For the coastal California city of San Diego, the threat of global warming and rising sea levels is on the minds of many local officials and planners.
"In a world that has awakened to alarms on climate change, San Diego finds itself facing drastic coastal alterations in the decades ahead as the sea level rises – and prime coastal real estate ends up in Davy Jones' Locker."
""This is one of the biggest issues in planning circles nationally and internationally," said San Diego city Planning Director Bill Anderson, who has attended meetings over the past year in Boston, Philadelphia and Perth, Australia, where planners have pondered the impact of a warmer world on coastal and other cities...the topic [was also] on the agenda at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Los Angeles."
"Dawn Martin, a geographic information systems expert, teamed up last year with Scripps oceanographer Daniel R. Cayan to prepare a what-if map for central San Diego."
"Cayan said he subsequently shared the map with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders but likens the work to a "cartoon" that will require much more rigorous work before sounding the alarms.
"We don't have a forecast, so to speak," he said.
However, he and other climate experts believe that global warming, no matter how successful nations are in cutting back greenhouse-gas emissions, could cause the seas to rise from 1 to 3-½ feet by 2100, compared to the historical rate of 6 inches per century."