Pat Shingleton: "Sediment and Sea Levels..."
We'll await the analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in their determinations if the South Carolina flooding is the worst ever experienced in the United States. Baton Rouge and Louisiana have certainly experienced monumental flood episodes from the 1920s through 2009. It will be at least a week before the flood waters recede on rivers, stream and tributaries around Columbia, S.C. We experience similar events with excessive rain over the watersheds of the Amite, Comite, Tickfaw and Tangipahoa river basins. Researchers at Penn State University believe that climate change threatens to exacerbate the risk storms pose to New York City. Sediment was evaluated at various points along the New Jersey shore from 850 through 1800. The sediment analysis was then matched to sea levels for the same period. Before 1800, a flood was 7.4 feet above sea level and occurred once every 500 years. Since 1970 the same scenario occurs every 24 years. Sea levels have increased due to natural causes that include melting glaciers and the natural variation in sea levels, however this research has resulted in an increase of less than a tenth-of-an-inch due to human activity. The study was released one month before the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy and suggests that investments in disaster preparedness is of greater importance.