With sea levels in Florida rising faster than ever, the issue has never been more important, with millions of Floridians now at risk of flooding from the ocean. That is according to Dr. David Hastings, a Florida-based marine science expert, as he presents a professional look at the imminent impact upon the state’s coastal communities.
“Here in Florida, sea levels are rising faster than ever,” explains marine science professor Dr. David Hastings, “and are rising by as much as 8.5 millimeters per year.”
Equivalent to about one inch every three years, more worryingly still, Dr. David Hastings reports, the numbers for sea-level rise are increasing. “In the past three decades, sea levels around Miami have risen by approximately six inches,” reveals Dr. Hastings, speaking from his home in the city of Gainesville, Florida. “Now, though,” he goes on, “we’re expecting to see a further rise of six inches in less than half of that time – by 2035.”
This, marine science professor Dr. David Hastings says, would have substantial impacts and could be disastrous. “It’s not just the city of Miami, either,” points out Dr. Hastings, “because sea levels across coastal Florida are increasing at similar rates.”
According to Dr. David Hastings, the six-inch rise in sea levels over the past 30 years has been devastating, but to witness the same again in less than half of the time would be catastrophic. “Fast-forward to the end of the century, and at this rate, the entire lower third of the state of Florida will be underwater,” explains the marine science professor.
While the state’s coastal communities are at the most obvious and immediate risk, it’s a pending disaster which, marine science professor Dr. David Hastings says, will very quickly begin to affect individuals across the state if not tackled immediately and directly.
Large areas of Florida, in fact, could be completely submerged within a lifetime. A sobering thought not just for marine science professors such as Dr. David Hastings, but for the population of Florida as a whole.
“It’s crucial that we act now to address climate change and other root causes of rising sea levels,” says Dr. David Hastings, “by working with politicians, scientists, environmental groups, and others to tackle the issue head-on, sooner rather than later.”
Marine science professor Dr. David Hastings arrived in Florida in 2000 to teach at St. Petersburg’s prestigious liberal arts institution, Eckerd College. Now retired from education, the marine science expert is concentrated on conservation efforts focused on protecting the planet and its oceans for future generations. Dr. David Hastings currently resides in Gainesville, Florida. Outside of his marine science work and conservation efforts, Dr. Hastings enjoys reading, film, and music, and spending time with his friends and family.