Climate change: These cities could see more flooding as sea levels are set to rise a foot

As climate change worsens and its effects become widely visible, a new assessment from NASA and other government agencies paints a grim picture for coastal regions. The assessment found that the rise in ocean height over the next 30 years could be equal to the total rise observed over the past 100 years.

Rising sea levels will lead to increased flooding and coastal flooding across the United States. An interagency report that includes NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other federal agencies said that by 2050, seas lapping against the U.S. coast will be 10 to 12 inches (0.25 to 0.3 meters) higher, with parts of Louisiana and Texas expected to see waters a foot and a half (0.45 meters) higher.

Nicole LeBoeuf, director of the National Ocean Service of Noaa, said: “Make no mistake: sea level rise is upon us. The projected rise is particularly alarming given that in the 20th century the seas along the Atlantic coast rose at the fastest rate in 2,000 years.

Commenting on the findings, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said: “This report supports previous studies and confirms what we have long known: sea levels continue to rise at an alarming rate, putting endanger communities around the world. The science is indisputable and urgent action is needed to alleviate a climate crisis that is well underway.”

The report’s lead author, William Sweet, however, noted that the worst of long-term sea level rise due to melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland is unlikely to occur until after 2100. It should be noted that warmer water expands and melting ice caps and glaciers add more water to the world’s oceans.

The west coast of the Gulf of Mexico is expected to be the most affected by the highest sea level rise. (File photo)

Nasa said the task force developed its near-term sea level rise projections based on a better understanding of how processes that contribute to rising seas, such as melting glaciers and ice caps, as well as the complex interactions between ocean, land and ice. affect the height of the ocean. “This is a global wake-up call that gives Americans the information they need to act now to best position us for the future,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said.


Cities like Miami Beach, Florida; Annapolis, Maryland; and Norfolk, Virginia already experience a few minor “nuisance” floods per year during high tides, but these will be replaced by several “moderate” floods per year by mid-century, those that cause property damage, the researchers said.

“It will be the areas that have not been flooded that will start to flood. Many of our major East Coast metropolitan areas are going to be under increasing threat,” Sweet told The Associated Press. The west coast of the Gulf of Mexico is expected to be hit hardest by the highest sea level rise – 16 to 18 inches (0.4 to 0.45 meters) – by 2050, the report said. The eastern Gulf of Mexico is expected to experience sea level rise of 14 to 16 inches (0.35 to 0.4 meters) by 2050 and three moderate sunny floods per year.


A team of researchers from the Department of Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture at IIT Kharagpur under the Climate Change Program (CCP) predicted that the regions of the Bay of Bengal, South China Sea and South of the Indian Ocean may experience higher wave activity in the future. .

With increasing wave activity, the threat of flooding could affect the configuration of the coastline, damage infrastructure, saltwater intrusion into groundwater, destroy crops and affect the human population with a range of consequences socio-economic.

Teresa H. Sadler