Yesterday, the New York Times published an in depth look at sea level rise in the United States. The story is a collaboration with Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization who collected and mapped sea level data for areas all over the country. Their interactive map is here.
The New York Times wrote:
The project on sea level rise led by Dr. Strauss for the nonprofit organization Climate Central appears to be the most elaborate effort in decades to estimate the proportion of the national population at risk from the rising sea. The papers are scheduled for publication on Wednesday by the journal Environmental Research Letters. The work is based on the 2010 census and on improved estimates, compiled by federal agencies, of the land elevation near coastlines and of tidal levels throughout the country.
Users can look up their zipcodes on the map to see what their risks are. Many places have a one in six chance of experiencing a foot of sea level rise by 2020. That might not seem like a lot, but even a few inches of rise can erode the soil and cause big problems. And there are 3.7 million people in the lower 48 states living within one meter of the coast. That’s over one percent of the nation’s population.
Some places are doing things to prepare. New York City has raised their pumps at sewage stations so that they don’t get inundated with the rising water. But most places haven’t really done much.
Image Credit: Flickr, go_greener_oz