Are Florida Coastlines In Danger of Sea Level Rise?

Dr. Peter Ward to speak at Rosenstiel School about rising sea levels

ice Photo by Sara Wood

MIAMI — May 12, 2011 — Sea Secrets ends this semester with one of the most thought provoking topics facing Floridians today: Will sea level rise cause the flooding of our shores? Dr. Peter Ward, Professor of Paleontology at the University of Washington will be at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Auditorium (4600 Rickenbacker Causeway) on Wednesday, May 18th at 6:00pm to share the latest schools of thought.

Teams of geologists and paleontologists led by Professor Ward are exploring sixty-million year old rocks for fossil evidence of ice sheets when atmospheric carbon dioxide topped 1000 parts per million – about three times present levels. By studying ammonites, ancient relatives of the chambered nautilus, they are hoping to establish whether ice sheets existed back then. If ice sheets were resistant to the powerful levels of carbon dioxide at that time, they may be able to determine if sea level rise in the present time is a threat to our coastlines or not.

UM’s Rosenstiel School and the Ocean Research and Education Foundation host the popular Sea Secrets lecture series. These events are free and open to the public, and are designed to provide insight and information about the oceans that cover two-thirds of our planet, and much of which, are still an enigma. Lectures begin at 6:00 p.m., and are preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. The 2011 Sea Secrets Lecture series is sponsored by the Rosenstiel School of Atmospheric Science, The Shepard Broad Foundation, The Charles N. and Eleanor Knight Leigh Foundation, Southern Wine & Spirits and is organized by Robert N. Ginsburg.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

dr. peter ward •  sea secrets •  sea level rise •  coastal •  carbon dioxide •