The original version of this article, by Andrew Freedman, appeared on Climate Central
Sea level rise poses an increasingly grave threat to coastal energy facilities and communities during the course of the next several decades, with some impacts already evident, according to testimony delivered Thursday before a rare Senate hearing on climate science
The hearing, held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, focused on the challenges posed by sea level rise, which is one of the most visible manifestations of a warming planet.
“Sea level rise takes the current level of vulnerability and multiplies it,” said Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). “When sea levels rise, the storm surge associated with extreme storms gets even worse, and even an average storm can have above-average consequences.”
Although Chairman Bingaman said he hoped the hearing would help restart “a national conversation” on climate change, the hearing instead may have served to highlight the continuing partisan divide on global climate change. While there were five Democrats in attendance, just one Republican – ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) – participated in the hearing, a fact not lost on Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, who called climate change the proverbial “elephant in the room.”
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Sources: U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Image Credit: Climate Central.