Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Galveston, Underwater?

According to a $4.2 million study on sea-level rise threats to the Gulf Coast conducted by Entergy, the island of Galveston could shrink by one-third within 30 years. The rising sea-levels primarily on the west end of Galveston are rising faster than previously expected.
In 2007, the city of Galveston had reported that the rising sea-levels would cover the coastal highway within 60 years—this prediction is apparently very optimistic.
The Galveston City Council is proactively trying to plan ahead for the inevitable sea-level change.
Other cities along the Gulf Coast, such as Corpus Christi, are taking the rising sea-level changes into consideration as well. The posing problem for the city of Galveston is that it is also sinking faster than most other areas in the United States—a condition known as subsidence.
Texas A&M University Press author Richard A. Davis Jr. writes on the various causes and effects of the rapidly rising sea-levels in his book, Sea-Level Change in the Gulf of Mexico(TAMU Press, 2011). Davis reviews the current situation, especially regarding beach erosion and loss of wetlands, and offers a preview of the future, when the Gulf Coast will change markedly as the twenty-first century progresses. Including maps, color images, and a straightforward writing style, Sea-Level Change in the Gulf of Mexicooffers great insight into an environmental issue that can affect generations for years to come.
To read the full article on the rapidly rising sea-levels in Galveston, check out The Houston Chronicle here.
--Madeline Loving