NASA Looks At How Climate Change Is Impacting The Eastern Shore - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

NASA Looks At How Climate Change Is Impacting The Eastern Shore

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Courtesy NASA Courtesy NASA

WALLOPS ISLAND, VA - Climate change is only going to worsen an already major issue for Delmarva.

That's according to Skip Stiles, Executive Director of Wetlands Watch, a grass roots organization that focuses on rising sea levels and saving wetlands.

Stiles says "we're getting wet, we're getting wetter, we got to deal with it."

NASA research shows the sea level at Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia has risen about 7 inches since 1950, and models project continued sea level rise and warmer temperatures in the area.

While little change is expected in average annual rainfall, one worry is that storms, like Sandy, may become more intense, leading to a higher risk of flooding.

"I think after Sandy people realize one of the impacts of climate change is more extreme weather," said Stiles, and Sandy wreaked havoc on many parts of Delmarva, Skip Stiles thinks things could get worse, saying "the brother or sister of sandy a hundred years ago wouldn't have made the chart of the top 10 floods that we've had.  This storm was at the bottom of it, but the real danger is 100 years from now, that storm is going to be a real bear."

The cause of climate change, occasionally confused with "global warming," has often been debated, but Stiles says while the how may be an area of question, the fact that temperatures are changing and sea levels are rising shouldn't be.

He told us, "we can have that debate for a while, but we darn well better start doing something about it now."

As sea levels continue to rise about another foot and a half, reaching a possible total of 3 feet, there are things communities can do to help combat the negative effects.

He says reducing greenhouse gas emissions by doing things like driving more fuel efficient cars, and better insulating homes can help slow climate change.

Also, Stiles says that admitting that things are changing and adapting to the shifting environment is key.

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