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

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.



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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

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.…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows

By Denise Lu and Christopher Flavelle 10/29/19
Rising seas could affect three times more people by 2050 than previously thought, according to new research, threatening to all but erase some of the world’s great coastal cities.
Read more


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…

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…


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.
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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....
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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. ...
Read more

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.
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

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…
Read more

Officials: high tide flooding more common as sea levels rise

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…
Read more

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…
Read 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…
Read more

‘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.
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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,…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more