Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

US coastal regions under threat of increased flooding

Flooding in Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy Flooding in Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy Anton Oparin/Shutterstock
22 Dec
2014
A new report into sea level rises claims that by 2050, regular flooding will threaten most US coastal areas

2050 will mark the ‘tipping point’ in coastal flooding in the US, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), whose research says that nuisance floods – defined as being one to two feet above local high tide – will occur 30 or more times a year in most coastal areas by the mid-century.

East coast cities will need to improve flood defences sooner than expected, according to the research, with New York City and Washington DC among cities that can expect more nuisance floods. The research excluded the Miami area due to insufficient data.

Cities with increased flood risk
Boston
New York City
Philadelphia
Baltimore
Norfolk, Virginia
Wilmington, North Carolina
Galveston Bay
Port Isabel, Texas
San Diego/La Jolla
San Francisco Bay Area

 

‘Coastal communities are beginning to experience sunny-day nuisance or urban flooding much more so than in decades past,’ said William Sweet, an oceanographer who co-authored the study. ‘This is due to sea level rise. Unfortunately, once impacts are noticed, they will become commonplace rather quickly.’

NOAA tide gauges show that daily flooding at new levels is already five to ten times more likely today than 50 years ago.

‘We find that in 30 to 40 years, even modest projections of global sea level rise – 1½ feet by the year 2100 – will increase instances of daily high tide flooding to a point requiring an active, and potentially costly response, and by the end of this century, our projections show that there will be near-daily nuisance flooding in most of the locations that we reviewed,’ Sweet added.

The research used the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change projections, which put sea level rises at 1½ to 4 feet by 2100. These were combined with local geographic information, such as subsidence.

Related items

Julysub 2020

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

geo line break v3

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Wildlife

Increasing reports of seized jaguar fangs and skin suggest that…

Geophoto

Forced isolation has given many of us the chance to…

Oceans

A fifth of the ocean floor has now been mapped,…

Wildlife

Four ex-circus lions discovered in France are due to be…

Oceans

A roundup of some of the top discussions from the…

Energy

The agave plant, used to make Tequila, has proven itself…

Climate

Concerns about the ozone hole have diminished as levels of…

Wildlife

In the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Munu – a…

Geophoto

Photography competition, Earth Photo, returns for the third year with…

Oceans

A new study reveals the process behind the strange phenomenon…

Wildlife

Hunting is a topic that attracts polarised viewpoints. But as…

Oceans

A compilation of 50-years worth of data on human activity…

Wildlife

From the US to the Mediterranean, herds of goats are…

Wildlife

Meet the 2020 Whitley Award winners

Wildlife

Protecting the most famous members of the animal kingdom may…

Climate

With Milan announcing an ambitious new plan to reduce air…