Friday, October 02, 2009

Well here is some disturbing news

Padre Island: possible early casualty of climate changes?

The seas will rise. The storms will increase. Padre Island National Seashore will be irreversibly altered by climate change, a new report says.

On Thursday, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization released a report on the top 25 national parks being changed — or about to be — by trapped greenhouse gasses warming the earth.

“The park service has to indicate that it is serious about this, and so far it has not,” said Stephen Saunders, one of its three principal authors.

According to the report, Padre Island could be one of the first units in the national park system to literally disappear. The low dunes are already losing their protective vegetation as weather patterns change. The sand itself is being pulled offshore as stronger storms become more frequent.

Barrier islands like South Padre are naturally dynamic and normally would disappear eventually in geologic time, but the report predicted climate change will greatly accelerate its destruction.

“Padre Island could be totally submerged by rising seas,” the report states. “Padre Island has the world's longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island, much of it less than three feet above current sea level.”



Blogger Sam said...

Sure, in a few centuries there might be no barrier islands in Texas at all, with the constant erosion, subsidence, and sea level rise. There are some nice national parks on the East Coast in a similar predicament.

But the average sea level rise for the tide gauge in Port Isabel is 1.43 millimeters a year. Now that's pretty small.

And the rate of subsidence, the change in sea level from year to year, really hasn't changed in the last two decades. This is a wee bit troubling, since with thermal expansion due to warmer water, and plus some effect from melting ice sheets, one would have expected the rate to increase.

Myself, I think erosion is the biggee.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

i'm sorry to hear that.. let's hope that nature takes her time!

hope all is well...

2:27 PM  

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