Figure : historical_and_projected_global_mean_sea_level_rise

U.S. Sea Level Rise

Figure 1.4


This figure appears in chapter 1 of the Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II report.

The maps show projections of change in relative sea level along the U.S. coast by 2100 (as compared to 2000) under the lower (RCP4.5) and higher (RCP8.5) scenarios (see CSSR, Ch. 12.5). Globally, sea levels will continue to rise from thermal expansion of the ocean and melting of land-based ice masses (such as Greenland, Antarctica, and mountain glaciers). Regionally, however, the amount of sea level rise will not be the same everywhere. Where land is sinking (as along the Gulf of Mexico coastline), relative sea level rise will be higher, and where land is rising (as in parts of Alaska), relative sea level rise will be lower. Changes in ocean circulation (such as the Gulf Stream) and gravity effects due to ice melt will also alter the heights of the ocean regionally. Sea levels are expected to continue to rise along almost all U.S. coastlines, and by 2100, under the higher scenario, coastal flood heights that today cause major damages to infrastructure would become common during high tides nationwide (Ch. 8: Coastal; Scenario Products section in Appendix 3). Source: adapted from CSSR, Figure 12.4.

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This figure was created on October 27, 2017.

This figure was submitted on November 27, 2018.

This figure was derived from scenario rcp_4_5 .
This figure was derived from scenario rcp_8_5 .


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