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Hubris And Sea Level Rise In Miami

  • Broadcast in Politics
The Black Podcast

The Black Podcast


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Building collapse could be a sign of things to come
All around Miami, signs of climate change are visible to the naked eye.

Sea levels around the region are rising an average of 9 millimetres a year, according to analysis of federal data.

That's triple the global average, leaving more than 120,000 properties at risk of being lost completely.

A concrete path provides a short space between skyscrapers and the open ocean
Much of Miami sits on dredged wetlands, with little to no barrier between skyscrapers and the open ocean.(ABC News: Emily Olson)
In the past two decades, so-called sunny day flooding has jumped more than 320 per cent, becoming such a common occurrence that residents can be seen paddleboarding down paved roads at high tide.

Much of the city is built on reclaimed wetlands and barrier islands, where engineers once chopped down protective mangroves and trucked in sand to cover over porous limestone.

Chloride ions, found in sea salt, are carried to the base of these structures by flowing water or humid hurricane winds. Chloride can eat through concrete, rusting metal bars and leaving a building's foundation shaky.

It's the kind of wear and tear that one can see walking through the city's historic districts, where pastel-painted art deco buildings lend the city its raffish flair.