Sea level rise could lap at DC memorials

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Water will rise and the landscape of the world as we know it is going to change. Two new studies released by NASA find the massive West Antarctica ice sheet is breaking apart... and that there's no way of stopping it.

The scientists say the result is just from six glaciers in west Antarctica. They believe the melting will raise global sea levels by 10 feet or more in the centuries to come. That would submerge tunnels and subways in Manhattan and would put much of south Florida underwater.

What does that mean for D.C.? D.C. faces some serious risks and costs if the sea level rises. The National Mall, the Memorials, and the Federal Triangle were all constructed on a swamp on the shores of the Potomac River. Images created by a researcher show what D.C. memorials would look like at sea levels of 5, 12 and 25 feet.

Low lying memorials like the WWII Memorial would be vulnerable. Rising sea levels could make small storms even more dangerous.

The core of engineers is building a levee between the WWII memorial and the Washington Monument. Aluminum panels would go across 17th Street to protect the White House from a category 1 or 2 hurricane. A category 3 hurricane would be more problematic.


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