Sea level rise is a result of heat-trapping pollution from human activities, which causes ice sheets and glaciers to melt, increasing the volume of water in the oceans. For example, it's estimated that sea level rise of less than two feet (0.6 meters) will affect 3.8 million people that rely on food from the Nile River delta, and sea level rise of five feet (1.5 meters) will flood out around 17 million people in Bangladesh. Argentina, Mexico and Jamaica also appear in the top 10 when measured by the impact of a one-metre rise on agricultural lands. “Tidal saline wetlands along the northern Gulf of Mexico are abundant, diverse, and vulnerable to sea-level rise,” said Nicholas Enwright, USGS researcher and lead author of the study. The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services has been measuring sea level for over 150 years, with tide stations of the National Water Level Observation Network operating on all U.S. coasts. Higher seas mean more water and more flooding during high tides, hurricanes, and rain storms. This map viewer illustrates the scale of potential coastal flooding after varying amounts of sea level rise. Sea levels around Louisiana have risen up to 24 inches since 1950, and are now rising as much as 1 inch every 2 years, mainly due sinking land and eroding shorelines. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. “Our findings provide a foundation for land managers to better ensure there is space for future wetland migration in response to sea-level rise.” This means that even if atmospheric CO2 stabilizes around current levels, the global mean sea level would still likely rise at least that high, if not higher, the scientists concluded. Nationally, sea levels have risen 6.5 inches since 1950. In the Gulf of Mexico and Mid-Atlantic, local factors, such as land subsistence, are adding to the global rate and speeding up local sea level rise. The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Sea level rise is increasing. Flooding as sea level rises could displace millions of people and lead to food shortages. Past and future sea level rise at specific locations on land may be more or less than the global average due to local factors: ground settling, upstream flood control, erosion, regional ocean currents, and whether the land is still rebounding from the compressive weight of Ice Age glaciers. Users can simulate inundation associated with one to six feet of sea level rise at various scales along the contiguous United States coast, except for the Great Lakes. In Alaska and some parts of the Pacific Northwest, local sea level is falling as local factors, such as the land rebounding from the last glaciation, overshadow the overall global trend. Changes in RSL, either a rise or fall, have been computed at 142 long-term water level stations using a minimum span of 30 years of observations at each location. Due to the variety of ways in which sea level rise can affect coastal parks along the shores of the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Gulf of Mexico, the National Park Service is researching and monitoring the possible impacts across the nation, using the collected data to improve future planning and decision-making. Because of sea level rise, tidal flooding in some areas has increased by 100% since 2000, and communities are spending over $25 billion on … Flooding has increased by an average of 233% in the last 20 years.
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