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Rising sea levels could double flood danger in coastal cities

Scientists have found that a mere 4 to 8 inches, of sea level rise — which is expected by 2050 — will more than double the frequency of serious flooding events in many parts of the globe, including along the California coastline. The findings, described in Scientific Reports, highlight the environmental and economic impacts of sea level rise on coastal areas, and the need to properly predict and prepare for these effects. Researchers have long made global-scale estimates of sea level rise and analyzed what effects the ocean’s ascent will have on coastal erosion, on the environment and on human communities. “Most of these tide gauges are within harbors or in protected areas, so they don’t record any water level associated with waves,” said Sean Vitousek, a coastal scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Even on islands in the Pacific and other equatorial regions where waves are smaller and the tides bring only a few centimeters of change, waves can have an outsize impact — in part because humans may build closer to the water line in those areas and be unprepared for the rise in sea levels.

Article by By Amina Khan (c) Page One News - Read full story here.