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Earth Changes => Global Warming => Topic started by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:04:20 pm

Title: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:04:20 pm
Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
52 minutes ago


Ultimately, rising seas will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting.


Stanford University biologist Terry Root says that in a hundred years or so rising ocean waters from global warming may kill the last remaining wetlands in Palo Alto, Calif., behind her Sept. 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased.

Global warming through a combination of melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warmer waters expanding is expected to cause oceans to rise by one meter, or about 39 inches. It will happen regardless of any future actions to curb greenhouse gases, several leading scientists say. And it will reshape the nation.

Rising waters will lap at the foundations of old money Wall Street and the new money towers of Silicon Valley. They will swamp the locations of big city airports and major interstate highways.

Storm surges worsened by sea level rise will flood the waterfront getaways of rich politicians the Bushes' Kennebunkport and John Edwards' place on the Outer Banks. And gone will be many of the beaches in Texas and Florida favored by budget-conscious students on Spring Break.

That's the troubling outlook projected by coastal maps reviewed by The Associated Press. The maps, created by scientists at the University of Arizona, are based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Few of the more than two dozen climate experts interviewed disagree with the one-meter projection. Some believe it could happen in 50 years, others say 100, and still others say 150.

Sea level rise is "the thing that I'm most concerned about as a scientist," says Benjamin Santer, a climate physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

"We're going to get a meter and there's nothing we can do about it," said University of Victoria climatologist Andrew Weaver, a lead author of the February report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Paris. "It's going to happen no matter what the question is when."

Sea level rise "has consequences about where people live and what they care about," said Donald Boesch, a University of Maryland scientist who has studied the issue. "We're going to be into this big national debate about what we protect and at what cost."

This week, beginning with a meeting at the United Nations on Monday, world leaders will convene to talk about fighting global warming. At week's end, leaders will gather in Washington with President Bush.

Experts say that protecting America's coastlines would run well into the billions and not all spots could be saved.

And it's not just a rising ocean that is the problem. With it comes an even greater danger of storm surge, from hurricanes, winter storms and regular coastal storms, Boesch said. Sea level rise means higher and more frequent flooding from these extreme events, he said.

All told, one meter of sea level rise in just the lower 48 states would put about 25,000 square miles under water, according to Jonathan Overpeck, director of the Institute for the Study of Planet Earth at the University of Arizona. That's an area the size of West Virginia.

The amount of lost land is even greater when Hawaii and Alaska are included, Overpeck said.

The Environmental Protection Agency's calculation projects a land loss of about 22,000 square miles. The EPA, which studied only the Eastern and Gulf coasts, found that Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Texas and South Carolina would lose the most land. But even inland areas like Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia also have slivers of at-risk land, according to the EPA.

This past summer's flooding of subways in New York could become far more regular, even an everyday occurrence, with the projected sea rise, other scientists said. And New Orleans' Katrina experience and the daily loss of Louisiana wetlands which serve as a barrier that weakens hurricanes are previews of what's to come there.

Florida faces a serious public health risk from rising salt water tainting drinking water wells, said Joel Scheraga, the EPA's director of global change research. And the farm-rich San Joaquin Delta in California faces serious salt water flooding problems, other experts said.

"Sea level rise is going to have more general impact to the population and the infrastructure than almost anything else that I can think of," said S. Jeffress Williams, a U.S. Geological Survey coastal geologist in Woods Hole, Mass.

Even John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a scientist often quoted by global warming skeptics, said he figures the seas will rise at least 16 inches by the end of the century. But he tells people to prepare for a rise of about three feet just in case.

Williams says it's "not unreasonable at all" to expect that much in 100 years. "We've had a third of a meter in the last century."

The change will be a gradual process, one that is so slow it will be easy to ignore for a while.

"It's like sticking your finger in a pot of water on a burner and you turn the heat on, Williams said. "You kind of get used to it."


On the Net:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on sea level:

The U.S. Geological Survey on sea level rise and global warming:

University of Arizona's interactive maps on sea level rise:

Architecture 2030 study on one-meter sea level rise and cities:

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:05:49 pm

Commuters on Interstate 66 in Fairfax, Virginia, drive under an Ozone alert, May 2007. Nearly 200 countries have agreed to accelerate the elimination of chemicals that threaten the ozone and exacerbate global warming, the United Nations Environmental Program announced Saturday.(AFP/File/Paul J. Richards)

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:06:39 pm

Smoke bellows from the Syncrude facility in the northern Alberta oil sand fields, June 2007 in Fort McMurray, Canada. Nearly 200 countries have agreed to accelerate the elimination of chemicals that threaten the ozone and exacerbate global warming, a top UN official announced Saturday.(AFP/File/David Boily)

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:07:57 pm

What is believed to be voodoo priestess Marie Laveau's tomb, foreground, is decorated with x's in New Orleans' Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, Sept. 11, 2007. Some scientists say rising seas brought on by global warming could flood the cemetery in a hundred years or so. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:09:13 pm

Joe's Stone Crab restaurant, an historic landmark in Miami Beach, Fla. pictured Sept. 13, 2007, is located about three blocks from the beach but could be sitting in ocean water in a hundred years if seas rise from global warming as some scientists predict. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:10:42 pm

Climatologist Stephen Schneider of Stanford University talks about the water level before Oracle Corp. headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., Sept. 6, 2007. Rising ocean waters brought on by global warming may bring the Pacific Coast to the foot of the Oracle towers in a hundred years or so, scientists say. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:11:39 pm

What is believed to be voodoo priestess Marie Laveau's tomb, center, is decorated with x's in New Orleans' Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, Sept. 11, 2007. Some scientists say rising seas brought on by global warming could inundate the cemetery in a hundred years or so. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:12:27 pm

Yvo De Boer, left, Executive Secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and Rajendra K. Pachauri, right, Chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change speak to reporters at U.N. Headquarters in New York Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007. (AP Photo/David Karp)

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:19:04 pm
Sea Level Rise Reports

These reports were each written with the assumption that the reader had not read the other reports. As a result, some of the material is redundant. Moreover, because the science of climate change continues to evolve, the portions of the older reports that explain how much the sea will rise are somewhat obsolete. Yet even the older reports discuss issues that have not been analyzed elsewhere. Depending on your interest and how much time you have, here is our advice on what to read (and what to read first) by topic:
   Nationwide Impacts
   Beach Erosion and Barrier Islands
   Saltwater Intrusion
   Impacts on Other Nations
   Estimates of Future Sea Level Rise
   Coastal Wetlands
   Do We Need To Do Anything Now?

Nationwide Impacts of Sea Level Rise

"The Cost of Holding Back the Sea" estimates the area of dry and wet land that would erode or be inundated from a 50, 100, or 200 cm rise in global sea level, for each of seven regions comprising the contiguous 48 states. The study provides state-specific estimates of the cost of nourishing beaches, and region-specific estimates of the cost of protecting low mainland areas with dikes and pumping systems, assuming that densely developed areas will be protected. It also provides nationwide estimates of the value of undeveloped land that would be lost, and the cost of elevating homes and roads in the nation's densely developed areas. Additional details from this study are provided in Chapter 7 (Sea Level) of the 1989 Report to Congress and papers from the underlying "Appendix B," including assessments of the engineering challenges and sand requirements involved in elevating barrier islands, and tables showing projected regional land loss.

Maps of Vulnerable Lands provides state-specific estimates of the amount of land below the 1.5- and 3.5-meter contours along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. As the name suggests, this report provides maps. It also includes a that compares its estimates of the amount of low land with the land-loss estimates reported in "The Cost of Holding Back the Sea."

A Study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimated potential increases in flood damages and the area of the coastal floodplain resulting from a 1- or 3-foot rise in sea level. This study uses different assumptions than The Cost of Holding Back the Sea. Therefore, the total cost of sea level rise is probably less than the sum of the cost estimates from each of the two studies. The FEMA study assumes that the only direct effect of sea level rise on flooding is that all flood levels are 1 or 3 feet higher. By contrast, The Cost of Holding Back the Sea assumes that most structures are elevated or protected with dikes, which would decrease flood damages.

Beach Erosion and Barrier Islands

"Sea Level Rise and Barrier Islands" provides a generic explanation of the impact of sea level rise on barrier islands, as well as the four fundamental pathways by which an island can respond: dike, elevate the island, abandon, or engineered retreat. The article includes a cost-benefit study of Long Beach Island, New Jersey, which provided the basis for the assumption by the Report to Congress and Cost of Holding Back the Sea that the most common strategy for developed barrier islands would be to elevate the islands by pumping sand onto the ocean beaches and haul in fill to the low bay sides. Appendix B of the Report to Congress explores the engineering issues in detail.

The National Academy of Sciences Report Responding to Changes in Sea Level (which will be posted on this web site soon) provides a comprehensive analysis of how beaches respond to rising sea level, and the various engineering strategies that can be employed to hold back the sea. Many of the shore protection methods are described with even more detail in Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise--Shore Protection Strategies . The chapters in Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise on Charleston and Galveston also discuss general coastal processes involving barrier islands.. The chapter on "Planning for Sea Level Rise Before and After a Coastal Disaster" examines why it might be a good idea for coastal communities to decide whether they intend to hold back the sea before a serious hurricane strikes. Planning for Sea Level Rise Along the Coast of Maine discusses coastal processes along Maine's open coast.

Potential Impacts of Sea Level Rise on the Beach at Ocean City, Maryland examines the erosion likely to take place there, and makes the case for why the prospect of sea level rise implied that the State's policy that the state had for controlling erosion--rock groins--should be replaced with a policy of beach nourishment. Shortly after the study was released, the policy was revised along those lines.
Sea Level Rise and Saltwater Intrusion
Salinity in the Delaware Estuary provides general explanations of the effects of sea level rise on surface and groundwater. A quantitative assessment focuses on Philadelphia's intake on the Delaware River and aquifers in suburban New Jersey. A final section discusses implications for New York City's water supply and the once-proposed Tocks Island Dam, as well as various anticipatory planning options. Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise--Shore Protection Strategies provides additional detail on engineering solutions. Land Use Policy has two graphics that do not appear elsewhere, which illustrate why sea level rise increases salinity in rivers and aquifers. The California Chapter of the 1989 Report to Congress summarizes a study of the impacts of sea level rise on salinity in San Francisco Bay, as well as the combined impacts of sea level rise and earlier snowmelt from global warming on the infrastructure that supplies freshwater to California's Central Valley. None of these reports examine the potentially important impacts of sea level rise on South Florida's Biscayne aquifer.

The implications of salinity increases for wetlands are discussed in Sea Level Rise and Coastal Wetlands , Saving Louisiana's Coastal Wetland and the California Chapter chapter of the Report to Congress.

Floods and Flood Damages

The FEMA Report provides the most comprehensive assessment of the impact of sea level rise on flood damages from storm surges in the United States. Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise modified storm surge models to estimate changes in flood frequency and severity in Charleston, South Carolina and Galveston, Texas. The Drainage Study analyzes the impact of sea level rise on flooding from rainstorms, resulting from the "backwater effect" by which higher sea level slows the speed at which low areas drain. Appendix B of the 1989 Report to Congress includes a study of how the stormwater management system of Long Beach Island, New Jersey would have to be modified with a substantial rise in sea level.

Impacts on Other Nations

IPCC Response Strategies Report presents the results of an international panel of experts who evaluated the impacts of sea level rise and possible responses. Land Use Policy discusses the general implications of sea level rise with an international context. Many of the other reports on this site examine issues that are applicable to other nations. For example, most of the analysis of legal implications in Maryland Law Review Article are applicable to Commonwealth Nations who inherited the same public trust doctrine from England that the United States inherited. Saving Louisiana's Coastal Wetlands examines how flood-control levees, river bank stabilization, and other human activities have removed the natural processes that would otherwise enable a large river delta to keep pace with sea level rise and it's own tendency to subside. IPCC Response Strategies Report points out that similar situations have--or could--also occur along the Nile, Ganges, Niger, Mekong, Yellow and other major river deltas.

Although coral atolls are very different from U.S. barrier Islands , some of the response strategies discussed in that report may still be applicable. Land Use Policy includes a graphics that illustrates why sea level rise threatens groundwater supplies on these small islands.

Estimates of Future Sea Level Rise

EPA's 1983 Report Projecting Future Sea Level Rise developed the first set of year-by-year scenarios of sea level rise. That analysis is summarized in the chapter on "Estimating Future Sea Level Rise" in Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise Given the exploratory nature of that first analysis, it had very large error bounds, especially for the potential contribution from glaciers. In 1985, the widespread interest in the early EPA studies prompted the National Academy of Sciences' Polar Research Board to convene a panel which developed a narrower uncertainty range for the snow and ice contribution to climate change. Based on those studies, a general convention arose to examine the implications of a one-meter rise in global sea level, as well as higher and lower scenarios for sensitivity analysis. The National Academy of Sciences report Responding to Changes in Sea Level (which will soon be posted on this site) recommended that engineers analyze the implications of 50, 100, and 150 cm, and Chapter 7 of the Report to Congress assessed the impacts of rise of 50, 100, and 200 cm rise in global sea level.

Starting in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change began publishing scenarios of global sea level rise. EPA revised its own projections in the 1995 Publication The Probability of Sea Level Rise. Unlike the IPCC results, the EPA study estimates the probability of the various scenarios, and relative sea level rise at specific locations. Chapter 7 provides probability distributions of global sea level rise consistent with the IPCC sea level rise scenarios released at about the same time; Chapter 9 provides a procedure for converting the global estimates into a probability distribution of future sea level rise at specific locations. Chapter 8 explains why the projections of future sea level rise have gradually been lowered over the last two decades. "The Risk of Sea Level Rise" is a shorter peer-review journal article about the same study; but because it was published a year later it includes a discussion of comments from experts who objected to some of the aspects about how the study was conducted. A report by the Aspen Global Change Institute  provides a detailed critique of the EPA study.

Coastal Wetlands

Greenhouse Effect, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Wetlands provides the first comprehensive overview of how sea level rise might threaten coastal wetlands. Other chapters assessed vulnerability of wetlands around Charleston, South Carolina and Southern Ocean County, New Jersey based on field surveys. That report also estimated the possible nationwide loss of wetlands in a crude elevation mapping exercise using topographic maps. Those estimates were refined in an improved elevation mapping study which used LANDSAT imagery, and was reported in Appendix B of the EPA Report to Congress as well as in The Cost of Holding Back the Sea. Saving Louisiana's Coastal Wetland discusses an overall strategy, but provides no quantitative assessment.

Outside Louisiana, one possible key to wetland survival might be policies to allow wetlands to migrate inland. "Greenhouse Effect and Coastal Wetland Policy: How Americans Could Abandon an Area the Size of Massachusetts at Minimum Cost" evaluates the alternative policies under various criteria, providing the first comprehensive evaluation of rolling easement policies. The Maryland Law Review article "Rising Seas, Coastal Erosion, and the Takings Clause: How to Save Wetlands and Beaches Without Hurting Property Owners" refines the same policy analysis, expands it to include beaches and public access, and evaluates the legal ramifications in detail. Virtually all of "Coastal Wetland Policy" is either science that is described almost verbatim in Coastal Wetlands overview or the policy analysis that is described almost verbatim in Part II-C of the Maryland Law Review article. While the Maryland Law Review article focuses on what states can do to allow wetlands to migrate inland, an article in Golden Gate Law Review entitled Does the U.S. Government Realize that the Sea is Rising? provides a parallel analysis of how the federal wetlands programs could protect wetlands as sea level rises. That article also provides a table that summarizes in detail regarding shoreline structures that threaten wetlands as sea level rises. It also includes a table that overlays the elevation data from "Maps of Vulnerable Lands" with some land use data, to show that the percentage of land 5-10 feet above sea level that has been set aside in conservation areas, is far smaller than the land below 5 feet.

EPA research on wetlands vulnerability continues and is briefly described in Forthcoming Sea Level Rise Mapping Products

Do We Need to Do Anything About Sea Level Rise Now?

The primary mission of the EPA Sea Level Rise reports has been identifying instances where it is rational to prepare now for the coastal consequences of climate change, even though most of those consequences are decades away--or more. The Overview Chapter in the 1984 publication Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise: A Challenge for this Generation outlines the case for taking adaptive actions: At least some global warming and accelerated sea level rise are inevitable because of historic emissions, the inertia of the oceans, and the economy's current dependence on fossil fuels. (In the mid-1980s there was not yet a consensus that the global surface temperature is rising.) Therefore, communities and individuals will have to eventually adapt to consequences of global warming such as sea level rise. The primary question is whether to wait or take action now. The chapter on "...Before and After a Coastal Disaster" shows that the decision whether to rebuild after a coastal disaster might depend on whether property owners believe that they can rely on the government to fund efforts to hold back the sea. The Economics Chapter estimates the possible costs of sea level rise for Charleston and Galveston, and concluded that anticipating sea level rise could cut in half the eventual costs. In the Forward, EPA's original Administrator, William Ruckelshaus, points out that democracies often find it difficult to prepare for looming problems until a catastrophe occurs. "The ultimate danger is that by remaining reliant on "the catastrophe theory of planning" in an era producing catastrophes of a magnitude greater than in the past, we can place our institutions in situations where precipitate action is the sole option and it is then that our institutions themselves can be imperiled and individual rights overrun."

If nothing else, Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise demonstrated that research to improve forecasts of sea level rise has value. Society can save money by preparing for sea level rise, but such preparation is impossible without reasonably reliable projections of how much the sea might rise. Although the Overview and Independent Reviewer chapters provided a extensive explanations of the benefits of planning for sea level rise, this book did not systematically analyze whether these benefits exceed the costs of acting sooner rather than later.

Subsequent reports investigated the specifics of adaptation. The Ocean City study showed that the prospect of sea level rise justified a shift in the town's erosion control strategy from groins to beach nourishment; a change that the State of Maryland adopted shortly thereafter. The Delaware Estuary Salinity Study showed that the risk of future salinity increases could, in theory, justify setting aside land for possible dam construction, while acknowledging that other problems caused by dams might be important enough to keep the dam from actually being built. The drainage study showed that storm drains being rebuilt should probably be designed for higher sea level, because the cost of subsequently retrofitting the system later would be large compared with using somewhat larger pipers today. Saving Louisiana's Coastal Wetlands showed that a strategy had to be developed soon to deal with the combined impact of human activities and relative sea level rise in Louisiana.

A series of assessments showed that wetlands are generally at risk, including case studies of Charleston, South Carolina and Ocean County, New Jersey, as well as a nationwide assessment of wetland vulnerability. In theory, wetland ecosystems can migrate inland, but with increasing coastal development, the wetlands may be squeezed between development and the rising sea. If society wants the wetlands to migrate inland, "Coastal Wetland Policy" showed that such a landward migration needs to be planned decades before an area is flooded to have any reasonable chance of being successful.

Many people have suggested that the long-term planning necessary to allow wetlands to survive sea level rise would be difficult because of the uncertainty of future sea level rise and the long-time horizon. In response to this concern, "Coastal Wetland Policy" and other reports developed the concept of "rolling easement" and demonstrated that it would be cost-effective for private and public conservancies, as well as regulatory agencies, to implement rolling easement policies today. Planning for Sea Level Rise Along the Coast of Maine shows that rolling easements are a more cost-effective way to preserve natural shores than setbacks and other mesures that prevent development. An article in Maryland Law Review examined many of the related legal issues and showed that rolling easements do not impair property rights, unlike setbacks, which can run afoul of the "takings" clause of the U.S. Constitution's. The Maryland Law Review also showed that policies to protect intertidal ecosystems are most urgent along estuarine beaches, which are being destroyed more rapidly than marshes and swamps. That article also showed that the most important near-term decision is simply deciding which areas will be protected and which areas will retain the naturally migrating shorelines. Current efforts are focussed on accelerating the process by which state and local governments address this fundamental question.

Studies of decisions affected by sea level rise have also identified situations where no action is necessary. "Responding to Changes in Sea Level" (which will be posted soon) points out that port facilities and many other coastal structures are rebuilt frequently enough, and the impact of sea level rise is small enough, so that new facilities need merely consider current sea level. Moreover, many structures can be erected rapidly enough so that anticipating sea level rise in unnecessary. For example, there is no need to build a dike today to protect an area that will not be flooded for 50 years. Similarly, the FEMA Report concluded that sea level rise does not necessitate modifications of the federal flood insurance program, because rates can be increased as properties become more risky. "The Cost of Holding Back the Sea" makes the point that most engineering activities can focus on current sea level, while land-use decisions may require a longer-term consideration of future sea level rise.

What to Read First

If you only have an hour or two, you can get an overview of the issue with the following syllabus:
1.   Look at the maps showing lands vulnerable to sea level rise.
2.   Read the abstracts for Cost of Holding Back the Sea, the barrier Island article, and Maryland Law Review without downloading any of the full pdf reports.
3.   Read the background section on pages 1-11 of "Cost of Holding Back the Sea", figures and tables only for pages 12-24, which summarize the study, and conclusions on pages 24-26.
4.   Pages 3-8 of the barrier island article , figures and tables only for pages 9-15, then read implications section on pages 15-17.
5.   Parts I and II of the Maryland Law Review article.
6.   If you are interested in saltwater intrusion, skim reports mentioned above that address this issue.

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:22:52 pm
National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise
E. Robert Thieler, Jeff Williams, Erika Hammar-Klose
Woods Hole Field Center, Woods Hole, MA


 This project, within the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program's National Assessment, seeks to objectively determine the relative risks due to future sea-level rise for the U.S. Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Through
the use of a coastal vulnerability index, or CVI, the relative risk that physical changes will occur as sea-level rises is quantified based on the following criteria: tidal range, wave height, coastal slope, shoreline change, geomorphology, and historical rate of relative sea-level rise.
This approach combines a coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, and yields a relative measure of the system's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise.
The USGS is now involved with the National Park Service applying the CVI to coastal park units.

Title: Re: Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
Post by: Luke Hodiak on September 22, 2007, 11:30:42 pm

A Coastal Nation

Beginning with just one meter of sea level rise, our nation would be physically under siege, with calamitous and destabilizing consequences.

The US is a coastal nation with over 12,000 miles of coastline. With 53% of all Americans living in and around coastal cities and towns, it is important to understand the impact of climate-induced sea level rise on our nation. Previous studies have focused on a six-meter rise. The following study takes a more conservative approach, beginning with a sea level rise of just one meter.