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News Picks : Minor coastal flooding increases as sea levels rise

By: Physics Today
31 July 2014

Ars Technica: Over the past century, seawater levels around the continental US and Hawaii have been steadily rising, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In its recent report, NOAA notes that among the consequences of sea-level rise is the ever-increasing number of minor coastal flooding events during high tide. Such "nuisance" flooding can cause a number of longer-term problems, including road closures and infrastructure deterioration. Sea-level rise has been attributed to global warming, which melts land-based ice and heats up the oceans, causing them to expand. Because sea-level rise has been slow, it is easy to ignore. Nuisance floods, however, are a better indicator that the climate is changing: Over the past 50 years, the number of nuisance floods in Annapolis, Maryland, has risen by 925%, and in San Francisco by 370%. Further troubling news is the fact that nuisance floods are going to continue to increase in frequency even if the rate of sea-level rise were to remain stable.


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