(ORDO NEWS) — In the US, sea levels will rise higher than the world average.
In the next 30 years, sea levels on America’s coasts will rise by as much as they did in the entire 20th century, with major eastern cities regularly hit by costly flooding, even on sunny days, experts warn.
Sea levels off the coast of the United States will be 0.25 to 0.3 meters higher by 2050, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and six other federal agencies, and parts of Louisiana and Texas are predicted to the water level will be 0.45 meters higher.
“Make no mistake: sea level rise is bearing down on us,” said Nicole Leboeuf, director of NOAA’s National Oceans Service.
On the American coast, sea levels will rise as much in the next 30 years as they did in the entire 20th century.
The projected growth is particularly worrisome in that in the 20th century, the seas along the Atlantic coast grew at the fastest rate in 2,000 years.
Leboeuf warned that the costs would be high, pointing out that most of the US economy and 40 percent of the population are on the coast.
However, the worst of long-term sea level rise from melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland is likely not to happen before 2100, ocean service oceanographer William Sweet said.
Warmer water is expanding and melting ice sheets and glaciers are adding more water to the world’s oceans.
Coastal flooding, which is now being experienced in the US, “will reach a whole new level in just a couple of decades.”
“We can see this freight train coming from over a mile away,” University of Wisconsin-Madison geologist Andrea Dutton said.
“The question is whether we will continue to let houses roll into the ocean.”
Sea levels are rising more in some places than others due to inundation of land, currents and water from melting ice.
And the biggest growth in the US will be on the Gulf Coast and East Coast, while the West Coast and Hawaii will be hit less than average, William Sweet said.
The report predicts that, on average, sea levels in the United States will rise by about 0.6 meters by the end of the century – more in the East, less in the West.
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