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A Times Editorial

Coastal homeowners face a rising threat

If you've always yearned to own waterfront property and have enough time on your hands, thanks to global warming and rising sea levels Pinellas County may one day offer the real estate investment of your dreams. At current rates, decades from now Pinellas County is among the Florida communities where thousands of homeowners run the risk of literally finding their properties underwater.

Scientists attending Florida Atlantic University's recent Sea Level Rise Summit delivered the sobering news about the Sunshine State's deteriorating coastline. Between 1952 and 1992, sea levels rose less than 2 millimeters a year. But for the past 20 years that pace has increased to more than 3 millimeters a year. That's bad news for coastal communities worldwide and especially so in the peninsula of Florida.

Nearly 2.5 million Floridians who live along the endangered coastline that includes Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Lee and Pinellas counties could lose a lot of land over time to the forces of global warming.

Yet Florida Gov. Rick Scott refuses to accept science validating the threat of global warming. It won't happen as quickly as Tropical Storm Debby's damage did to Pinellas' beaches. But change is coming, and sticking our heads in the sand is not going to help.

Coastal homeowners face a rising threat 07/02/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 2, 2012 6:28pm]
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