A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests the coastal regions of the United States will experience 30 days of flooding per year by 2050 thanks to rising sea levels.
Frequent flooding predicted for coastal regions
Researchers looked at the anticipated frequency of nuisance flooding. These floods are defined as those being one to two feet higher than regular high tides. Although these floods are not necessarily dangerous to human life, they could still pose a serious problem.
One oceanographer for NOAA, William Sweet, explained, “Coastal communities are beginning to experience sunny-day nuisance or urban flooding, much more so than in decades past. This is due to sea level rise. Unfortunately, once impacts are noticed, they will become commonplace rather quickly.”
It is noted that some areas are already experiencing an increased amount of flooding. The details regarding this report were published in the Earth’s Future journal, a peer-reviewed online magazine for the American Geophysical Union. Projections are based on data from the NOAA tidal stations of at least a 50-year continuous record demonstrate that warm temperatures created thermal expansion of the ocean, melting ice sheets, which leads to a rise in the sea level.
It is predicted that major cities in the coastal regions will experience flooding sooner or later. The cities on this list include Baltimore, Boston, the District of Columbia, Philadelphia, New York City, San Diego and San Francisco.
Changes in the Arctic
Earlier this week, NOAA also released its annual Arctic Report Card, in which it reported that arctic temperatures continue to increase at twice the global air temperatures. The 2014 Arctic Report was a collaboration of 63 authors from 13 different countries. The report indicates Alaska is experiencing temperature anomalies of 18 degrees Fahrenheit higher than January’s average, temperatures of the Arctic Ocean continue to rise, and the amount of snow in the Arctic region remains below average.
Craig McLean, acting assistant administrator for NOAA, added, ” Arctic warming is setting off changes that affect people and the environment in this fragile region, and has broader effects beyond the Arctic on global security, trade, and climate. This year’s Arctic Report Card shows the importance of international collaboration on long-term observing programs that can provide vital information to inform decisions by citizens, policymakers and industry.”