Major Coastal Areas in US to Witness 30 or More Days of Flooding by 2050: NOAA

Submitted by Andrea Cordell on Fri, 12/19/2014 - 15:05

According to a new research paper released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday, most of the coastal areas of the United States might witness 30 or more days of flooding by 2050.

The research has been published in the American Geophysical Union’s peer-reviewed online journal Earth's Future.

NOAA researchers during the research looked at the anticipated frequency which the National Weather Service considers is a nuisance flooding. These are floods that are 1 to 2 feet above the regular local high tide and can cause several inconveniences, but cause no threat to human life.

Researchers said many coastal areas in the United States are already seeing increased flooding, due to rising sea levels. The scenario will be worsened in coming years, said researchers.

William Sweet, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services and the report's coauthor, said, “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”.

These projections are completely based on data from NOAA tidal stations, which collected data for almost 50 continuous years.

Warming global temperature is responsible for thermal expansion of the oceans and melting down of ice sheet, which eventually leads to rise in sea levels.

The researchers noted that climate change has not only caused melting down of ice sheets causing rise in sea levels but some parts of the nation has also witnessed land sinking, which has raised the concerns over the issue.

As per researcher’s analysis, there could be almost 1.5 feet increase in the sea level by 2100. Sweet said within 30 to 40 years even that low-end projection would increase flooding in many areas, which would require an active and potentially costly response.