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The study found that sea levels are rising rapidly in the southern United States

The study found that sea levels are rising rapidly in the southern United States

Damage after Hurricane Ian in Bonita Springs, Fla., September 29, 2022 (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

A study published Monday found sea level rise along the southeastern coast of the United States Rapidly accelerating since 2010raising fears that tens of millions of Americans’ homes in cities across the South will be at risk of flooding in the coming decades.

“It’s a window into the future,” Sönke Dangendorf, assistant professor of river shore science and engineering at Tulane University and co-author of the study that appeared in Nature Communications, told the Washington Post.

That paper and another It was published last month in the journal Climate They discovered that sea levels along the Gulf Coast and the southern Atlantic coast have risen at a rate of 1 centimeter per year since 2010. This translates to nearly 5 inches over the past 12 years, which is twice the rate at which the average global sea level is rising over same time period.

The Climate Journal study found that recent Gulf Coast hurricanes, including Michael in 2018 and Ian — which was He blamed the 109 deaths in Florida Last year – it had a more severe impact due to sea level rise.

“It turns out that the water level associated with Hurricane Ian was the highest it has ever been due to the combined effect of sea level rise and storm surge,” Jianjun Yin, a University of Arizona climatologist and author of the Journal of Climate Study, told the paper.

Houston residents evacuate their homes after the area was inundated by Hurricane Harvey, August 28, 2017

Houston residents evacuate their homes after Hurricane Harvey swept through the area on August 28, 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that the water level in Lake Pontchartrain, an estuary that borders New Orleans, is eight inches higher than it was in 2006. Other cities threatened by rising oceans in the area include Houston, Miami, Mobile, Ala. .

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The rate of a centimeter per year is much faster than experts expected, Dagendorf said, and is more in line with projections made for the end of the century. Tidal flooding — when tides bring water to normally dry land on rainless days — has more than doubled on the Gulf Coast and Southeast Coast since the beginning of this century, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Recent years have seen records of high tide flooding obliterated. City moved to Bay St. Louis, Miss. , from three days of high flooding in 2000 to 22 days in 2020.

A study by scientists from the University of Miami, NOAA, NASA and other institutions, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, I found it Southeast sea level rise accounted for “30%-50% of flood days in 2015-2020”.

“In low-lying coastal areas, even a few centimeters of background sea level rise can break regional flood thresholds and lead to coastal inundation,” the study said.