The United States is projected to rise to 1 foot along the coastline by 2050 in the United States, leading to a significant increase in coastal flooding, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
On average, in the next 30 years the United States will have the same sea level rise as in the last 100 years, according to a report by the interagency organization, which, according to their authors, presents the latest sea level forecasts for all states and territories next century.
“This report is an alarm bell for the United States, but it is an alarm bell with silver,” said Richard Spinrad, NOAA administrator, at a virtual webinar hosted by the agency. “This update can inform coastal communities and others about current and future vulnerabilities in the face of climate change and help them make smart decisions to keep people and property safe in the long run.”
For these communities, they are likely to see a profound increase in the frequency of coastal floods, even in the absence of storms or heavy rainfall.
“By 2050, moderate floods, which are usually devastating and harmful to modern weather, sea levels and infrastructure, will occur more than 10 times more often than they do today,” said Nicole LeBeauf, director of the National Oceanic Service. NOAA.
Four times a year?
Instead of one event every two to five years until the middle of the century, moderate floods will occur four times a year. According to the report, floods, sometimes referred to as “floods on a sunny day,” will also increase. It is expected that in 2050 major or devastating floods will occur five times more often than today.
This is bad news for the coastal communities of New Jersey, which are increasingly battling tidal floods, also called nasty floods, which leave local streets under water without even a drop of rainfall. These communities face the prospect of major upgrades to their infrastructure, including stormwater systems that have been a challenge for decades.
In New Jersey, sea level rise occurs at the same time as land sinks in coastal areas, making it more vulnerable to rising water.
“This will be a major challenge for our coastal cities,” said Bill Nelson, a NASA administrator, who added that it was time to take action on the climate crisis. NASA was among half a dozen agencies that prepared a report on sea level rise.
The alarming aspect of the report is that many of these projections for 2050 will come about because of greenhouse gas emissions that have already occurred. According to Spinrad, they will happen no matter what the nation does with the reduction of future carbon pollution.
But the report argues that current and future emissions matter. The report notes that between 2020 and 2100, between 2020 and 2100, sea levels will rise by about 2 feet along most of the country’s coastline. Failure to limit future emissions could lead to further sea level rise of 1.5-5 feet by the end of the century, the report warns.
“These new data on the rise of the sea are the latest evidence that our climate crisis – as the president said – is flashing a red code,” said Gina McCarthy, National Climate Adviser. “We must redouble our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. that are causing climate change, and at the same time helping our coastal communities to become resilient in the face of growing sea. ”
The regions most vulnerable to rising sea levels include the Gulf Coast (14-18 inches) and the East Coast (10-14 inches), followed by the West Coast (4-8 inches), the report said. Sea level rise will vary regionally along the coast due to changes in land and ocean altitude.