By BECKY GILLETTE
Sea levels around the world are rising at greater rates that were initially predicted. What does that mean for coastal areas like the Gulf Coast?
Rising sea levels make the Gulf Coast more vulnerable to storm surge associated with hurricanes, said Dr. Torbjorn Tornqvist, chairman of the Tulane University Department of Earth and Environmental Science, who has published research on sea level rise and abrupt climate change. “Even if the hurricane climate wouldn’t change, the impact of hurricanes will become increasingly severe because higher sea levels have made the region more vulnerable.”
Tornqvist said negative impacts from sea level rise are already occurring; this is not just something expected to happen in some point in the distant future.