Before you do anything else, you must watch this magnificent storytelling of the annual flooding from the Mendenhall Glacier…

Sea Level Rise & Flooding

SEA LEVEL RISE & FLOODING

NASA says that seas have risen since 1992 by 3 inches, with some locations rising more than 9 inches, and anticipates an unavoidable rise of several feet in the future.

Caused by four main factors, of which two are global (ice melting and warming waters that expand) and two are local (a slowing Gulf Stream and sinking land), the amount and speed of sea level rise varies by location.

The consequences are staggering, creating more dangerous and powerful hurricanes and storm surges, and resulting in more intense and frequent flooding, and devastation to coastal communities. In the United States, almost 40 percent of the population live in relatively high-population-density coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding, shoreline erosion, and hazards from storms. You might be surprised to learn of the creation of ghost forests. 

You might also want to watch a 4-part PBS series Sinking Cities which takes a look into how four cities (Miami, London, Tokyo, & New York) — all at particular risk — are adapting.

Flood Factor has a fascinating site where you can explore your flood risk by entering an address.

CREDIT: IPCC

CURRENT NEWS

Thwaites ‘Doomsday Glacier’ in Antarctica is melting much faster than predicted

By Stephen J. Beard 05/25/24
A study released this week added new fears to the fate of an important glacier in Antarctica and its impact on sea-level rise. The Thwaites Glacier on the vast West Antarctica Ice Sheet is commonly…
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A HIDDEN THREAT

By Brady Dennis and Others 05/22/24
On the worst days, when the backyard would flood and the toilet would gurgle and the smell of sewage hung thick in the air, Monica Arenas would flee to her mother-in-law’s home to use the…
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Image By CCR + AI
Highlight Article

Flood insurance premiums on Long Island could double over next 10 years as sea levels rise

By Jonathan LaMantia 05/17/24
Long Islanders are beginning to see the tangible costs of climate change in the form of rising insurance costs. In some communities, flood insurance premiums will double or triple as the federal government aims to…
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Where Seas Are Rising At Alarming Speed

By Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis, Kevin Crowe and John Muyskens 04/29/24
One of the most rapid sea level surges on Earth is besieging the American South, forcing a reckoning for coastal communities across eight U.S. states, a Washington Post analysis has found.
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Global warming could make tides higher as well as raising sea levels

By Michael Le Page 04/26/24
High tides could be up to 4 centimetres higher in many places by 2100 as a result of the reduced mixing of ocean layers as seas get hotter, according to one of the first computer…
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Beach Nourishment and Climate Change Meet at Express Sessions Event in Montauk

By Michael Wright 04/09/24
The recent rebuilding of Montauk’s beaches, and how the approach to restoring eroded beaches will play a critical role on the South Fork in the coming decades as sea levels
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Heavy Rain and Rising Sea Levels Are Sending Sewage Into Some Charleston Streets and Ponds

By Daniel Shailer 04/07/24
When rain comes down in some parts of Charleston, S.C., sewage comes up. In the neighborhood of West Ashley, storms trigger waste overflows so often into a pond near Nell Postell’s home that she has…
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Boston’s defenses against rising seas lean on private development. What happens when the money dries up?

By Erin Douglas and Catherine Carlock 04/05/24
In a semi-industrial corner of South Boston’s waterfront, the century-old Boston Edison power plant stands, gutted and stripped, on land awaiting condos, labs, shops, and cafes. It will all be on land that’s been built…
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A growing number of homeowners face repeat flooding

By YCC Team 03/28/24
As sea levels rise and storms become more extreme, a growing number of homeowners are struggling with flooding — not just once, but time and time again. Weber: “People are just faced over and over…
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Sinking US cities increase risk of flooding from rising sea levels

By Jeremy Plester 03/28/24
A number of cities on the US east coast are sinking, increasing the risk of flooding from rising sea levels. Between 2007 and 2020 the ground under New York, Baltimore and Norfolk in Virginia sank…
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Sea Level Rise in the SF Bay Area Just Got a Lot More Dire

By Matt Simon 03/07/24
If you move to the San Francisco Bay Area, prepare to pay some of the most exorbitant home prices on the planet. Also, prepare for the fact that someday, your new home could be underwater—and…
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New Data Details the Risk of Sea-Level Rise for U.S. Coastal Cities

By Mira Rojanasakul 03/06/24
A new study of sea-level rise using detailed data on changes to land elevation found that current scientific models may not accurately capture vulnerabilities in 32 coastal cities in the United States.
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KEY RESOURCES

Hidden Water: The Suicide Basin Outburst Flood

08/10/23
On a sunny day in July 2011, the Mendenhall River in Juneau, Alaska began to flood. The water inundated roads, backyards, and a nearby campground, taking the community by surprise.

Climate Change Adaptation in Delta Cities

05/22/23
More than two-­‐thirds of the world's largest cities are coastal delta cities. These cities are vulnerable to rising sea levels as a result of climate change, while millions of people are already being exposed to…

What is a ghost forest?

05/17/23
As sea level rises, more and more saltwater encroaches on the land. Along the world’s coasts and estuaries, invading seawater advances and overtakes the fresh water that deciduous trees rely upon for sustenance. The salty…

Secretary-General’s remarks to the Security Council Debate on “Sea-level Rise: Implications for International Peace and Security”

02/14/23
Mr. President, Dr. Ian Borg, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta, Excellencies, I thank the government of Malta for shining a light on the dramatic implications of rising sea levels on…

U.S. high tide flooding breaks records in multiple locations

08/02/22
Coastal communities in three locations along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts saw record high tide flooding last year — a trend that is expected to continue into 2023 and beyond without improved flood defenses, according…

What is high tide flooding?

07/18/22
As relative sea level rises, it no longer takes a strong storm or a hurricane to cause coastal flooding. High tide flooding occurs when sea level rise combines with local factors to push water levels…

Sea Level Latest Measurements

07/12/22
Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers and the expansion of seawater as it warms. The first graph tracks the…

Weather Report: Why Do the Seas Rise?

05/16/22
The phrases “climate change” and “sea level rise” nearly go hand in hand, particularly when discussed in coastal communities like Martha’s Vineyard. Many of the cliché images of global warming often involve the seas, whether…

Climate Change: Global Sea Level

04/19/22
Global mean sea level has risen about 8–9 inches (21–24 centimeters) since 1880. The rising water level is mostly due to a combination of melt water from glaciers and ice sheets and thermal expansion of…

Sea Level Trends

04/18/22
The sea level trends measured by tide gauges that are presented here are local relative sea level (RSL) trends as opposed to the global sea level trend. Tide gauge measurements are made with respect to…

Interactive map: How has local sea level in the United States changed over time?

03/02/22
Global sea level has risen between 6 and 8 inches (15-20 cm) over the last 100 years. About one third of the increase is due to the thermal expansion of ocean water as it has…

State Of The Beach Report

10/31/21
Greta is known for her famous speeches before world leaders. She recently spoke at COP 26 where delegates from around the world are charged with fulfilling goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework…

Animation: Global Sea Level Change (1992-2017)

10/19/21
This animation shows how global sea levels have risen more than 80 millimeters (3.15 inches) over the past three decades, which is like covering the U.S. in about 4 meters (about 13 feet) of water…

Global Climate Change Vital Facts

09/01/21
Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers and the expansion of seawater as it warms. The first graph tracks the…

Coming Storms: Climate Change And The Rising Threat To America’s Coastal Seniors

03/21/21
A new Climate Central sea-level-rise analysis identifies the assisted living and nursing homes at risk in five states. Experts say waiting to evacuate during storms is not the answer.

Science Empowering Communities In The Face Of Flooding

10/06/20
Surging Waters: Science Empowering Communities in the Face of Flooding is a report produced by AGU, a global not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity.

Storm Surge Inundation Map

06/12/20
This story map illustrates historical hurricane tracks, strike frequency, and potential areas of coastal flooding and inundation from storms by combining the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC’s) hurricane strike dataset.

What is Digital Coast?

06/11/20
This NOAA-sponsored website is focused on helping communities address coastal issues and has become one of the most-used resources in the coastal management community. The dynamic Digital Coast Partnership, whose members represent the website’s primary…

Association of State Floodplain Managers

06/10/20
The mission of ASFPM is to promote education, policies and activities that mitigate current and future losses, costs and human suffering caused by flooding, and to protect the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains -…

Sea Level Rise Adaptation

03/28/20
Sea level rise is a slow-moving threat, but it demands immediate action. Global heating creates extreme hazards that cause significant harm to people, homes, infrastructure, and the environment. In California, we are already facing many…

The Great Flood of 2019: A Complete Picture of a Slow-Motion Disaster

02/05/20
This year’s flooding across the Midwest and the South affected nearly 14 million people, yet the full scale of the slowly unfolding disaster has been difficult to fathom. To visualize just how extensive it was,…

Going under: Long wait times for post-flood buyouts leave homeowners underwater

11/18/19
By the end of this century, as many as 13 million people in the United States will see their homes affected by sea level rise. Millions more who live, work, or travel through coastal or…

Understanding FEMA Flood Maps and Limitations

03/21/19
Flooding in the United States (U.S.) has cost over $1 trillion in inflation adjusted dollars since 1980 and represents more than 63% of the cost associated with all billion dollar or more natural disasters.1 It…

SeaLevelRise.org

10/29/19
People truly need to understand the causes of sea level rise and the impact it has on our communities. By working together, we can develop smart solutions to protect against this ever-growing problem. Our communities can make…

Flood IQ

10/01/19
Flood iQ covers the East coast and the Gulf coast, and visualizes your risk of sea level rise flooding today and up to 15 years in the future. It is a web based application created…

NASA – Sea level change

09/11/19
Find a ton of information here on sea level, including news & features, a data analysis tool, a virtual earth system laboratory, and more.

Sea Level Rise Project

09/10/19
Climate Central's flagship sea level project allows you to search or navigate interactive maps to see areas below different amounts of sea level rise and flooding — down to neighborhood scale — matched with area timelines of…

MORE NEWS

Disappearing cities on US coasts

By Leonard O. Ohenhen and Others   03/06/24  
The sea level along the US coastlines is projected to rise by 0.25–0.3 m by 2050, increasing the probability of more destructive flooding and inundation in major cities1,2,3. However, these impacts may be exacerbated by coastal…
Read more

Cities Aren’t Prepared for a Crucial Part of Sea-Level Rise: They’re Also Sinking

By Matt Simon   03/06/24  
Fighting off rising seas without reducing humanity’s carbon emissions is like trying to drain a bathtub without turning off the tap. But increasingly, scientists are sounding the alarm on yet another problem compounding the crisis…
Read more

NASA Images Show Where US East Coast Is Sinking

By Jess Thomson   02/23/24  
The U.S. East Coast faces a future threatened not only by rising sea levels but also by sinking of the land itself, researchers told Newsweek. NASA images reveal the extent to which the coast is…
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A ‘collapse’ is looming for Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, scientists say

By Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney   02/15/24  
Rapidly rising seas are wreaking havoc on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, and could devastate three-quarters of the state’s natural buffer against hurricanes in the coming decades, scientists found in a study published Thursday.
Read more

The East Coast Is Sinking

By Mira Rojanasakul and Marco Hernandez   02/13/24  
To stabilize early buildings in Boston, wood pilings were driven into water-logged earth where groundwater preserved the structures. Depletion of those aquifers has exposed the wood to air in some cases, causing foundations to rot.…
Read more

Coastal Cities Brace for Climate Change

By Manuela Andreoni   02/01/24  
Over the past few weeks, flooding from storms has battered cities in the South and the East Coast, from Louisiana to New Jersey. Overlapping atmospheric rivers over the West Coast have brought heavy rains that…
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New Jersey denies bulkhead for shore town with wrecked sand dunes

By Wayne Parry   02/01/24  
New Jersey is refusing to allow a shore town whose sand dunes have washed away in places to build a bulkhead to protect itself, ruling that no one is in imminent danger.
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It’s time to face honestly the threat of water and wind to Long Island’s coastline

01/20/24  
For more than a century, the future of Long Island’s fragile shoreline has been a focus of public debate. Much of today’s conversation — especially after a recent series of storms caused serious erosion along…
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The seas are coming for coastal homes. How will communities, and the state, respond?

By Sabrina Shankman   01/18/24  
In the age of climate change, as sea levels rise and more intense storms wear away the natural landscape that had protected coastal communities for generations, state and local officials are considering more radical measures,…
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Critical Infrastructure Is Sinking Along the US East Coast

By Matt Simon   01/05/24  
Unless you’re sinking into quicksand, you might assume that the land beneath your feet is solid and unmoving. In actual fact, your part of the world may well be undergoing “subsidence,” which is where the…
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This Antarctic Octopus Has a Warning About Rising Sea Levels

By Delger Erdenesanaa   12/21/23  
Scientists have long wondered whether the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a ticking time bomb in terms of sea level rise. New evidence from the DNA of a small octopus that lives in the Southern…
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How sea rise could reshape South Florida neighborhoods: Retreat here, growth there

By Alex Harris   12/18/23  
As sea levels push ever higher, the question of when — and where — it will affect South Florida’s real estate market is a big one.
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Why collapsing glaciers are ruining your beach house plans

By Hayes Brown   11/20/23  
In the movie “Superman” (the original 1978 one with Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor), the plot revolves around a scheme to transform property in California that’s miles…
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Ancient warning of a rising sea

By Sarah Kaplan, Bonnie Jo Mount and Others   11/17/23  
As human-caused climate change remakes the world’s coastlines, these fossil relics from Earth’s past are helping scientists understand how future sea level rise could unfold. By studying the long-dead coral reefs, researchers have revealed not…
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A salty problem for people near the mouth of the Mississippi is a wakeup call for New Orleans

By Kevin MCGill and Stephen Smith   10/27/23  
The heating element removed from Monique Plaisance’s water heater in September was disintegrating, streaked with rust and covered in a dry crust. She blamed the corrosion on the water piped in from the area’s longtime…
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The toxic, corrosive reason saltwater intrusion would be a catastrophe for New Orleans

By Ella Nilsen   10/15/23  
It would be a nightmare for any city: A massive wedge of saltwater creeping up the Mississippi River, contaminating drinking water at treatment plants one-by-one and threatening the health of hundreds of thousands of residents.
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Worried About Living in a Flood Zone? Try a House That Floats.

By Ronda Kaysen   09/29/23  
As sea levels rise and storms worsen, threatening the planet’s fragile coastlines, some architects and developers are looking to the water not as a looming threat, but as a frontier for development.
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Sea level rise already delays coastal commuters

By Mathew E Hauer and Others   09/18/23  
Although the most dire societal impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) typically manifest toward the end of the 21st century, many coastal communities face challenges in the present due to recurrent tidal flooding. Few studies have…
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Antarctica warming much faster than models predicted in ‘deeply concerning’ sign for sea levels

By Graham Readfearn   09/11/23  
Antarctica is likely warming at almost twice the rate of the rest of the world and faster than climate change models are predicting, with potentially far-reaching implications for global sea level rise, according to a…
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How sea level rise made Idalia’s storm surge worse

By Chris Mooney and Kevin Crowe   09/01/23  
Rising oceans substantially worsened the devastating storm surge that Hurricane Idalia flung at the Florida coast on Wednesday, according to scientific experts and data analyzed by The Washington Post. An unusual, dramatic surge in sea…
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Buried under the ice

By Sarah Kaplan, Bonnie Jo Mount and Others   08/25/23  
Greenland had not been kind to Joerg Schaefer. For 21 days, he had endured howling winds and blistering cold. He sampled ice until his fingers went numb and shoveled snow until his shoulders burned. His…
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A billion-dollar coastal project begins in Louisiana. Will it work as sea levels rise?

By Kevin McGill   08/11/23  
Nearly $3 billion in settlement money from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster that devastated the Gulf Coast and killed hundreds of thousands of marine animals is now funding a massive ecosystem restoration in southeastern Louisiana’s…
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Town Takes New Look at Giant Sandbags

By Christopher Walsh   08/10/23  
The East Hampton Town Board held a public hearing last Thursday on proposed amendments to the town code that are intended to tighten control over the massive geotextile sandbags that are used to protect waterfront…
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Facing The Surge

By Chris Mooney and Others   08/07/23  
Louisiana armed itself against the seas in the years after Hurricane Katrina, working to rebuild a shrinking coastline while factoring in the potential for dire climate change.
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Torrents of rain raise river levels, fears across Vermont and other locations in New England

By Travis Andersen and Kevin Cullen   07/11/23  
As pummeling rains fell Monday afternoon for the second straight day, Kim Crowell stood in the garage of her home, watching the Winooski River rise inch by inch. The river had already overflowed its banks…
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Climate change could swamp this island. Home sales are surging

By Justin Jouvenal   07/05/23  
Ten summers ago, Maryland offered to buy residents off this iconic bit of land in the Chesapeake Bay known for picturesque watermen’s villages, famous cakes and pyrotechnic sunsets. Hurricane Sandy had damaged homes and climate…
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The places in the U.S. most at risk for extreme rainfall

By Kevin Crowe, John Muyskens and Brady Dennis   06/26/23  
Kim Schultz still struggles to describe how hard and fast the rain fell in her corner of southern Indiana that afternoon last September. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Never,” she recalled. Relentless rainfall inundated…
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The Plan to Save New York From the Next Sandy Will Ruin the Waterfront. It Doesn’t Have To.

By Robert Yaro and Daniel Gutman   06/15/23  
Last September, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers unveiled its proposal to protect the greater New York and New Jersey metro area from the next catastrophic flood. It is an epic plan that includes dozens…
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‘This is Boston’s big challenge’: A new plan to defend downtown against sea-level rise

By Catherine Carlock   06/02/23  
New decks and docks would elevate a mile and a half of Boston’s waterfront, protecting downtown from devastating floods. Flood-storage tanks would be built underneath buildings that sit atop pilings, to gather runoff during storms.…
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More than two-thirds of California’s beaches in danger of disappearing by end of century

By Abe Asher   06/02/23  
Up to 70 per cent of California’s iconic beaches are in danger of disappearing by the end of the century due the effects of climate change, a new study has found.
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The off-the-charts rise of global sea surface temperature this spring has been eye-popping

By David Wallace-Wells   06/01/23  
There are a lot of unsettling signals coming from the world’s oceans right now. Even for those of us who watch things like temperature anomalies and extreme weather events as likely portents of the climate…
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Slowing ocean current caused by melting Antarctic ice could have drastic climate impact, study says

By Donna Lu   05/25/23  
A major global deep ocean current has slowed down by approximately 30% since the 1990s as a result of melting Antarctic ice, which could have critical consequences for Earth’s climate patterns and sea levels, new…
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How does sea level rise challenge modern notions of property lines?

By Rosanna Xia   05/25/23  
Hello again! It’s Rosanna Xia, coastal reporter for the Los Angeles Times, filling in this week for Sammy Roth. Hang with me today, we’re about to geek out on an environmental doctrine that dates back…
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A Greenland glacier’s rapid melting may signal faster sea level rise

By Chris Mooney   05/08/23  
Scientists studying one of Greenland’s largest glaciers say it is melting far faster than expected in its most vulnerable region, a worrying sign that glaciers perched in the ocean could contribute to sea level rise…
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Who will save Puerto Rico’s beaches from rising seas, storms, and developers? The people.

By Pearl Marvell   04/25/23  
After Hurricane Maria, conflicts over public beach access on the island have become more complicated and frequent. And residents aren’t waiting for the government to step in — they’re banding together to protect their rights.
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Rising ocean, bay tides could eventually reshape Long Island — and will alter how we live, work and play, experts say

By Carl MacGowan   04/24/23  
In 2080, the historic Montauk lighthouse and Orient Point may be on their own islands, cut off from the rest of Long Island by newly formed rivers.
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“Ghost forests” along U.S. coasts are a haunting indicator of climate change

By Nancy Chen and Analisa Novak   04/21/23  
Forests inundated with salt due to rising sea levels are turning into cemeteries of trees — a haunting indicator of climate change. It's a problem on coastlines across the United States, most dramatically between North…
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In South Sudan, a new front line of climate change after historic flooding

By Esther Castillejo   04/19/23  
The water came in the night, rushing into her home. And as it covered everything she owned in her hometown of Niahldiu, Nyathak took her children through the waters to the shore, waiting to be…
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Study Finds Shockingly Fast Sea Level Rise Around U.S. Southeast and Gulf Coast

By Angely Mercado   04/10/23  
Sea level rise is transforming the U.S. coastline across the country, but researchers have noticed that the rate of sea level rise has increased faster in the last decade around the Gulf and Southeastern coasts.
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Giant Sandbags: Temporary Solutions, Long-Term Problems

By Christopher Walsh   04/06/23  
In East Hampton Town, the massive geotextile sandbags that are used to protect waterfront properties from erosion are allowed on only a temporary basis — for just six months with the potential for a three-month…
Read more

Truly ‘Uncharted Territory.’

By Bill McKibben   04/02/23  
Sadly, Trump's arrest was not the biggest news story of the week. Last Thursday’s big news story was the indictment of Donald Trump, with banner headlines in all the papers that still print on paper.…
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Melting Antarctic ice predicted to cause rapid slowdown of deep ocean current by 2050

By Graham Readfearn   03/29/23  
Melting ice around Antarctica will cause a rapid slowdown of a major global deep ocean current by 2050 that could alter the world’s climate for centuries and accelerate sea level rise, according to scientists behind…
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Abyssal ocean overturning slowdown and warming driven by Antarctic meltwater

By Qian Li, Matthew H. England and Others   03/29/23  
The abyssal ocean circulation is a key component of the global meridional overturning circulation, cycling heat, carbon, oxygen and nutrients throughout the world ocean. The strongest historical trend observed in the abyssal ocean is warming…
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It’s not just oceans that are rising. Groundwater is, too.

By Julia Kane, Lina Tran, & Diana Kruzman   03/29/23  
Beneath our feet there is an invisible ocean. Within the cracks of rock slabs, sand, and soil, this water sinks, swells, and flows — sometimes just a few feet under the surface, sometimes 30,000 feet…
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California’s Atmospheric Rivers Are Getting Worse

By Jake Bittle   03/25/23  
As climate change makes storms warmer and wetter, the state’s flood control system is struggling to keep up.
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Risk of isolation increases the expected burden from sea-level rise

By T.M. Logan and Others   03/23/23  
The typical displacement metric for sea-level rise adaptation planning is property inundation. However, this metric may underestimate risk as it does not fully capture the wider cascading or indirect effects of sea-level rise. To address…
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Many coastal residents willing to relocate in the face of sea level rise

By YCC Team   03/09/23  
A survey of more than 1,400 residents of flood-prone urban areas found that almost half would consider moving if flooding becomes more severe. The post Many coastal residents willing to relocate in the face of…
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U.S. sea-level report cards: 2022 once again trends toward acceleration

By David Malmquist   03/07/23  
Want to know how sea level in your area is changing due to global warming and other factors? Sea level “report cards” from William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science forecast sea level to…
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Warming seas are carving into glacier that could trigger sea level rise

By Chris Mooney   02/15/23  
Rapidly warming oceans are cutting into the underside of the Earth’s widest glacier, startling new data and images show, leaving the ice more prone to fracturing and ultimately heightening the risk for major sea level…
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Stressing Rising Seas Already Creating Instability, Conflict, Secretary-General Says Security Council Has Critical Role in Addressing Devastating Challenges

02/14/23  
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the Security Council in its debate on “Sea-Level Rise: Implications for International Peace and Security”, in New York today: I thank the Government of Malta for shining…
Read more