Sea Level Rise

Accelerated erosion

View Sea Level Rise Gallery

There will always be beaches, but sea level rise will ensure that they will not be in the same place in the future. The beaches will still exist throughout this change, but many of the buildings may not. Efforts to save development, however do threaten beaches, such as shoreline armoring structures.

Although relative amounts of rise may seem very small, only a few millimeters per year, the cumulative effect of these small rises each year over a long period of time (100+ years) causes major problems. Accelerated rates of erosion are attributed to sea level rise and erosion causes large economic losses around the world each year due to the close proximity of buildings and critical infrastructure. This includes transportation systems, gas and oil lines as well as electricity lines and power plants.

Most developed coasts and beaches have buildings very close to the ocean leaving little room for the ever-expanding ocean. The future effects of sea level rise on coastal civilization over the entire world are of great concern. Over half of the world’s population lives within 100 km of the coast. Over the next 50 years, damage due to coastal development will be devastating, but if the rate of sea level rise increases, the results could be catastrophic. This issue threatens areas from New York City in the United States to the Pearl River Delta in China to the Maldives.

The world map below allows you to see elevations of coastal areas. Areas in red are the lowest in elevation and are most prone to flooding. Check out Manhattan in New York City. If you think the situation there looks dire, be sure to check out the effects of a 2 m rise in sea level on Pearl River Delta in China, home to more than 40 million people. Map courtesy of globalwarmingart.com


Surfing in / Sea Level Rise

Cause of Atlantic coastline’s sea level rise hot spots now revealed

Seas rose in the southeastern US between 2011 and 2015 by more than six times the global average sea level rise that is already happening due to human-induced global warming, new research shows. The combined effects of El Niño (ENSO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), both of which are naturally occurring climate processes, drove this recent sea level rise hot spot, according to the study.

Comments Off on Cause of Atlantic coastline’s sea level rise hot spots now revealed

No longer water under the bridge, statistics yields new data on sea levels

While the scientific community has long warned about rising sea levels and their destructive impact on some of the United States’ most populous cities, researchers have developed a new, statistical method that more precisely calculates the rate of sea level rise, showing it’s not only increasing, but accelerating.

Comments Off on No longer water under the bridge, statistics yields new data on sea levels

Higher seas to flood dozens of US cities, study says; is yours one of them?

For the past several years, scientists have been trying to get people to wake up to the dangers that lie ahead in rising seas due to climate change. A comprehensive list now names hundreds of US cities, large and small, that may not make it through the next 20, 50 or 80 years due to sea level rise.

Comments Off on Higher seas to flood dozens of US cities, study says; is yours one of them?

Column: High-rises spell the end for Florida beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

Floridians are becoming more attuned to sea level rise and more familiar with nuisance flooding related to the rising sea. However, we believe there is less recognition that by century’s end it is likely that most of Florida’s major beaches will be permanently gone.

Comments Off on Column: High-rises spell the end for Florida beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

Everything Worth Knowing About Sea Level Rise

How many cities will our oceans swallow?

Comments Off on Everything Worth Knowing About Sea Level Rise

Why Japan’s coastal zones might be disappearing due to climate change

Climate change can cause a range of effects on coastal environments, such as a decrease in sediment supply, changes in the intensity and frequency of extreme events, and changes in sea levels and wave climate. The estimation of changes due to climate change is a major issue for future coastal management decisions.

Comments Off on Why Japan’s coastal zones might be disappearing due to climate change

As Seas Rise, Tropical Pacific Islands Face a Perfect Storm

Although they have done little to contribute to global warming, Pacific islanders may face some of the most dire consequences of rising seas. In a Yale e360 interview, geologist Chip Fletcher describes the threats confronting Hawaii and other islands and discusses potential adaptation strategies.

Comments Off on As Seas Rise, Tropical Pacific Islands Face a Perfect Storm

Sea level rise isn’t just happening, it’s getting faster

In at least the third such study published in the past year, scientists have confirmed seas are rising, and the rate of sea level rise is increasing as time passes — a sobering punchline for coastal communities that are only now beginning to prepare for a troubling future.

Comments Off on Sea level rise isn’t just happening, it’s getting faster

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100

In the year 2100, 2 billion people — about one-fifth of the world’s population — could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to new research.

Comments Off on Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100


Recent / Sea Level Rise

No longer water under the bridge, statistics yields new data on sea levels

August 10th, 2017

While the scientific community has long warned about rising sea levels and their destructive impact on some of the United States’ most populous cities, researchers have developed a new, statistical method that more precisely calculates the rate of sea level rise, showing it’s not only increasing, but accelerating.

Read More

Higher seas to flood dozens of US cities, study says; is yours one of them?

August 1st, 2017

For the past several years, scientists have been trying to get people to wake up to the dangers that lie ahead in rising seas due to climate change. A comprehensive list now names hundreds of US cities, large and small, that may not make it through the next 20, 50 or 80 years due to sea level rise.

Read More

Column: High-rises spell the end for Florida beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

July 29th, 2017

Floridians are becoming more attuned to sea level rise and more familiar with nuisance flooding related to the rising sea. However, we believe there is less recognition that by century’s end it is likely that most of Florida’s major beaches will be permanently gone.

Read More

Everything Worth Knowing About Sea Level Rise

July 20th, 2017

How many cities will our oceans swallow?

Read More

Why Japan’s coastal zones might be disappearing due to climate change

July 17th, 2017

Climate change can cause a range of effects on coastal environments, such as a decrease in sediment supply, changes in the intensity and frequency of extreme events, and changes in sea levels and wave climate. The estimation of changes due to climate change is a major issue for future coastal management decisions.

Read More

As Seas Rise, Tropical Pacific Islands Face a Perfect Storm

July 12th, 2017

Although they have done little to contribute to global warming, Pacific islanders may face some of the most dire consequences of rising seas. In a Yale e360 interview, geologist Chip Fletcher describes the threats confronting Hawaii and other islands and discusses potential adaptation strategies.

Read More

Sea level rise isn’t just happening, it’s getting faster

June 29th, 2017

In at least the third such study published in the past year, scientists have confirmed seas are rising, and the rate of sea level rise is increasing as time passes — a sobering punchline for coastal communities that are only now beginning to prepare for a troubling future.

Read More

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100

June 26th, 2017

In the year 2100, 2 billion people — about one-fifth of the world’s population — could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to new research.

Read More

The fight against climate change: four cities leading the way in the Trump era

June 13th, 2017

New York City, Houston, Miami and San Francisco have all taken steps to mitigate the risks associated with rising sea levels and global temperatures. Are their successes a blueprint for action at the state and local level?

Read More

Marine reserves help mitigate against climate change, say scientists

June 6th, 2017

Highly protected marine reserves can help mitigate against the impacts of climate change, a study by a team of international scientists has concluded.

Read More