In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled the northeast United States this week, we can't help but think about how even small changes in sea levels put the country's ports and coastal towns at risk. And rises in sea levels due to climate change, coupled with storm surges and high tides, can send water further and further inland.
This slideshow highlights some of the U.S. cities most at risk, according to a sea level rise analysis released in March by the nonprofit Climate Control. The study, called Surging Seas, took into account data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Census, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In the New York Harbor, for example, (shown here), by the year 2100, there is a 1 in 6 chance sea level rise, storm surge, and tides will combine to send waters rising above the 10-foot mark at the nearest flood risk indicator site at The Battery. Below the 10-foot rise mark in New York, there are 702,867 people, 302,005 homes, and 35,237 acres of land.
By 2100, there is a 1 in 6 chance the combined elements of sea level rise, storm surge, and tides will rise above the 7-foot mark at Miami's nearest flood risk indicator site at Vaca Key, Fla., according to Surging Seas.
Below the 7-foot rise mark in Miami, there are 132,373 people, 68,451 homes, and 7,044 acres of land.
The OECD study ranked Miami as the No. 1 most exposed city in the world in terms of assets exposed to coastal flooding, with more than $416 billion in assets at stake.