Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Rising Sea Levels

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Rising Sea Levels

Article excerpt

Rising sea levels could threaten an average 9% of land within 180 U.S. coastal cities by 2100, according to new research by University of Arizona (UA) scientists.

The Gulf and southern Atlantic coasts could be particularly hard hit. Miami, New Orleans, Tampa, and Virginia Beach could lose more than 10% of their land area by 2100.

This research is the first analysis of vulnerability to sea-level rise that includes every U.S. coastal city in the lower 48 with a population of 50,000 or more.

The latest scientific projections indicate that by 2100, the sea level will rise about 1 m--or more. At the current rate of global warming, sea level is projected to continue rising after 2100 by as much as 1 m per century.


"According to the most recent sea-level rise science, that's where we're heading," says lead researcher Jeremy L. Weiss, a senior research specialist in UA's department of geosciences. "Impacts from sea-level rise could be erosion, temporary flooding, and permanent inundation."

There were 40.5 million people living in the coastal municipalities the team identified, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. Twenty of those cities had more than 300,000 inhabitants.

Weiss and colleagues examined how much land area from the 180 municipalities could be affected by 1--6 m of sea-level rise. …

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