"The Debate over Coastal Developments Poses a Danger to Coastal Cities at Risk to Storms and Rising Sea Levels"

Topics: Oceanography, Sea level, Current sea level rise Pages: 5 (1359 words) Published: October 6, 2013
"The Debate over Coastal Developments Poses a Danger to Coastal Cities at Risk to Storms and Rising Sea Levels" The purpose for this essay is to summarize and respond to the article by Jennifer Weeks. Her article's central theme is on the "Coastal Development and the risk posed for these communities when flooding, super storms, and rising sea levels continue to impact these cities in these coastal zones. Coastal cities in these zones would be highly vulnerable to flooding during storms and rising sea levels in the future.

Weeks article argues that super storms like Hurricane Katrina can cause massive devastation along the coastline which proves her point that hurricanes like Katrina and super storm Sandy can do to these coastal cities like New Orleans, New York and New Jersey.

Jennifer Weeks argues that rising sea levels will increase in coming decades due to climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel (IPCC) on climate change last major assessment estimated that the warming of Earth's surface would raise global sea levels seven to twenty-four inches by the year 2100. However, in her article a German research team published a peer-review article and found the world's oceans were rising sixty percent faster than the IPCC projects, which did not account of the effects of the melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. Based on these findings the author estimates sea levels would rise between twenty inches and three feet by the year 2100.

I am in agreement with her article that these factors continue to contribute to sea level rise due to thermal expansion: as ocean water warms, it expands. The second is from the contribution of land-based ice due to increased melting. The major store of water on land is found in glaciers and ice sheets. The risks posed by sea-level rise highlight the importance of employing strategies to protect the public against catastrophic losses due to coastal development on coastal regions in states like New York, New Jersey and New Orleans in the future .

For coastal hazards, her article argues that it is important to have federal emergency management plans in advance so agencies can respond quickly and effectively. If they have better plans it will create a faster recovery time that will ensure economic, social, and environmental life back to its original state. Hurricane Katrina was a national eye opener on how on the risk of improper risk management between federal, state, and local governments as Weeks points out in her article. The author explains how the nature of the federal system and its policies, often conflict with one another between both private and public agencies in addition to mandated mitigation programs going unfunded. Communication between these governments is essential in coordinating an effective response through mitigation.

In Weeks article, she argues that the Federal government and states need to manage over-development in these coastal communities. I am in agreement with her assessment that the Federal government policies often conflict with one another, especially between federal agencies.

As a result of Hurricane Katrina, Congress overhauled FEMA in 2006 by directing it to improve it logistics and information systems and required all future administrators to have direct knowledge of emergency management and executive experience.

The ongoing debate continues when New York Governor Cuomo argues that many federal polices promote coastal development without considering flooding and storm hazards. Weeks makes a valid argument that many federal policies promote coastal development without considering flooding, storm hazards, and rising sea levels in these coastal communities.

Case in point, Weeks article argues that the Federal Highway Administration does not have any policies in place to assess flood and storm risks before it rebuilds a highway. Furthermore, federal tax credits and development incentives do not differentiate between coastal and inland...

Cited:
www.theguardian.com › News › World news › Hurricane Sandy‎, Oct 30, 2012 - theguardian.com, Tuesday 30 October 2012
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