A guide to understanding and addressing sea level change

Sea Level Rise in Florida: Science, Impacts, and Options, by Albert C. Hine, Don P. Chambers, Tonya D. Clayton, Mark R. Hafen, and Gary T. Mitchum. University Press of Florida. 176 pages. 76 color & 4 b/w illustrations. Hardcover $34.95.

Easily accessible to most readers with a scientific background, tougher sledding for the rest of us, this compact, well-illustrated volume clarifies the forces that cause sea level change and the consequences of such change. sealevelrisecover

Since we tend to use sea level as a basis for measurement, we assume it’s a constant. However, it is not a constant. The fact of sea level variation is true everywhere, yet Florida has its own unique variations to complicate the decisions of policy-makers. Yes, sea level is and has been rising, the pace of the rise has been accelerating, and there is reason to believe that this pattern will continue for centuries.

The opening chapter, simply and clearly titled “Sea Level Has Always Been Changing,” introduces the evidence regarding seal level fluctuation both globally and in our largely peninsular state. Graphs, charts, and photographs support the lucid explanations by Albert C. Hine as he presents the consensus understandings about how and why sea level changes occur. Geologic changes always have and always will affect sea level. Tides have an influence. Florida’s stressed coastal system factors into the sea level change equation, and the rise in sea level in turn adds to the stress.

Albert C. Hine

Albert C. Hine

Hine presents an abundance of scientific information on the technology and record keeping that bears witness to sea level change.

The second chapter, by Chambers and Mitchum, connects research on recent sea level rise with methods of predicting the future. The authors handle such topics as how the natural movement of water and how human enterprises, globally and regionally, affect the storage and release of water. The warming of the oceans is a significant factor in sea level change: “Warmer water is less dense than cooler water, so if the amount of mass stays the same then the volume must be larger, since density is mass divided by volume.”

Glacial melting has been and will continue to be a major factor in sea level rise. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appear in the November 2, 2016 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the November 3 Naples, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda / Port Charlotte and Palm Beach Gardens / Jupiter editions click here: Florida Weekly – Sea Level Rise

1 Comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Florida Authors

One response to “A guide to understanding and addressing sea level change


    Sounds like an interesting book! The admonition to concentrate on what to do about sea-level rise is excellent. It’s already too late to do anything to prevent it. Despite all the lip service, the levels of CO2 continue to rise faster than the most pessimistic predictions. Once in the atmosphere, the CO2 is not going to go away any time soon. It’s there and we have to live with it.

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