When it comes to sea-level rise, Miami is usually deemed ground zero. Time-lapse maps depict the creeping rise of blue, ultimately inundating South Florida and other coastal regions.
You don’t have to go to climate-apocalypse movies like the Day After Tomorrow to see flooding of a major American city. It’s a reality as South Florida residents become familiar with wading down the street through high waters or kayaking around their neighborhoods.
But as coastal Floridians fret about the water rising above-ground, the general public hasn’t paid as much heed to sea-level rise’s twin threat from below: saltwater intrusion. Jayantha Obeysekera, chief modeler at the South Florida Water Management District, points out people should be concerned about not only obvious “nuisance flooding” of coastal areas, but unseen saltwater intrusion – the creep of saltwater from the sea into freshwater aquifers.
Saltwater intrusion is not a new concept. In fact, it has a long history in Florida, appearing in a variety of forms since modern settlement in the early 1900s. Intrusion can stem from natural causes including drought or seepage from past geological time. But scientists say a recent rapid succession of saltwater has been caused by human activities and can […]