What will Connecticut look like if one massive glacier melts? Here's your answer

Toni Koraza

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Connecticut is a small New England state home to 3.5 million residents. The state's southern border is along Long Island Sound, which cuts between Connecticut and Manhattan and feeds most of that state's massive river system.

At its highest point, Connecticut is 2,379 feet above sea level. However, 55,000 residents sit below the floodplain on the 96-mile-long coastline and along its many rivers in the south.

The coastline will change in our lifetime

Thwaites Glacier, nicknamed the "Doomsday Glacier," is a 74,000 square-mile glacier in Antarctica. It contains enough ice to increase the global sea level by 25 inches if it melts.

Unfortunately, Connecticut has 698 square miles of water, including lakes and rivers fed by Long Island Sound. Therefore, a 25-inch rise in sea level would be devastating to large portions of lower Connecticut.

Fortunately, there is good news. Assuming current models are accurate, we have about two centuries to respond. Luckily, scientists are already working on policies and how to address the Thwaites Glacier melting.

What will happen if the largest glacier melts?

If Thwaites Glacier melts, the seas could rise more than ten feet. That would cause Connecticut's vast network of rivers that feed into Long Island Sound to flood large areas inland. The change would happen rapidly, and many would end up in a difficult position if it happens.

Specifically, the Connecticut River would cause massive flooding inland as far north as Portland. In addition, the coast along Guilford Point, where you'll find Jacob's Beach, Hogshead Point, and the East River Marsh Wildlife Area, would flood with water from the East and West Rivers.

Are you concerned about rising sea levels?

Rising sea levels are a common concern for anyone living in a coastal state like Connecticut. With hundreds of miles of coastlines and rivers, the state is at high risk of severe flooding if Thwaites Glacier melts.

Do you have specific concerns about rising sea levels? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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