A new report, released by the Union of Concerned Scientists, forecasts that by 2030, at least 180 floods will strike during high tides every year in Annapolis, Md. In some cases, such flooding will occur twice in a single day, since tides come in and out about two times daily. By 2045, that’s also expected be the case in Washington, D.C., Atlantic City, N.J. and 14 other East Coast and Gulf Coast locations out of 52 analyzed by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The researchers used intermediate-to-high sea level rise projections from the recent National Climate Assessment to guide their predictions for future coastal flooding rates. Those projections included a rise in sea levels of five inches between 2012 and 2030, and a rise of nearly a foot between 2012 and 2045. In the absence of flood-deflecting marshes, seawalls or levees, two-thirds of the 52 communities studied can expect a tripling in the frequency of high-tide flooding during the next 15 years, the researchers concluded. Half of the communities studied are expected to be flooded more than two dozen times every year by 2030. The projections were published four months after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released an analysis of the recent rise of tidal floods, which it calls nuisance floods. That analysis revealed that nuisance floods were occurring now in some places nearly ten times more often than had been the case in the 1960s.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis