pdf>.
Environment Florida Center. environmentfloridacenter.org. n.d. 18 April 2019 <https://environmentfloridacenter.org/page/flc/what-global-warming-means-florida>.
Wdowinski, S., R. Bray and B. Kirtman. "Increasing flooding hazard in coastal communities due to rising sea level: Case study of Miami Beach, Florida." Ocean and Coastal Management (2016): 1-8.