Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sea Level Rise Could Drown Vital Marshes

Peter Fimrite, SF Chronicle, November 17, 2011

The critical tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay - habitat for tens of thousands of birds and other animals - will virtually disappear within a century if the sea rises as high as some scientists predict it will as a result of global warming.

The study, lead by PRBO Conservation Science and published Wednesday in the online science journal PLoS One, is the first comprehensive look at the impact of climate change on bay wetlands. The researchers started with a 1.6-foot sea level rise this century, a level that scientists consider very optimistic, and then moved up in increments to 5.4 feet.

A 93 percent reduction in tidal marshland would occur over the next 50 to 100 years only if the worst projections come true and assuming the bay does not suddenly become awash in new sediment, according to the report.

Read the SF Chronicle here and the full study here.

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