America's coastline will see a rise in sea levels in the next 30 years as much as it did in the entire 20th century. Although the worst rise in sea levels because of melting glaciers is projected to hit by 2100, the current rise is alarming and is more of a consequence of warming of the ocean water due to the rise in average temperature of the planet.
By 2050, seas lapping against the U.S. shore will be 10 to 12 inches (0.25 to 0.3 meters) higher, with parts of Louisiana and Texas projected to see waters a foot and a half (0.45 meters) higher, according to a 111-page report issued Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and six other federal agencies.
The report "is the equivalent of NOAA sending a red flag up" about accelerating the rise in sea levels, said University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscientist Andrea Dutton, a specialist in sea level rise who wasn't part of the federal report. The coastal flooding the U.S. is seeing now "will get taken to a whole new level in just a couple of decades."