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

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.



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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Image By CCR + AI
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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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Hidden Water: The Suicide Basin Outburst Flood

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

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?

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”

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

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?

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

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?

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

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

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?

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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…

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

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

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

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…


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…
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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

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…
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Twice as much land in developing nations will be swamped by rising seas than previously projected, new research shows

By Bob Berwyn   02/07/23  
Rising seas will swamp farmlands, pollute water supplies and displace millions of people much sooner than expected, scientists said last week....
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As glaciers melt, sudden flood risks threaten 15 million people, study finds

By Kasha Patel   02/07/23  
The Shishpar glacier in northern Pakistan started rapidly thawing during a record heat wave last spring. The melted snow and ice flowed into a nearby ice-dammed lake until water levels grew too high, triggering a…
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In the face of sea level rise, NOAA helps endangered Hawaiian monk seals find higher ground

By Melissa Defrancesco   01/31/23  
One calm morning on O’ahu, Hawai’i, wildlife veterinarian Dr. Michelle Barbieri received a phone call. It was November 2012, her second month on the job, and a scrawny monk seal had just hauled out on…
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Why climate change and urban sprawl could make flooding worse in Harris County

By Olivia Lloyd, Wesley Ratko and Alexandra Kanik   01/25/23  
Harris County is no stranger to floods. More than a third of the county’s land falls within a FEMA-designated flood plain – a figure expected to increase substantially when FEMA releases updated maps for Harris…
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Eight states, 30 cities team up to reduce flooding threat along the Mississippi River

By YCC Team   12/15/22  
They’ve partnered with Ducks Unlimited to restore more than 60 wetlands that will hold floodwaters during storms. The post Eight states, 30 cities team up to reduce flooding threat along the Mississippi River appeared first…
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New Jersey wants to restore 10,000 acres of ‘fairy-tale’ forest

By YCC Team   12/14/22  
Rising seas threaten to kill the state’s dwindling Atlantic white cedar forests. The post New Jersey wants to restore 10,000 acres of ‘fairy-tale’ forest appeared first on Yale Climate Connections. ...
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Extreme floods expose the flaws in FEMA’s risk maps

By Samuel Oakford, John Muyskens and Others   12/06/22  
This year, extreme precipitation deluged communities across the United States — a hallmark risk of a warming climate. Government flood-insurance maps often left residents unprepared for the threat.
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How rising sea levels could damage building foundations

By YCC Team   12/01/22  
Storm surge. Tidal flooding. Erosion. Some impacts of sea-level rise are easy to see, but others are hidden. “What happens when the sea level rises to the built environment from underneath?” says Hussam Mahmoud of…
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On the edge of retreat

By Chris Mooney and Others   11/28/22  
A century ago, about 250 people lived on Hog Island, a seven-mile expanse off the Virginia coast. They raised livestock and gathered oysters. They lived in a town called Broadwater, worked at the lighthouse and…
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Florida beaches were already running low on sand. Then Ian and Nicole hit.

By Lori Rozsa   11/25/22  
In the days since Hurricane Nicole lashed this stretch of Florida coast with punishing winds and a powerful storm surge, contractor A.J. Rockwell has found himself on an urgent mission. He has to find sand…
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NASA study: rising sea level could exceed estimates for U.S. coasts

By Sally Younger   11/15/22  
By 2050, sea level along contiguous U.S. coastlines could rise as much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) above today’s waterline, according to researchers who analyzed nearly three decades of satellite observations. The results from the…
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Studying climate change, sea level rise in Clearwater could prevent catastrophic damage, officials hope

By Regina Gonzalez   11/11/22  
The city of Clearwater has set out to understand how it will be impacted by climate change, sea level rise, and the devastation of tropical storms and hurricanes.
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Here’s Where the U.S. Is Testing a New Response to Rising Seas

By Christopher Flavelle   11/02/22  
The van carrying tribal officials veered off the coastal highway, away from the Pacific and onto a dirt path hidden by cedar and spruce trees. After climbing an old logging road, it emerged into a…
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Building with nature: Can reviving a marsh save this California town from sea level rise?

By Rosanna Xia   10/26/22  
Standing on the edge of a repurposed marina, at the end of a long wooden walkway that harked back to more prosperous times, Brenda Buxton took in the disorienting landscape.
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When the water rises

By Carol Kaufmann   10/20/22  
A wildlife refuge along the Chesapeake Bay offers a “fast-motion” view of the effects of climate change and rising waters along the nation’s coastlines.
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Mississippi River Basin adapts as climate change brings extreme rain and flooding

By Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco   10/18/22  
After a torrential downpour began on Aug. 7, the Pecatonica River jumped its banks in Freeport, Ill. and flooded the basement of Laurie Thomas' family home, nearly to the ceiling. This latest was Freeport's fifth…
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Amid rising seas, Atlantic City has no plans for retreat

By Ted Shaffrey   10/13/22  
Some cities around the world are pulling back from shorelines, as rising seas from climate change increase flooding. But so far, retreat appears out of the question for Atlantic City, New Jersey.The breezy getaway town…
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It’s everywhere: Sea-level rise’s surprising reach damaging more than East Coast shoreline

By Kelly Powers and Dinah Voyles Pulver   09/20/22  
A walk down this 6-mile stretch of Florida beach might feel different than others. Some things are the same. Rolling waves reach into smooth sheets, polishing the beach. Seaweed and shells tumble and settle, tumble…
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A Fight Over Nantucket’s Bluff Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor

By Penelope Green   09/19/22  
Houses along Baxter Road on the island of Nantucket have always been precarious real estate: property at the edge of the world with a built-in expiration date. Baxter runs parallel to Sconset Bluff, a stunning…
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Rising seas could swallow millions of U.S. acres within decades

By Brady Dennis   09/08/22  
New research finds an estimated 25,000 properties in Louisiana could slip below tidal boundary lines by 2050. Florida, Texas and North Carolina also face profound economic risks.
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Greenland ice sheet set to raise sea levels by nearly a foot

By Chris Mooney   08/29/22  
New research suggests the massive ice sheet is already set to lose more than 3 percent of its mass, even if the world stopped emitting greenhouse gases today.
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Flooding prompts Mississippi nursing home to evacuate dozens of residents

By Judson Jones and Others   08/25/22  
Dozens of residents at a nursing home in the Mississippi town of Brandon had to be evacuated on school buses Wednesday after a slow-moving system brought rain across the South Wednesday drenching central parts of…
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Harvey Hit 5 Years Ago. Its Floodwaters Did Not Strike Equitably.

By Elana Shao   08/25/22  
Up to 50 percent of the properties that were flooded in Harris County, Texas, during Hurricane Harvey might have escaped that fate in a world without climate change, scientists reported on Thursday.
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The U.S. Just Saw Four Rare Rainfall Events, Death Valley Was One of Them

By Kevin Hurler   08/11/22  
the hottest and driest place in North America—was recently the site of an extreme bought of rainfall and subsequent disastrous flooding. This intense rainfall is rare, but was one of major thousand-year rain events that…
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