It was reported by local news sources on Saturday that the General Assembly will be reviewing a new report on coastal flooding in Virginia this coming session. The 195 page report compiled by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, was done at the request of the 2012 legislature.
The guide will be used by lawmakers as they attempt to deal with the loss of coastal lands caused by sinking land, storm surge, higher than normal tides and rising sea levels. The report also points out that there is no single response than would encompass the full affects of the Eco-challenges the state is facing, and mentions it will only be getting worse as time goes on.
In the report, VIMS says hurricanes and heavy rainfalls will tend to increase as the climate continues to warm, although this has not been a problem in the past. The long-term affects of the sea level rise will stress many of the state's resources, including transportation, the infrastructure, military bases, agriculture, health and recreation and the marine ecosystem.
VIMS also says that while there have been advancements in modeling and making predictions on storm landfalls, changes in wind velocity and short-term forecasting are critical to making accurate flood predictions in the Chesapeake Bay. To continue doing this would require a bigger response by the state.
Recording changes in sea level rise over the years has been done in Virginia. These are four locations in and around the Chesapeake Bay with records going back over fifty years, and three more stations with data compiled for over thirty years. The evidence provided from the local rise rates are expected to be nearly double the global rate.
The figures compiled thus far equate to a sea level rise of one foot or more by the year 2050. The VIMS has been able to correlate models and accurate measurements of sea level rise, and they have proved verifiable within a very close degree. The need for continued measurements can't be underplayed, because of constantly changing issues with ocean water warming, sea ice melt and the effects of evaporation.
Stating that there is no “quick-fix” for the situation, the VIMS says there are only a very few permanent solutions, and those are going to be very complex and expensive. VIMS is calling for smarter planning and management ideas now, because the ones we have in place are already outdated because of the constantly rising seas