HONOLULU (KHON2) — A federal report warns that sea level along America’s coastline is projected to rise about a foot, on average, in the next 30 years. That’s as much as the rise measured over the last 100 years.
For Hawaii, the rise is anticipated to be between six to eight inches by 2050.
We’re Hawaii’s weather station, get the latest forecast and radar information here
Tuesday’s report combines research from several federal agencies including NOAA, NASA, FEMA, U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency. This is the first update since 2017.
According to the report, sea level rise will vary regionally along U.S. coasts because of changes in both land and ocean height. The Gulf coast will get hit hardest, especially Texas and Louisiana — sea level rise in the next three decades is anticipated to be, on average, between 14 to 18 inches.
One of the key takeaways from the report is more damaging flooding projected. Sea level rise means an increase in tide and storm surge heights that will reach further inland. By 2050, “moderate” flooding is expected to happen more than 10 times as often as it does today, the report said. That’s four events per year, and this can be intensified by local factors.
“Major” flooding, which is often destructive, is projected to happen five times as often in 2050 as it does today. However that’s less than one event per year.
Another key takeaway is the current and future emissions and how they will determine the amount of additional rise in the future.
The greater the emissions, the greater the warming and the greater the likelihood of higher sea levels, the report said. About two feet of sea level rise along America’s coastline is more likely between 2020 and 2100 because of emissions to date, and failing to curb future emissions could cause even more of a rise.
This multi-agency effort offers projections out to the year 2150 to help communities assess potential changes in tide heights in order to adapt to sea level rise. Continuously tracking why and how sea level is changing is important for making adaption decisions.
Stolen jewels, boa constrictors killing owners, check out Weird News here
In the coming months, a team of professionals will be releasing a guide on applying and integrating the report into local planning.