U.S. Water Levels Rising to Record Levels in Past Three Decades

According to the most recent forecasts, oceans’ water levels around the United States’ coastline would rise faster in the next three decades than they have in the previous 100 years, causing greater flooding in cities located near coasts, such as New York and Miami.

According to a survey headed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sea levels might increase by up to 12 inches (30 cm) by 2050. While the levels vary by area, the inundation will increase coastal flooding and render tidal and storm surges more intense, according to the multi-agency analysis.

“Sea levels are continuing to rise at a very alarming rate,” Bill Nelson, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. “And it’s endangering communities around the world.”

Rising water levels are posing a major threat to coastal cities such as New York, Boston, and Miami, which are already prone to floods during full and new moon high tides. Flooding and increasing water levels put homes, businesses, roadways, and other infrastructure near coasts at risk. Storm surges threaten about 8 million properties, costing $1.9 trillion to rebuild, according to a CoreLogic analysis from 2021.

According to NOAA predictions, sea levels in Manhattan might rise by 2 feet around 2055 but no later than 2078, which depends on the effects of climate change. Around 7,895 individuals in Manhattan reside in low-lying neighborhoods that would flood if sea levels rose by less than 2 feet.

According to the analysis, high-tide floods in New York have more than quadrupled since 2000 and currently strike 10 to 15 times each year. Storms and floods in Miami and Charleston, South Carolina, have increased from zero to two days in 2000 to around five to ten days in 2021.