Dec 5, 2013

A geological perspective on sea-level rise and its impacts along the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast

Kenneth G. Miller, Robert E. Kopp, Benjamin P. Horton, James V. Browning, Andrew C. Kemp
Earth's Future AGU Publication
  • Analyzes geological and historical sea-level records and shows a significant rate of increase in sea-level rise since the nineteenth century
  • Finds that in New Jersey, it is extremely likely that sea-level rise in the twentieth century was faster than during any other century in the last 4.3 thousand years
  • Accounting for regional and local factors, the authors project sea-level rise in the mid-Atlantic U.S. most likely about 38–42′′ (96–106 cm) over the twentieth century, but possibly as high as 66–71′′ (168–180 cm)
  • Finds that a largely anthropogenically driven global sea-level (GSL) rise of 20 cm during the 20th century caused Sandy to flood an area ∼70 km2 greater than it would have in 1880, increasing the number of people living on land lower than the storm tide by ∼38,000 in New Jersey and by ∼45,000 in New York City