Florida Matters: Sea Level Rise

Florida Matters: Rising Sea Levels

What will Florida look like in the next several decades if sea levels continue to rise? Its coastlines would be radically redrawn - with many of our barrier islands under water. That's the opinion of two scientists who were lead authors in several chapters of a report on climate change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
The pair spoke last week at New College in Sarasota and Eckerd College in St. Petersburg.
We'll hear first from Henry Pollack, Professor Emeritus of Geophysics at the University of Michigan. He's conducted scientific research on all seven continents. Then, we'll hear from Pier Vallinga, a professor in climate change and flood risk at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
During his speech at Eckerd College, Professor Pollack showed the audience maps how much of the Tampa Bay area would be inundated with a three-foot rise in sea level. That's one of the projections scientists estimate will happen by the end of this century. One illustration of a 25-foot rise - which historic data says could eventually happen - shows Pinellas County chopped into two islands, centered west of downtown St. Petersburg, and coastal Clearwater.
Their visit to the Tampa Bay area is part of the Rising Seas project, a Southwest Florida-based initiative dedicated to advancing public understanding about the science of sea level rise, vulnerabilities of our natural and built environments, and potential strategies to mitigate or adapt to the risks.

Professor Emeritus of Geophysics at the University of Michigan
Professor in Climate Change and Flood Risk at Wageningen University and Professor in Climate Change and Societal Implications at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Carson Cooper

Carson Cooper is a familiar voice. He has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than two decades. He has been the host of WUSF 89.7's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community, including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Robin Sussingham

Robin Trohn Sussingham is a reporter and program host at WUSF Public Broadcasting, and is the producer of Florida Matters. She came to WUSF from public radio stations KUER and KCPW in Utah, has contributed stories to NPR and Marketplace, and also has an extensive background in print reporting. She was born in Lakeland and often reports about Polk County.

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