Flooding Has Increased By 200-400% In The Last 20 Years2
Although the sea level has risen by 6.5 inches since 1950, nearly half of it (3 inches) has occurred in only the last 20 years. This small increase in sea level has caused a 200-400% increase in flooding nationally. Minor increases of even an inch in the sea level are causing real problems everywhere—from Texas to Florida to New York. Higher seas mean more water and more flooding during high tides, hurricanes and rainstorms.
Some Regions Have Even Faster Rates Of Sea Level Rise
The rate of sea level rise is not the same over the country. In some towns, the sea level is rising much faster than the national average. On the East Coast and the Gulf coast, the sea is rising by one inch every three years due to sinking land and a slowing Gulf Stream. On the West Coast, the sea level is increasing at a slower pace than the national average because the land is actually rising due to shifting tectonic plates.
Inches of Sea Level Rise Since 1950
We Know This Because Sea Level Is Measured Every 6 Minutes
To monitor local sea level, scientists use different equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.
Coastal Towns Are Already Spending Billions Of Dollars Today
In low lying places, roads have been raised, seawalls and pumping systems have been installed, and fresh water wells have been relocated. Some cities have sufficient resources to deal with this problem while others do not. We need solutions at the individual, local, state, and federal levels to protect our coastal communities.