Sea level rise of 1.2 inches per decade can be hard to visualize as a threat. Measured against a rocky cliff, that’s true. The impact is already being experienced in the broad, flat, coastal plains that house many cities and forests. Saltwater intrusion is already occurring 50 miles inland in Vietnam. The effect on cities with adequate water sources is also relatively easy to ignore; but forests aren’t as lucky. The result is the creation of coastal ghost forests around the world as trees are killed by the salt. With the death of the trees comes less shoreline protection during storms, further eroding the coasts. Large portions of America’s east coast, especially Florida and North Carolina, are already being impacted. The vertical rise will imperceptible to many. The demise of the trees may be easier evidence to recognize.
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