S. Florida confronts what will happen when the waters rise

Under conservative predictions of a three-foot rise in sea level, high tide would wash daily into downtown Miami, South Beach and Hollywood by century's end. At five feet, the sea would swallow much of the Everglades and cover pavement from Fort Lauderdale across to Naples.

That's the startling future the Miami-Dade County Climate Change Task Force will describe Tuesday — coincidentally, Earth Day — when members present county commissioners with a first set of recommendations to help slow or stave off rising seas that threaten all of South Florida with catastrophic social, environmental and economic damage.

''Hopefully, these kind of revelations are going to open eyes,'' said Harvey Ruvin, the county's clerk of court and chairman of the task force. ``It's the reality unless we want to live in a dramatically different world. The science keeps getting bleaker.''

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