Report: Climate Change Could Wash Away Historic Jamestown Site Within 100 Years
May 15, 2013 5:39 PM
Historic site could be flooded as soon as 2100
may flood a famous North American historic site -- Jamestown, Virginia -- in the next 100 years. Jamestown is just 3 feet above sea level in most places, according
. And with climatologists predicting a 2 to 3 foot sea rise due to climate change by 2100,
believes the site might go underwater.
Dorothy Geyer, a natural resource specialist for the National Park Service -- which owns part of the colonial site -- comments, "We always knew that the island was at some point going to be in danger of being covered over, but we were thinking it's another 100 years, another 150 years. You know, it could be much — closer."
And Jamestown's preservationist glass blower Ron Rogers, who uses traditional techniques, remarks, "I think about [rising sea levels] on a weekly basis. And the ruins are that much closer to the river. If we get another one of those [floods] it could possibly wash away the history here."
may throw off that timeline, it's at least a remote possibility;
a handful of coastal towns in Alaska are already allegedly facing destruction
due to increased erosion from warming-induced melts.
Jamestown, Virg. was the first successful British colony on the East Coast.
[Image Source: NPR]
Jamestown was founded in 1607 and was the first successful English colony in mainland North America. It has been enshrined in such fictional works as the Walt Disney Comp. (
But recent archaeological studies suggest a far darker reality; analysis of human remains indicates that the early colonists
resorted to cannibalism
during the lean early winters of the colony.
Carl Hershner, a climate scientist at the Virginia Institute for Marine Science, tells
that other sites will likely flood first, but Jamestown will eventually be submerged as well. He comments, "It'll be a hole in the ground, or a hole in water, with an old fort and a well at the bottom of it."
National Park Service
is looking to develop levees or sea walls to keep out future rising waters, while analyzing the situation. At the same time it continues to preserve artifacts from the site, lest the predictions of doom and gloom regarding flooding of the island prove true.
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