Experts Warn: Key West Will be Flooded Underwater

Toni Koraza
The U.S. National Archives

Almost 6 million Floridians may soon need to relocate to avoid extreme living conditions and submerged property.

Scientists believe that the coast of South Florida could be flooded entirely by 2100, with some parts wholly submerged in the next 30 years.

The Florida Keys are the ground zero of this fight against rising sea levels

The Florida Keys are getting warmer and warmer every year. The temperatures are just a little hotter, but that spells a disaster on many levels.

The sea levels rise as glaciers melt under new temperatures, which could cause entire parts of Florida to go underwater in a few decades — maybe as soon as in 30 years.

The only way to stop climate change from destroying our homes is by supporting green legislation, changing our lifestyles, and investing in sustainable ways of living.

Florida Keys overview

The Florida Keys are a cluster of islands connected by bridges in Monroe County of South Florida. The Keys extend from the mainland to the open water and are made up of over 800 individual keys connected with 42 bridges. Key

Suppose you’re looking for a perfect summer holiday all year round. The Keys are singlehandedly one of the most beautiful places in America and offer a great selection of fun summer activities, including diving, fishing, and paddleboarding.

Sadly, we may not enjoy this piece of heaven for long. The problem? Hurricane, tropical storms, and rising sea levels. Soon, the whole archipelago could sink underwater together with businesses, homes, and other property.

South Florida is ground zero for climate change, with the Florida Keys being first in line for going underwater

The Florida Keys are sinking. Of course, we’re not going to plunge underwater like someone took the floor underneath our feet. Still, the change is happening more rapidly than many are lead to believe by their representatives and property developers.

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimate that Key West could be under in just 30 years. If your stop and think about it, we may lose parts of America in our lifetime. The occupations won’t be China, Russia, or any other global force but nature itself.

The land is slowly but surely disappearing beneath the waves of rising seas and water levels. The underwater city of Atlantis is great as a story but not as a reality. I’d love to enjoy Key Largo, Key West, Big Pine Key, and Little Torch Key with my children and grandchildren one day. Maybe even show them Florida’s coral reef if there is anything left of it by the time they’re born.

Key West and other Keys experience prolonged floodings, sometimes lasting for ten weeks straight. Lower Duval Street around Greene and Front Streets are among the first touristic hotspots to experience frequent and harsh weather conditions. Upper Duval is also at high risk, while Beachside is completely mapped out as an area that could soon be underwater.

Locals and tourists are both forced to drive in salt water, which is damaging to cars and property. In addition, many rich locals use paddleboards as transportation during high tides, which is as absurd as it sounds. This shouldn’t be normal.

The other side ensures us that we don’t have anything to worry about. Many Youtube influencers and government representatives disapprove of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. The common argument is that climate is changing and that we’re not really a factor in that. Some may even point to slow acceleration in global temperatures, telling you how it is what it is and that you can’t do much about it.

However, the scientific consensus in standard science stands at around 97%, which doesn’t wear off under desperate Republican scrutiny. Even the biggest critics and vigorous fact-checkers find the consensus to sit anywhere between 90%–100%. The only people who disagree with it are the corporations that make money from disrupting the climate at scale.

What can we do to save Key West?

  • Get involved with local organizations fighting climate change and preserving life in South Florida, like Citizens’ Climate Lobby or Florida Keys Audubon Society.
  • Vote for green legislation that may help curb the rising sea levels.
  • Drive less, and don’t splurge on energy consumption.
  • Eat less meat. The meat industry contributes to almost 15% of all greenhouse emissions — more than driving cars and flying planes.

I realize that climate change is not a fun topic, but not having parts of Florida in 30 years due to unhinged pollution is much more catastrophic.

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