Climate change threatens 30 U.S. landmarks: science advocacy group

Tue May 20, 2014 7:22pm EDT

The Statue of Liberty is pictured on Liberty Island in New York, October 13, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The Statue of Liberty is pictured on Liberty Island in New York, October 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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(Reuters) - Climate change is threatening U.S. landmarks from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor to the César Chávez National Monument in Keene, California with floods, rising sea levels and fires, scientists said on Tuesday.

National Landmarks at Risk, a report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, highlighted more than two dozen sites that potentially face serious natural disasters. They include Boston's historic districts, the Harriet Tubman National Monument in Maryland and an array of NASA sites including the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

"The imminent risks to these sites and the artifacts they contain threaten to pull apart the quilt that tells the story of the nation's heritage and history," Adam Markham, director of climate impacts at the union, a non-profit organization for science advocacy in Washington D.C. and the study's co-author, said in a statement.

The report is not slated for publication in a scientific journal, said Brenda Ekwurzel, senior climate scientist who co-authored the report. It said that reducing carbon emissions could minimize the predicted risks posed by climate change.

The issue of climate change or global warming and its causes are being debated in the United States with splits along party political lines and disagreement about the extent to which human development is to blame.

Jamestown, Virginia - the first permanent English colony - could be completely inundated due to rising sea levels, and the nearby Fort Monroe, "will become an island unto itself within 70 years," Markham said.

In the western United States, rising temperatures have led to an increase in wildfires by melting winter snowpacks earlier, leaving forests drier for longer, the report said.

Among California's 20 largest fires since 1932, a dozen have happened since 2002, the report said.

An unrelated report published on Monday showed that the California drought has cost thousands of jobs and $1.7 billion to farmers in the state's Central Valley [ID:nL1N0O6015]. Governor Jerry Brown has partly blamed climate change for the drought.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in New York; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Grant McCool)

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Comments (1)
morbas wrote:
Look at North America less than 100Ma-ago (Million years ago) with no polar Ice. USA was two land masses Appalachia in the East and Laramidia in the West, separated by the Western Interior Seaway. For the life of me I do not understand why we are widening the Panama Canal to increase shipping.
Naval Cargo ships have little (to none) emission regulations. “In one year, a single large container ship can emit cancer and asthma-causing pollutants equivalent to that of 50 million cars. The low grade bunker fuel used by the worlds 90,000 cargo ships contains up to 2,000 times the amount of sulfur compared to diesel fuel used in automobiles.” The Guardian April 23,2009. Waste Oil is used to power the worlds 90,000 vessels.

Congress must open up infrastructure projects to enable USA economics. Reduce/eliminate naval shipping that uses waste grade oil fuel. Switch to North/Central/South America Rail infrastructure to include a Trans-Bearing Strait route as a matter of efficiency. Re-Engineer rail gauge for reliability and speed. Make Truck/rail/freeway portals at interstate intersections, thus reducing fuel consumption and promoting local electric transport. Build national level canals for water distribution relieving drought by using excessive fresh water run of. We might then improve CO2 sequester by irrigating our mid plane deserts. One of the canal paths through the Rockies could be coupled with a SF to Denver Maglev 2G space ramp using a common power generation infrastructure. Thus promoting Maglev transit as a spinoff of Space Access Maglev launch capacity.
We should build on a strategic infrastructure designed to make USA a Global transportation hub, linking Americas (North Central South) to the old world. Not because this is easy or hard, because this will be our challenge, we must be willing to better mankind.

morbas(i)

May 22, 2014 9:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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