Before you do anything else, you might want to explore coastal areas threatened by sea level rise…

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

KEY RESOURCES

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…

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

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.
npr

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.

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.
CNN

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…

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.

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…
AP

Officials: high tide flooding more common as sea levels rise

08/10/22  
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said high tide flooding has become more common as sea levels rise and is affecting residents of coastal towns and states. Floods that used to only occur during large…

What’s driving the massive, destructive rainfalls around the country

By Brady Dennis   08/06/22  
At one weather station in Fairbanks, Alaska, each hour of rainfall is about 50 percent more intense, on average, than it was a half-century ago. The Wichita area is experiencing rains about 40 percent more…

Sea level rise is causing record-breaking coastal flooding. It’s only expected to get worse – even on days without rain.

By Li Cohen   08/04/22  
The nation's coasts are in trouble. After a year of record-breaking coastal flooding, a new report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that it's going to get more frequent, more intense and…

‘We Keep Getting Hit’: Flooded Kentucky Grows Weary After Another Natural Disaster

By Tricia Fulks Kelley and Others   08/01/22  
Firefighters and National Guard crews have swarmed into eastern Kentucky after days of deadly flooding, rescuing by the hundreds people who found themselves trapped in the perilous water.

In Kentucky, More Rain Complicates Recovery as Death Toll Rises

By Rick Rogers and Others   08/01/22  
One round of rainstorms after another blew through eastern Kentucky on Monday, deepening the misery of an already desperate region. Floodwaters again swallowed the roads that had recently reopened to allow emergency workers to scour…

Biden issues disaster declaration as Kentucky flooding kills at least 16

By Rick Childress and Others   07/29/22  
People brought harrowing stories of survival Friday as they took shelter at a school that had become a refuge for those who lost everything when muddy water rapidly seeped into their homes. 10 steps you…

With Epic Flooding in Eastern Kentucky, the State’s Governor Wants to Know ‘Why We Keep Getting Hit’

By James Bruggers   07/29/22  
After three years in office, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has grown accustomed to holding media briefings on weather disasters. In February 2020, heavy rain caused flooding across Central and Eastern Kentucky, and mudslides in Eastern…

At Least 16 Killed By Kentucky Flooding—Toll Expected To Rise

By Siladitya Ray   07/29/22  
TOPLINE At least 16 people have died and several others remain missing after heavy rains caused severe flooding in eastern Kentucky, the state’s governor announced on Friday, in the latest extreme weather event that has…

How Is Climate Change Affecting Floods?

By Elena Shao   07/26/22  
Floods can surge all year round, in every region of the world. But discerning the relationship between any given flood and climate change is no small feat, experts say, made difficult by limited historical records,…

Prolonged deluge may trigger serious Gulf Coast flooding

By Bob Henson   07/11/22  
Near-record-warm waters along the northern Gulf Coast will be turning up the burners on thunderstorm development near a stalled front. The likely result will be pulses of torrential rain, extending over much or most of…

Yellowstone Towns Had Big Summer Plans Until Floods Struck

By Jim Robbins   06/19/22  
The ominous gray clouds have vanished after deluging Yellowstone National Park with floodwaters over the weekend, leaving sunshine and blue skies as the park’s eponymous river and its tributaries recede. The weather would have been…

Yellowstone to partly reopen after historic flooding

By Annabelle Timsit   06/19/22  
Parts of Yellowstone will reopen to visitors Wednesday morning, after dramatic floods forced the national park to shut down last week. Entrances to the south loop of the park will reopen to a limited number…

Dramatic video shows large house collapsing into Yellowstone River amid historic floods

06/14/22  
A visitor from Indiana captured dramatic video of a waterfront house in Montana being swept away in a river as a torrent of rain combined with a rapidly melting snowpack caused a deluge of flooding…

How New Orleans neighborhoods are using nature to reduce flooding

By Leah Campbell   06/08/22  
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the neighborhood of Hoffman Triangle was overwhelmed by 6 feet of water. But it doesn’t take a hurricane to make this wedge in the center of the…

Tropical Weather Floods Miami Streets, Stranding Some Motorists

By Eric Adelson and Others   06/04/22  
In Miami, drivers faced slashing rains and impassable streets that disrupted the city and surrounding areas throughout Saturday. The city’s fire department responded to several people caught in cars amid the rising waters, rescuing residents…

He bought the house 9 months ago. Then the ocean swept it away.

By Brady Dennis   05/13/22  
He and his sister purchased the four-bedroom waterfront home in August for $550,000. With its airy rooms, two levels of decks and stunning Atlantic views, Patricelli envisioned it as an ideal spot to welcome friends…

Scientists in Antarctica discover a vast, salty groundwater system under the ice sheet – with implications for sea level rise

By Matthew Siegfries & Others   05/05/22  
A new discovery deep beneath one of Antarctica’s rivers of ice could change scientists’ understanding of how the ice flows, with important implications for estimating future sea level rise.

In Houston, one neighborhood’s trial – and retrial – by water

By Bob Henson   04/15/22  
One major flood can bring an entire community to its knees. Three devastating floods in three years is almost unfathomable, but that’s what some parts of Houston went through between the Memorial Day flood of…

I Would Have Never Bought This Home if I Knew It Flooded

By Elizabeth Rush   04/11/22  
I have spent much of the past decade at the soggy edges of this country listening to the people whose homes and businesses flood worse and worse year after year as tides rise higher and…

The conterminous United States are projected to become more prone to flash floods in a high-end emissions scenario

By Zhi Li and Others   04/06/22  
Flash floods are largely driven by high rainfall rates in convective storms that are projected to increase in frequency and intensity in a warmer climate in the future. However, quantifying the changes in future flood…

Fires, Then Floods: Risk of Deadly Climate Combination Rises

By Raymond Zhong   04/01/22  
Global warming is greatly increasing the risk that extreme wildfires in the American West are followed by heavy rainfall, a new study has found, highlighting the need for better preparations for hazards, like mudslides and…

Antarctic ice shelves are shattering. How fast will seas rise?

By Alejandra Borunda   03/29/22  
All scientist Erin Pettit could see when she looked at the satellite photos of the ice shelf in front of the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica was the giant crack that stretched across most of…

FEMA is giving homeowners money to prepare for floods — or move away

By Zoya Teirstein   03/23/22  
On Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, or FEMA, announced a new pot of funding for victims of flooding in four states that got pummeled when Hurricane Ida slammed into the Gulf Coast last August…

New noaa climate projections forecast increase in southern new england flooding

By Frank Carini   03/23/22  
The climate crisis has taken root. The United Nations’ latest climate report explains how deep this worldwide problem is embedded. Closer to home, another report published last month is equally alarming, for the present and…

Why Environmental Justice Is Crucial in Climate Resilience: Just Look at New Sea Rise Predictions

By Ezra David Romero   02/23/22  
The county in California most at risk from sea level rise is San Mateo, with nearly 100,000 people — half residents of color — living just three feet above the high-tide line. If climate models…

Velshi: We need to prioritize environmental justice in our efforts to fight climate change

By Ali Velshi   02/19/22  
Natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires – all made worse by the climate crisis – have something in common: they disproportionately cripple poor, Black and minority communities. Dozens of studies demonstrate how climate-aggravated natural…

U.S. sea level to rise by 2050 as much as in past century, NOAA says

By Steve Gorman   02/17/22  
Sea levels around the United States will rise up to a foot over the next 30 years due to climate change, as much as they have risen in the previous century, the National Oceanic and…

What drives sea level rise? US report warns of 1-foot rise within three decades and more frequent flooding

By Jianjun Yin   02/16/22  
A new report led by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that the U.S. should prepare for 10-12 inches of relative sea level rise on average in the next 30 years. The…

Source of mysterious global tsunami found near Antarctica

By Robin George Andrews   02/15/22  
When a mysterious series of temblors emanated from the uninhabited South Sandwich Islands, scientists all over the world found themselves scratching their heads in confusion.

Louisiana’s $2-Billion Gamble: Flood the Land to Save the Coast

By Duy Linh Tu and Julian Lim   01/27/22  
After Hurricane Ida slammed into the Louisiana coast in August 2021, it took more than 100 lives and cost billions of dollars in damage. To some here, the storm was just one more justification for…

‘Coastal county snapshots’ delivers new tools, data for climate resilience

By NOAA   01/18/22  
A major update to a popular NOAA tool used to inform planning and decision-making in coastal communities is now online. Coastal County Snapshots, available on NOAA’s Digital Coast platform, turns complex data into easy-to-understand charts,…

Crucial Antarctic ice shelf could fail within five years, scientists say

By Sarah Kaplan   12/13/21  
Scientists have discovered a series of worrying weaknesses in the ice shelf holding back one of Antarctica’s most dangerous glaciers, suggesting that this important buttress against sea level rise could shatter within the next three…

Climate change could make Virginia’s Tangier Island uninhabitable by 2051

By Trishla Ostwal   12/06/21  
Virginia’s Tangier Island is rapidly disappearing. Rising sea levels are exacerbating erosion and flooding, and could make the speck of land in the Chesapeake Bay uninhabitable within the next few decades. For years, island residents,…

How the coastal mid-Atlantic is haunted by sea-level rise

By Samantha Harrington   11/05/21  
From ghost forests to sinking farmland, coastal salt marshes are rapidly shifting as the oceans rise. The Local Motives team, Nate Murray and Cody Pfister, traveled to New Jersey and Maryland to understand the impact…

Hawaii’s beaches are disappearing due to climate change

By Janae Morris   10/31/21  
Rising sea levels paired with recent storm surges have been causing faster than usual erosion on Hawaii’s beaches and shorelines. "The coastal issues that are related to climate change are sort of the canary in…

1 big thing: Locking in sea level rise for centuries

By Ben Geman and Andrew Freedman   10/12/21  
Nations’ follow through — or lack thereof — on pledges made at the coming UN climate summit will help determine the long-term fate of tens of millions of people living in coastal mega-cities threatened by…

These images show what Boston landmarks will look like underwater depending on the climate choices we make

By Sabrina Shankman   10/12/21  
In its lifetime, Boston Common has seen grazing cattle, public hangings, and protests against slavery and wars. It has seen visits from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II and the…

The price of living near the shore is already high. It’s about to go through the roof.

By Darryl Fears and Lori Rozsa   10/01/21  
As FEMA prepares to remove subsidies from its flood insurance, a new assessment says 8 million homeowners in landlocked states are at risk of serious flooding because of climate change

Devastating floods spur new debate on how best to warn people

By Bob Henson   09/16/21  
How do you convince people and officials in charge to expect the unexpected? That question has come into the spotlight in recent weeks after two deadly yet highly contrasting U.S. flash flood events.

How Government Decisions Left Tennessee Exposed to Deadly Flooding

By Christopher Flavelle   08/26/21  
The floods that killed at least 20 people in Tennessee last weekend arrived with shocking speed and force — seemingly a case study of the difficulties of protecting people from explosive rainstorms as climate change…