Last updated July 11, 2019

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

  • 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