Suffolk Climate Watch: Climate change pushing Miami underwater


Hunter Berube

Suffolk Climate Watch graphic

Super Bowl weekend has been one of America’s largest events since it began in 1967, but times may change as global warming has started to creep in on Miami’s largest stage.

Though the weather for Super Bowl LIV was warm and sunny, rising temperatures and sea levels are currently threatening Miami, as they have for many years.

Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, is 10 feet above sea level, according to San Francisco Gate (SFGate). Homeowners in the area are especially subject to the dangers of rising sea levels. Living in their Miami home for 30 years, one couple explained to  NPR that they have been watching water levels slowly rise in recent years. Though they have implemented and taken proper precautions to combat the water, they have also seen the financial challenges posed by this major issue.

Since glaciers started to melt, although thousands of miles away, Southern Florida sea levels have risen by five inches, according to the online newspaper WIRED. The warm atmosphere allows the land to hold more moisture, which in turn creates more rainfall. With hurricane season beginning in the summer, this could result in widespread catastrophes. When water rises it infiltrates the sewer systems. People may be forced to walk through pollution, raising health concerns.

“We just don’t know how fast the water is going to rise,” said South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard to SFGate.

Scientists across the globe have raised the notion that sea levels may rise up to 30 feet by the end of the 21st century.

Miami is built on light porous rock, which is trapped by air. According to WIRED, the levels affecting the city will push the land underground, allowing the water to rise to the surface. The water then has nowhere to go, leading to surface level flooding.

Looking 50 years into the future, Climate Central establishes the current facts and interprets what Hard Rock Stadium may look like in the future. The city has warmed by two and a half degrees fahrenheit in the last 50 years. Their research dictates that the stadium could have water six feet above the local high tide line by the year 2070. This warming NFL city may one day be at the bottom of the ocean.