Sea Level Rise


Wood storks (Mycteria americana) braving Tropical Storm Barry (2007) in a salt marsh in the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER domain on Sapelo Island, GA. Photo Credit: C. Craft
Global climate change is predicted to cause extensive changes in the earth's ecosystems. Sea level rise (SLR) currently averages 3 mm yr-1, but is expected to accelerate over the coming century. Some of the habitats most vulnerable to SLR are tidal wetlands, which exist at the interface between land and sea. Decades of research at the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems (GCE) LTER has shown that coastal wetlands provide important ecosystems services such as wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, and water quality improvements, especially the removal of nitrogen from coastal waters.

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