climate change | WABE 90.1 FM

climate change

Courtesy of Tybee Island Police Department

Around the world, climate change means the oceans are rising. Water expands as it warms, bringing up sea levels. The ice melting in the Arctic contributes, too.

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The oceans creep up on average by about a tenth of an inch a year, but, in recent years, sea levels have gone up much faster in the southeastern U.S.

Researchers now have an idea why that rapid rise is happening.

Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press

They're called "ghost forests" — dead trees along vast swaths of coastline invaded by rising seas, something scientists call one of the most visible markers of climate change.

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The process has occurred naturally for thousands of years, but it has accelerated in recent decades as polar ice melts and raises sea levels, scientists say, pushing salt water farther inland and killing trees in what used to be thriving freshwater plains.

Josiah Lavender / Georgia Department of Natural Resources

A little bird that spends its winters on the Georgia coast is one of the animals most threatened from sea level rise, according to researchers.

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Saltmarsh sparrows are small, streaky brown-striped songbirds with a voice like a squeaky whisper.

They split their time the same way some humans do: They spend their winters on the Georgia coast, then head back up north in the spring. That's where the birds breed, in coastal marshes from Virginia up into Canada.

Seth Perlman / associated press file

Poor and Southern U.S. counties will get hit hardest by global warming, according to a first-of-its-kind detailed projection of potential climate change effects at the local level.

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Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

After President Donald Trump announced  last week that the United States was pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, supporters of the agreement are coming forward around the country, including in Georgia.

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