14 July 2013
Stormy Weather, Climate Change and the Chesapeake Bay
Posted by Dan Satterfield
I spent Friday evening driving through Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, and then down to Hooper’s Island in the Chesapeake Bay. It was a stormy evening, with over 7 inches of rain reported across Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I was hoping to take some stormy sky pics, and I was not disappointed. Blackwater NWR is a beautiful area of marshes, and is a must see for those in the area. It’s also a birders paradise.
Blackwater, and Hooper’s Island are both already being affected by the warming climate, with the sea level rise in the past century already changing the landscape. Several studies over the past few years have shown that sea level is rising more rapidly in this area, and will likely continue to do so for a number of reasons. I was glad to see that there is an informational sign about how sea level rise is affecting the refuge, at the parks beautiful lookout point.
The University of Maryland has a brand new interactive website, where you can explore the effects that sea level rise will have on areas around the Chesapeake Bay. The best science now estimates a rise of around one meter in the next century, and this will put most of present day Blackwater underwater.
IF we continue to use fossil fuels instead of more sustainable energy, then the homes and 350 year old fishing industry on Hooper’s Island will likely disappear as well.