The Invading Sea

Tom Hudson / WLRN News

Water is what connects us in South Florida. No matter where we are from or how we got here, or where we live or work, water surrounds us. And this time of year, the rising seas, driven by the pull of the sun and moon, can spill over our edges, bubble up from below and seep into our lives.

Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

Global warming can feel like an overwhelming problem -- it is, after all, GLOBAL -- but many of the solutions already exist.

That was the message from one of the keynote speakers of what's been dubbed "Climate Week" in South Florida.

Andrew Quintana / WLRN

A town hall in Wynwood on Monday night involved an issue that has flooded the minds and neighborhoods of many South Florida residents—rising sea waters.

The event, hosted by WLRN, was open to the public and featured artists, scientists, and policymakers who spoke about the threat of sea level rise in South Florida and what communities can do in response to it. It was a conversation attendees said they were eager to have.

But one area that was not up for debate was the science.

Florida Center for Environmental Studies

How much do you know about sea-level rise?

How severe is the threat? And what are communities in South Florida doing to deal with higher waters?

On Monday night from 6-8 p.m., WLRN is hosting a town hall exploring the fundamentals of sea-level rise.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Florida and Louisiana face a shared threat from sea-level rise -- a threat that's growing as higher seas increase flood risk and warmer temperatures strengthen hurricanes.

Mark Schleifstein is a Pulitzer-winning environment reporter with NOLA.com and the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. He attended high school in Miami. Schleifstein spoke with WLRN’s Kate Stein about the future of both places -- and about a community that’s already had to move away from the coast because of rising seas.

Katie Lepri / WLRN News

Many parts of South Florida appear to have escaped the worst impacts of King Tide flooding this week — at least compared with tidal flooding the previous two Octobers.

King tides in October 2017 came on the heels of record-setting summer rains and Hurricane Irma. In October 2016, a rare “super moon” intensified the highest of the high tides, which can cause water to bubble up through storm drains and into streets, corroding cars and impeding traffic.

 

Richard Graulich / Palm Beach Post

After almost a year along the beaches on the Gulf Coast, toxic algae has made its way to South Florida.

 

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

This year's first round of King Tides will be this weekend. These "highest of the high tides" flood low-lying areas of South Florida and can lead to road closures or damage to cars and homes.

A new survey asks South Florida residents whether they would consider moving because of flooding, which is projected to get worse as seas continue to rise.

Andrew West / The News Press via the Miami Herald

The algae-choked waters of Lake Okeechobee and the deadly red tide along the Gulf Coast have dominated the political debate over Florida’s environment.

 

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

The threat of sea-level rise stretches well beyond the coastline.

AP

Researchers including the Union of Concerned Scientists have argued that climate change is exacerbating the strength of hurricanes

Yet not a single session at the 32nd Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference, held this week in West Palm Beach, focused on climate change research as it relates to hurricanes. 

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The threat of sea level rise affects all of South Florida – from the ocean to the Everglades. The sea has risen nine inches in the past century. It’s predicted to rise another two feet in less than half that time.

 

Evidence of the higher seas can be seen around the region – including increased flooding, raising roads, flood pumps and encroaching saltwater.

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