Cities & Communities
WASHINGTON (Reuters/Deborah Zabarenko) – Rising seas spurred by climate change could threaten 180 U.S. coastal cities by 2100, a new study says, with Miami, New Orleans and Virginia Beach among those most severely affected.
Previous studies have looked at where rising waters might go by the end of this century, assuming various levels of sea level rise, but this latest research focused on municipalities in the contiguous 48 states with population of 50,000 or more.
Cities along the southern Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico will likely be hardest hit if global sea levels rise, as projected, by about 3 feet (1 meter) by 2100, researchers reported in the journal Climate Change Letters.
Sea level rise is expected to be one result of global warming as ice on land melts and flows toward the world’s oceans.
Using data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the scientists were able to calculate in detail how much land could be lost as seas rise, said study author Jeremy Weiss of the University of Arizona.
Rising coastal waters threaten an average of nine percent of the land in the 180 coastal cities in the study.