November 21, 2017
Inundation Nation: Rising sea levels
HUNTINGTON BEACH (INT) - When rising seas hit home hard, choices lie ahead for hundreds coastal communities.

Recurrent tidal flooding is one of the most obvious signs of sea level rise, which in turn is one of the most tangible consequences of global warming.

As global temperature increases, driven largely by emissions from burning fossil fuels and other human activities, the increase causes ocean water to expand and ice sheets to shrink, both resulting in sea level rise. Americans living on the East, Gulf, and West Coasts will feel the effects of sea level rise decades before coastal land is permanently underwater, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The shorter-term consequences are more extensive, more frequent, and, eventually, chronic inundation, which will dramatically alter the landscape and the livability of many coastal communities.

Smaller, isolated communities on the West Coast face substantial inundation earlier in the century due both to the slower rate of sea level rise and to higher average elevation along the West Coast than along the East and Gulf Coasts, the large communities of San Mateo in the San Francisco Bay Area and the North Coast, home to Huntington Beach in the greater Los Angeles region, join the ranks of the chronically inundated by 2100.
Story Date: July 21, 2017
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