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Posts tagged Barrier Islands

Climate Change and North Carolina’s Sounds and Barrier Islands

35.3N 75.8W

February 6th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

USA – January 22nd, 2013

The sea that sculpted North Carolina’s coast, from its arc of barrier islands (visible beyond Pamlico Sound, to the right), to the vast, nurturing sounds, is reshaping it once again. Water is rising three times faster on the N.C. coast than it did a century ago as warming oceans expand and land ice melts, recent research has found. It’s the beginning of what a N.C. science panel expects will be a 1-meter increase by 2100.

Rising sea level is the clearest signal of climate change in North Carolina. Few places in the United States stand to be more transformed. About 2,000 square miles of the state’s low, flat coast is 1 meter (about 39 inches) or less above water. At risk are more than 30,500 homes and other buildings.

This won’t be the work of rising water alone, but of quirks in North Carolina’s coastal topography. The flat ground means even a small increase in water level will spread far inland. The coastal plain is also sinking, the geologic legacy of the last Ice Age. Sea-level rise also magnifies two other powerful forces: erosion that gouges the coastline and the pounding of nor’easters and tropical storms (click here to read more).

Corner Inlet Along Coast of Victoria, Australia

38.7S 146.3E

December 23rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Australia - November 17th, 2009

Australia - November 17th, 2009

Corner Inlet is a 600 km2 bay, 200 km south-east of Melbourne, in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. It is visible along the southernmost extension of the coastline in this image. Of Victoria’s large bays it is both the easternmost and the warmest.

Corner Inlet contains intertidal mudflats, mangroves, salt marsh and seagrass meadows. It is sheltered from the surf of the Bass Strait by a complex of 40 sandy barrier islands, the largest of which are Snake, Sunday and Saint Margaret Islands. It adjoins Wilsons Promontory in the west, extends to Ninety Mile Beach in the east, and supports large numbers of migratory waders and other birds as well a rich marine flora and fauna.

It is protected as a Ramsar site, by the Nooramunga and Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Parks, and by part of it lying within the 1550 ha Corner Inlet Marine National Park. However, the surrounding land was originally covered by forest which has mostly since been cleared.