July 3, 2012

Robert Dalrymple, PhD, PE, D.CE, Dist.M.ASCE,  is the chair of the Committee on Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon and Washington and the Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Civil Engineer at Johns Hopkins University.  He said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported sea level rise in a 2007 report, which was the starting point for the committee.  They looked at the data IPCC collected and used new data, including tide gauges, satellite altimetry of the ocean surface, floating drifters and expendable bathythermographs that measure ocean temperature.  In addition, the committee investigated the tectonic forces on the West Coast of the United States.  The shorelines of Washington and Oregon are rising, which helps mitigate some of the effects of sea level rise.  Dalrymple stated, “They are responding to different tectonics than Southern California.  The Cascadia Subduction Zone is causing a warping of the coastal plate and is responding still to the glacial isostatic adjustment, which is the response to the last ice age.”  Read more about this story on CE Magazine.