NOAA report: U.S. will see a century's worth of sea-level rise by 2050

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report projects a considerable sea-level rise.

Published Wed, Feb 16 2022 4:41 AM CST   |   Updated Mon, Mar 14 2022 1:17 PM CDT

A new report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and six other federal agencies describes the expected sea-level rise.

NOAA report: U.S. will see a century's worth of sea-level rise by 2050 01 |

The 111-page report was issued on February 15th, and includes projections for sea-level rises on United States' shores to be 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 centimeters) higher than current levels by 2050. Parts of Louisiana and Texas are likely to see waters rise by up to a foot and a half (0.45 meters).

Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA's National Ocean Service, warned that the cost of such an increase would be steep, noting that forty percent of the American population and much of the economy is found along the coast. The report's lead author and oceanographer William Sweet notes that the worst of the long-term sea-level rise due to melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland isn't likely to kick in until 2100.

"We can see this freight train coming from more than a mile away. The question is whether we continue to let houses slide into the ocean," said University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscientist Andrea Dutton, who wasn't part of the report.

The U.S. will experience slightly more sea-level rise than the global average, with the greatest rises in the U.S. expected along the Gulf and East Coasts, and Hawaii and the West Coast experiencing slightly less. One of the steepest

"It's going to be areas that haven't been flooding that are starting to flood. Many of our major metropolitan areas on the East Coast are going to be increasingly at risk," Sweet said in an interview.

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