Fourth National Climate Assessment

NCA4 Web Site

Increases in Coastal Flooding

Regional changes in sea level rise and coastal flooding are not evenly distributed across the United States; ocean circulation changes, sinking land, and Antarctic ice melt will result in greater-than-average sea level rise for the Northeast and western Gulf of Mexico under lower scenarios and most of the U.S. coastline other than Alaska under higher scenarios. Since the 1960s, sea level rise has already increased the frequency of high tide flooding by a factor of 5 to 10 for several U.S. coastal communities. The frequency, depth, and extent of tidal flooding are expected to continue to increase in the future, as is the more severe flooding associated with coastal storms, such as hurricanes and nor’easters.