Rising Seas Threaten Thousands of US Historical Sites

Unfortunately, global warming is a fact of life. Despite taking steps to address the issue, there are still some consequences to the damage we’ve done to the planet. Global warming is responsible for a rather rapid rise in sea levels, and the anticipate one meter rise this year could submerge a staggering 13000 US historical sites.

Rising Seas US historical sites
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

The Threatened Historical Sites

Affected US Historical Sites are largely in the southeastern area of the country, according to a recent statement by archeological researchers. Important parts of history like burial grounds, early settlements, and even space agency launch pads are at risk, and the ongoing impact of a changing climate will be massive. Professor David Anderson from the University of Tennessee authored the study that presented this alarming news.

“Vast numbers of archeological sites will be lost where Native inhabitants, early settlers, and enslaved and later freed peoples once lived…Many iconic places in American history such as Charleston, Jamestown, the Kennedy Space Center, St. Augustine, and even the recently relocated Cape Hattaras Lighthouse are all threatened by comparatively minor increases in sea level, on the order of one to three meters or so.” Anderson said in an email to AFP.

The Impending Displacement

There will be more than 1000 places listed on the National Register of Historic Places as important cultural properties that will soon be underwater. However, these historic sites aren’t the only part of this problem to be worried about.

Florida is the state that will be most affected from the rising seas due to the large amount of coastline exposed. Louisiana and Virginia are also at a high risk. While many may not appreciate the travesty of losing this many historical sites, they may be a little more concerned if they were to lose their home.

Anderson’s study projected that more than three million people in the southeast will be displaced in the next century given the projections for sea level rise. While a century seems a long way away and may not be a problem in our lifetime, the threat of global warming is extremely serious. Unless the world works together to reverse the damage we’ve done to our environment, we could be looking at a very bleak future. It may be too late to save these important US historical sites, but it’s not yet too late to address the overarching problem that is global warming.