Rising Sea Levels

From the NYT

About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.  The new research calculates the size of the population living within one meter, or 3.3 feet, of the mean high tide level, as estimated in a new tidal data set from the NOAA. In the lower 48 states, that zone contains 3.7 million people today, the papers estimate, a figure exceeding 1 percent of the nation’s population.

The land below the 3.3-foot line is expected to be permanently inundated someday, possibly as early as 2100, except in places where extensive fortifications are built to hold back the sea. One of the new papers calculates that long before inundation occurs, life will become more difficult in the low-lying zone because the rising sea will make big storm surges more likely.

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