A new report led by NOAA warns that the country’s coasts will be hit by fast sea level rise between now and the year 2050.
Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency estimate that the U.S. will experience as much sea level in the next 30 years as it witnessed in the previous 100 years.
The Gulf coast, especially Texas and Louisiana, will get hit hardest.
The Atlantic coast will also see higher than average sea level rise.
It will be less on the Pacific coast.
Scientists warn that these higher sea levels will mean more frequent coastal flooding, even where there aren’t any storms or heavy rainfall.
Floods are expected to be more damaging.
NOAA predicts storm surge heights will rise and reach further inland.
Scientists also warned that emissions are contributing to higher sea levels.
They warn that “failing to curb future emissions could cause an additional 1.5 - 5 feet of rise for a total of 3.5 - 7 feet by the end of this century.”
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, hopes this new information will help coastal communities plan ahead.
“We must redouble our efforts to cut the greenhouse gases that cause climate change while, at the same time, help our coastal communities become more resilient in the face of rising seas,” said Raimondo in a NOAA news release.
Several government agencies contributed to the report, including NASA, EPA, USGS, DoD, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.