How is it that everyone will accept science whenever it shows that Florida is in danger of getting slammed by a storm, but that many stubbornly refuse to believe in science when it shows that the southern end of the peninsula is on a decades-long course to disappear under water?
This is not just a theoretical question. This is no parlor game. The scientists who have measured the global temperatures, the melting of the world’s great ice sheets and the rising of the oceans are no less worthy of our trust than are the weather experts who will alert us to the next tropical storm.
They’re in the exact same business: reading the data and warning us of imminent danger. The only difference is that the creeping rise of the sea level is far less visible than the ominous spiral of a hurricane.
In fact, the warnings are interrelated. One of the greatest dangers of global warming and rising seas to us will be the increasing intensity of hurricanes as they feed on warmer ocean water. As the sea level gets higher, storm surges will be stronger, more destructive and deadlier.