Sinking Coastal Lands Will Worsen Sea Level Rise Flooding in 24 US Cities

"In the affected cities, as many as 500,000 people and one in every 35 properties could be impacted by the flooding, and communities of color face disproportionate effects."

"Flooding could affect one out of every 50 residents in 24 coastal cities in the United States by the year 2050, a study led by Virginia Tech researchers suggests.

The study, published this month in Nature, shows how the combination of land subsidence—in this case, the sinking of shoreline terrain—and rising sea levels can lead to the flooding of coastal areas sooner than previously anticipated by research that had focused primarily on sea level rise scenarios.

“One of the things we wanted to do with this study is really emphasize the impact of land subsidence, which is often not reflected in most of the discussion around sea level rise,” said Leonard Ohenhen, the lead author of the study and a graduate student at Virginia Tech’s Earth Observation and Innovation Lab.

The study combines measurements of land subsidence obtained from satellites with sea level rise projections and tide charts, offering a more holistic projection of potential flooding risks in 32 cities located along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts."

Moriah McDonald reports for Inside Climate News March 27, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 03/29/2024