A new NASA study reveals that most of the US coasts could see a one-foot rise in sea level by 2050.

Sea level along the coasts of the contiguous United States could rise as much as 1 foot above the waterline today by 2050, according to a new analysis of three decades of satellite observations.

Scientists hope these studies will help coastal communities prepare for any type of near-term flooding, whether catastrophic or minor.

Global sea level has been rising for decades due in part to a warming climate. Predicting exactly how fast it will increase over time is something scientists have struggled with over the years.

The findings of NASA’s Sea Level Change team support the higher-range scenarios included in a major report from several agencies in February.

Sea level along contiguous U.S. coasts could rise as much as 1 foot above today’s waterline by 2050, according to a new analysis of three decades of satellite observations.

Global sea level has been rising for decades due in part to a warming climate.  Above: This image of Earth shows sea level measured by the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite in 2021. Red areas are areas where sea level is above normal while blue indicates lower than normal.  The satellite collects measurements of about 90% of the Earth's circumference

Global sea level has been rising for decades due in part to a warming climate. Above: This image of Earth shows sea level measured by the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite in 2021. Red areas are areas where sea level is above normal while blue indicates lower than normal. The satellite collects measurements of about 90% of the Earth’s circumference

This report predicted an average rise of 10 to 14 inches for the East Coast, 14 to 18 inches for the Gulf Coast and 4 to 8 inches for the West Coast.

A team led by scientists from the Space Agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California used 28 years of satellite measurements from 1993 to 2020 – looking in which direction the trends were heading – to determine that sea level rise will likely be within the upper range of estimates for all Regions.

In their study published in Nature, they used gridded measurements of sea level generated by a network of satellites combined with tide gauge observations to extrapolate the rate of elevation between now and 2050 based on data from 1993 to 2020.

NASA notes that trends are much higher along the southeastern and Gulf coasts of America than the northeastern and western coasts.

However, there is uncertainty within these forecasts, which is caused by a combination of factors – including the impact of storms, climate variability, and natural sinking or shifting of the land surface along different parts of the coast.

In 1989, James Hansen, then director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and now studying climate at Columbia University, mentioned in an interview that the West Side Highway—which runs along the Hudson River in New York City—would be underwater during 20 years.

Although New York City was devastated by flooding during Superstorm Sandy, the West Side Highway is not under water.

In their study published in Nature, they used gridded measurements of sea level generated by a network of satellites combined with tide gauge observations to extrapolate the rate of elevation between now and 2050 based on data from 1993 to 2020. The 100-year record was broken in St. Louis After seven inches of rain fell overnight which resulted in flash floods

In their study published in Nature, they used gridded measurements of sea level generated by a network of satellites combined with tide gauge observations to extrapolate the rate of elevation between now and 2050 based on data from 1993 to 2020. The 100-year record was broken in St. Louis After seven inches of rain fell overnight which resulted in flash floods

However, there is uncertainty within these forecasts, which is caused by a combination of factors - including the impact of storms, climate variability, and natural sinking or shifting of the land surface along different parts of the coast.  Above: Definition of coastal areas used in this study: northeast (blue), southeast (orange), bay (red), west (purple).  The tide gauges used are shown as white markers.

However, there is uncertainty within these forecasts, which is caused by a combination of factors – including the impact of storms, climate variability, and natural sinking or shifting of the land surface along different parts of the coast. Above: Definition of coastal areas used in this study: northeast (blue), southeast (orange), bay (red), west (purple). The tide gauges used are shown as white markers.

NASA's Ben Hamlington said:

“The bottom line is that when we look forward to what we might see in the coming years, we need to look at these higher possibilities,” said NASA’s Ben Hamlington. Sea level change from 2020 to 2050 for four different regions along the coasts of the United States: the northeast coast (a), the southeast coast (b), the Gulf coast (c), and the west coast (d).

“A major takeaway is that sea level rise along the US coast has continued to accelerate over the past three decades,” said Ben Hamlington of JPL, NASA’s Sea Level Change team leader and co-author of both the new study and the previous study. report in a statement.

Hamilton said scientists are trying to improve estimates of sea level for near-term mapping of communities.

“We’ve heard from practitioners and planners along the coasts that they need more information on shorter timescales – not looking 70 or 80 years into the future, but looking 20 or 30 years into the future,” he said.

“The bottom line is that when looking forward to what we might see in the coming years, we need to consider these higher possibilities.”

And he said:

“We’ve heard from practitioners and planners along the coasts that they need more information on shorter timescales – not looking 70 or 80 years into the future, but looking 20 or 30 years into the future,” he said. Above: An illustration of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite. Launched in November 2020, it is the latest in a series of spacecraft that have collected ocean elevation measurements for nearly 30 years.

“A major takeaway is that sea level rise along the US coast has continued to accelerate over the past three decades,” said Ben Hamlington of JPL, NASA’s Sea Level Change team leader and co-author of both the new study and the previous study. report in a statement. Above: A building submerged in water amid flooding in Canton, Mississippi, US August 24, 2022 In this screenshot obtained from a social media video

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