Sea level expected to rise a foot on US coastlines by 2050
A US government study said Tuesday that climate change will make damaging floods more common.
Climate change is likely to generate up to a foot (30 cm) of sea-level rise along the US coastline by 2050, making destructive floods considerably more regular than they are now, according to a US government research released Tuesday.
To create forecasts for the next 100 years, the Sea Level Rise Technical Report coupled tidal gauge and satellite measurements with climate models from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The 111-page report estimated that sea levels around the coastline will rise 10-12 inches between 2020 and 2050, which is the same as the preceding 100-year period of 1920 to 2020, with differences owing to land elevations.
Gina McCarthy, National Climate Advisor, said in a news release that "This new data on sea rise is the latest reconfirmation that our climate crisis -- as the President has said -- is blinking 'code red."
"We must redouble our efforts to cut the greenhouse gasses that cause climate change while, at the same time, help our coastal communities become more resilient in the face of rising seas."
The research also discovered that sea-level rise will significantly increase the rate of coastal flooding, even in the absence of storms or substantial rainfall.
Nicole LeBoeuf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which led the report, warned that by 2050, "moderate flooding -- which is typically disruptive and damaging by today's weather, sea level, and infrastructure standards -- is expected to occur more than 10 times as often as it does today."
Floods of moderate severity, which today occur every two to five years, would occur many times in a single year.
Higher sea levels are generated by melting ice sheets and glaciers, as well as saltwater expansion as it warms, and are connected to rising global temperatures. According to the analysis, a two-foot increase in sea level is becoming increasingly inevitable between 2020 and 2100 as a result of current greenhouse gas emissions.