Sen. Bill Nelson, scientists discuss climate change

Posted at 5:37 PM, Apr 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-10 19:45:41-04

Local scientists say climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed with South Florida in jeopardy of rising sea levels.

Monday those scientists brought their concerns to Florida Senator Bill Nelson.

The field hearing for the Senate Commerce Committee is about accepting the fact that sea levels are rising and there's no other place in the world in more danger than South Florida.

"It's on their doorstep," says Dr. Ben Kirtman, a scientist at the University of Miami.He says sea levels could rise as much as two feet by 2060.

Kirkman says local governments are taking steps.

"Miami Beach has been putting in a pumping station. There's new resiliency officers in Dade County. There's the four-county compact looking into sea level rise," says Kirtman.

Senator Nelson says the key is making this a non-political issue.

"Only 1 percent or less that will say from a scientific standpoint this is not occurring," says Sen. Nelson.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams, a Republican, says most of South Florida believes climate change is an issue.

"I can tell you my constituents, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are concerned about the issue," says Abrams.

Scientists hope their voices are heard.

"Floridians are insisting our local governments figure it out how to respond and that's what we're doing,"  says Kirtman.