SOURCE: Miami Herald

DATE: December 4, 2019

SNIP: The timeline for South Florida to prepare for sea level rise just sped up a little. New projections show the region is in for higher seas, faster.

The latest predictions aren’t catastrophically different than previous years — unless your yard is already flooding a couple of times a year from the steadily encroaching seas. In that case, a few inches a few years early is pretty important.

The sea rise curves unveiled Wednesday at the Southeast Florida Climate Leadership Summit in Key West tack on about three to five extra inches by 2060, and that number only gets bigger in the future.

The region went from expecting between 14 and 26 inches of sea level rise by 2060 — commonly shortened to two feet by 2060 by local leaders — to predicting 17 to 31 inches of sea rise.

“These numbers are all big enough that you can see that South Florida gets in big trouble quickly,” said Harold Wanless, a University of Miami professor of geology and member of the projections team. “If you look out the window, like the areas in the Keys that are flooding for weeks on end, this is not something that might happen, this is something that is already happening.“

These new numbers come from a group of more than a dozen scientists, researchers and local government staffers from South Florida as an update to 2015 predictions.