Discussion of climate change â€” and what to do about it â€” is gaining urgency. It's being debated in Congress and is the focus of December's international summit in Copenhagen.
In South Florida, the issues of global warming and rising seas are more than theoretical. Florida is one of the parts of the country most vulnerable to a rise in sea level, and officials are beginning to plan how they'll cope with it.
Scientists say the sea level has been rising since the end of the last ice age. The concern now is how fast it's rising, and whether cities and natural ecosystems can adapt fast enough to avoid being devastated.
"You hear predictions of up to 3 or 4 feet over the next century," said Chris Bergh, of The Nature Conservancy's Florida Keys program. "It really makes you nervous for the future of this place."
With an average elevation of just 3 or 4 feet, there are few places in America where the rising sea level is a bigger threat than in the Keys.
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