March 13, 2012
“Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S.” According to a new research project titled “Surging Seas”, created by the Princeton-based nonprofit organization Climate Central, coastal flooding due to rising sea levels over the coming century threatens numerous major population centers along the U.S. coastline. Currently about 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and are considered at risk. Florida was found to be the most vulnerable state, but Louisiana, California, New York, and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable. As average global temperatures rise due to global warming, the ocean will also rise due to melting ice packs around the world and heat absorption by the ocean’s water. As the sea level rises, storm surges are expected to get worse and previously rare flooding events may become common occurrences. Some areas along the U.S. coastline may become permanently inundated. Climate Central offers an interactive tool identifying the level of increased risk for individual U.S. coastal cities and communities.