The Rising Sea
224 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:22 Feb 2011

The Rising Sea

Island Press

On Shishmaref Island in Alaska, homes are being washed into the sea.In the South Pacific, small island nations face annihilation byencroaching waters. In coastal Louisiana, an area the size of afootball field disappears every day. For these communities, sea levelrise isn’t a distant, abstract fear: it’s happening now andit’s threatening their way of life.

In The Rising Sea, Orrin H. Pilkey and Rob Young warn thatmany other coastal areas may be close behind. Prominent scientistspredict that the oceans may rise by as much as seven feet in the nexthundred years. That means coastal cities will be forced to constructdikes and seawalls or to move buildings, roads, pipelines, andrailroads to avert inundation and destruction.

The question is no longer whether climate change is causing theoceans to swell, but by how much and how quickly. Pilkey and Youngdeftly guide readers through the science, explaining the facts anddebunking the claims of industry-sponsored “skeptics.” Theyalso explore the consequences for fish, wildlife - and people.

While rising seas are now inevitable, we are far from helpless. Bymaking hard choices - including uprooting citizens, changing where andhow we build, and developing a coordinated national response - we cansave property, and ultimately lives. With unassailable research andpractical insights, The Rising Sea is a critical first step inunderstanding the threat and keeping our heads above water.
Orrin H. Pilkey is an emeritus professor in theNicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, author of The Corps and the Shore, and editor of the twenty-volumeseries Living with the Shore. Rob Youngis the director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelinesand professor of geosciences at Western Carolina University.
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