Home Sea Level Rise
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Sea Level Rise

Sea level is projected to rise at least 16 inches along the California coast by 2050, with a 55-inch rise predicted by 2100. The primary impacts from sea level rise are increases in flooding and erosion. Sea level rise will expand the area vulnerable to flooding during major storms, as well as in the rare but catastrophic event of a major tsunami. 

The term 100-year flood is used as a standard for planning, insurance, and environmental analysis.  People, infrastructure, and property are already located in areas vulnerable to flooding from a 100-year event. Sea level rise will cause more frequent—and more damaging—floods to those already at risk and will increase the size of the coastal floodplain, placing new areas at risk to flooding.



Two Bay Area counties sue 37 fossil fuel companies over sea-rise
Written by Richard Halstead, San Jose Mercury News   

7/17/17

 

Two Bay Area counties sued 37 oil, gas and coal companies Monday asserting the companies knew their fossil fuel products would cause sea level rise and coastal flooding but failed to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution.

The lawsuit was part of a coordinated litigation attack by Marin, San Mateo County and the city of Imperial Beach.

 

The lawsuit, filed in Marin County Superior Court, alleges that “major corporate members of the fossil fuel industry, have known for nearly a half century that unrestricted production and use of their fossil fuel products create greenhouse gas pollution that warms the planet and changes our climate.”

 

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Preparing for Sea Level Rise in the Humboldt Bay Area
Written by Jennifer Kalt for EcoNews   

















Arcata and Eureka are beginning to prepare for sea level rise, and there will be opportunities for the public to weigh in throughout 2017. Reducing emissions to slow the rate of climate change is more critical then ever, but we must also plan for sea level rise, since the Humboldt Bay area is experiencing sea level rise at twice the rate of the rest of the state due to tectonic subsidence. 

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NOAA Sets New Sea Level Upper Limit To Over 8 Feet
Written by John Englander, http://www.johnenglander.net   

1/30/17

 

Last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “NOAA” issued a new 44-page report, “Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States.”  They have created a new projection line for as much as 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) by 2100, the red colored line shown above, based upon a comprehensive assessment of the latest science primarily focused on Greenland and Antarctica. Eight feet of higher sustained sea level will be catastrophic for almost every coastal community in the world.

 

What makes this so hard to accept is that we have never had this level of sea level rise in all of human civilization. The last time sea level was higher than present was 120,000 years ago. Then it reached about 25 feet higher than present (7-8 meters). Based on the current temperature levels, we will almost certainly reach that height. The question is how soon. That does depend on how aggressively we work to reduce the level of greenhouse gases – largely carbon dioxide. In all my talks and briefings, I try to leave two takeaways:

 

  1. To slow rising sea level and the other effects of climate change, we must reduce greenhouse gases as quickly as possible. However, regardless of the fact that we can slow the rise, we can not stop it in the coming decades. The ice melting and the sea rising have passed a “tipping point” and will continue for centuries.
  2. We must begin planning and adapting to higher sea level NOW! That would be the smart thing to do recognizing the new record flooding in coastal areas, as a result of more severe storms, record rainfall, and extreme high tides, all compounded by rising oceans.

 

A few places are beginning the process to look at how to adapt to higher sea level — in fact there are dozens of communities around the US and globally that are starting to take this huge challenge quite seriously. This new NOAA Report and the 8 foot red line should add urgency to begin the process and to think ahead — so that our investments in buildings and infrastructure are truly good investments, ones that will protect us today and be a good foundation for communities of the future.

 

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Perils of Climate Change Could Swamp Coastal Real Estate
Written by Ian Urbina, New York Times   

Homeowners are slowly growing wary of buying property in the areas most at risk, setting up a potential economic time bomb in an industry that is struggling to adapt.

 

11/24/16

 

MIAMI — Real estate agents looking to sell coastal properties usually focus on one thing: how close the home is to the water’s edge. But buyers are increasingly asking instead how far back it is from the waterline. How many feet above sea level? Is it fortified against storm surges? Does it have emergency power and sump pumps?

 

Rising sea levels are changing the way people think about waterfront real estate. Though demand remains strong and developers continue to build near the water in many coastal cities, homeowners across the nation are slowly growing wary of buying property in areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

 

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‘Arcata is not going to be here’ – city to adapt, protect and retreat from sea level rise
Written by Kevin Hoover, Mad River Union   

12/25/16

 

“By 2050, this will be normal,” said Aldaron Laird, standing near the top of an Arcata wastewater treatment pond levee as waves broke at his feet.

 

A small group had trekked out to the Rising Tides Bench during a nine-foot King Tide on Dec. 13 for a discussion of sea level rise, its imminence and consequences.

 

While the bay’s present borders can more or less withstand today’s King Tides – also known as perigean spring tides, which coincide with maximum gravitational pull by the moon and sun – that won’t be the case when they ride in on top of tomorrow’s raised sea levels. At that point, seawater would overtop current levees and inundate coastal areas, including homes, farms, businesses and critical public infrastructure.

 

The higher sea levels are not an “if,” they’re a “when.” What we don’t know is exactly when.

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