Sea levels are rising with increasing global temperatures. It seems that whenever there is a new estimate of the rate of melting of one or more major parts of the polar ice caps, that estimate is higher than previously thought. By the end of the century, the most aggressive estimates suggest that we will have close to 2 meters (6 feet) of sea level rise along the coasts.
So,here are three sea level rise items for you.
First, the Obama Administration will begin to plan for sea level rise in all major federal projects to which this variable pertains. See this item in the Washington Post.
The order represents a major shift for the federal government: while the Federal Emergency Management Administration published a memo three years ago saying it would take global warming into account when preparing for more severe storms, most agencies continue to rely on historic data rather than future projections for building projects.
The new standard gives agencies three options for establishing the flood elevation and hazard area they use in siting, design and construction of federal projects. They can use data and methods “informed by best-available, actionable climate science”; build two feet above the 100-year flood elevation for standard projects and three feet above for critical buildings such as hospitals and evacuation centers; or build to the 500-year flood elevation.
Second, not breaking news but something you may want to know about, is the US Army Corps of Engineers report on risk management for coastal communities, here.
Third: you may remember a while back I made a map that showed North American coast lines under the extreme scenario where all of the polar ice on Earth melts. That would represent about 80 meters of sea level rise. Well, the data I used to do that, from the USGS, had a problem, and with new data I’ve redone the map (and focused on the eastern part of the continent because it is more interesting). See: How high can the sea level rise if all the glacial ice melted?
That is all, thank you very much.