Sea Level Rise Accelerating in U.S. Atlantic Coast “Hotspot”

U.S. Geological Survey
Monday, June 25, 2012

Rates of sea level rise are increasing three-to-four times faster along portions of the U.S. Atlantic Coast than globally, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report published in Nature Climate Change.
Since about 1990, sea-level rise in the 600-mile stretch of coastal zone from Cape Hatteras, N.C. to north of Boston, Mass. -- coined a “hotspot” by scientists -- has increased 2 - 3.7 millimeters per year; the global increase over the same period was 0.6 – 1.0 millimeter per year. 
Based on data and analyses included in the report, if global temperatures continue to rise, rates of sea level rise in this area are expected to continue increasing. 
The report shows that the sea-level rise hotspot is consistent with the slowing of Atlantic Ocean circulation. Models show this change in circulation may be tied to changes in water temperature, salinity and density in the subpolar north Atlantic.
"Many people mistakenly think that the rate of sea level rise is the same everywhere as glaciers and ice caps melt, increasing the volume of ocean water, but other effects can be as large or larger than the so-called 'eustatic' rise," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "As demonstrated in this study, regional oceanographic contributions must be taken into account in planning for what happens to coastal property."
Though global sea level has been projected to rise roughly two-to-three feet or more by the end of the 21st century, it will not climb at the same rate at every location. Differences in land movements, strength of ocean currents, water temperatures, and salinity can cause regional and local highs and lows in sea level.
“Cities in the hotspot, like Norfolk, New York, and Boston already experience damaging floods during relatively low intensity storms,” said Dr. Asbury (Abby) Sallenger, USGS oceanographer and project lead. “Ongoing accelerated sea level rise in the hotspot will make coastal cities and surrounding areas increasingly vulnerable to flooding by adding to the height that storm surge and breaking waves reach on the coast.”
During the 21st century, the increases in sea level rise rate that have already occurred in the hotspot will yield increases in sea level of 8 to 11.4 inches by 2100. This regional sea level increase would be in addition to components of global sea level rise.
To determine accelerations of sea level, USGS scientists analyzed tide gauge data throughout much of North America in a way that removed long-term (linear) trends associated with vertical land movements. This allowed them to focus on recent changes in rates of sea-level rise caused, for example, by changes in ocean circulation.
The report, Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America, was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.





 

Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

OTC Names Technology Award Winners

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which takes place May 4-7 in Houston, has announced 17 technologies that will receive the Spotlight on New Technology SM Award.

Jack W. Fisher Passes Away at 73

Jack W Fisher, president of JW Fishers Mfg. passed away at home after a brief illness on February 20, 2015. He was 73 years old.   The JW Fishers business was started because Fisher,

Piracy Still a Big Threat in the Indian Ocean

Underestimating the security risk in the Indian Ocean could put ships in danger once again, says maritime security company MAST Ltd.   “Whilst recent reports

Maritime Security

Piracy Still a Big Threat in the Indian Ocean

Underestimating the security risk in the Indian Ocean could put ships in danger once again, says maritime security company MAST Ltd.   “Whilst recent reports

India's Naval Help to Small Indian Ocean Nations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assigned senior officials in the Ministry of Defence with a task to “identify” and “support” maritime needs of smaller nations

Houston Ship Channel Reopens After Ships Collide

The Houston Ship Channel has reopened after a collision between a container ship and a chemical tanker, according to a spokesman with the United States Coast Guard.

Government Update

EU to Deliver Climate Pledge to UN

EU ministers agreed on Friday to send their formal promise on how much they will cut greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations ahead of climate change talks starting in November.

Statoil: Johan Castberg, Snorre 2040 Timelines Changed

The licensees in the Johan Castberg and Snorre 2040 licences have decided to spend more time on the projects. “Castberg and Snorre 2040 are two major and important projects in our portfolio,

Senate Committee Approves Vessel Discharge Reform Legislation

The effort to establish a uniform national framework for the regulation of vessel discharges took another step forward as the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved S.

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1587 sec (6 req/sec)