Pulse: Chatter: Philly: Shore Town?

A jaunt to the beach might be a quicker trip a few decades from now  —  much quicker. Philly came up in a recent report by a team of geophysicists who predicted that climate-change-induced sea rise may leave us underwater within the next 100 years. The potential culprit? The humongous West Antarctic Ice Sheet; should it melt  —  as many scientists expect  —  its contents could shift the Earth’s rotation axis, forcing water northward to flood the East Coast’s megalopolis. And while the city has a few more immediate problems on its plate, Penn State oceanographer Ray Najjar notes that the Atlantic may already be making inroads on a new, more cosmopolitan beachfront. Preliminary research, he says, shows elevated salt levels in the estuary just south of the Delaware River, about 50 miles from Philadelphia  —  threatening everything from the water supply to ecosystems to, eventually, the landscape itself. Inconvenient truth, indeed.