Scientists warn nominee for Secretary of Commerce on climate change and rising sea levels

Posted at 5:52 PM, Jan 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 19:39:57-05

A group of Florida scientists says South Florida is one of the most vulnerable places in the world to climate change.

Those scientists, including several from FAU are calling on President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Commerce to protect our coastline from rising sea levels.

Barry Heimlich, a researcher at FAU, sees the potential dangers of rising sea levels. "These properties are already vulnerable."

He says sea levels could rise as much as 2 feet by 2060. He and 12 other scientists wrote a letter to Trump's pick to lead the Department of Commerce, Wilbur Ross.

Heimlich says Ross would be in a crucial position to continue climate change research and map coastal protection.

"We have more people in jeopardy in South Florida to the effects of sea level rise anywhere. We have more property in jeopardy than anywhere in the world," says Heimlich.

County Commissioner Steven Abrams says Palm Beach County is taking steps.

"Developers have to take into account of sea level rise in their plans. Beyond that we do what I call a no-regret strategy," says Abrams.

He says being energy efficient is crucial.

Heimlich and his colleagues are also drafting a similar letter to Trump's nominee for the Department of Interior.