IS SEA LEVEL RISING?
HOW DOES SEA LEVEL RISE AND STORM SURGE INTERACT?
WHY IS THE SEA LEVEL RISING?
HOW DO TIDAL CYCLES AFFECT COASTAL FLOODING?
CLIMATE CHANGE AND FLOODING
HOW CAN NJ FLOOD MAPPER BE USED FOR LONG RANGE PLANNING?
NOW WHAT DOES MY COMMUNITY DO?
Global sea level and the Earth’s climate are closely linked. The Earth’s climate has warmed about 1.8°F during the last 100 years. The two major causes of global sea level rise are thermal expansion of the oceans (water expands as it warms) and the loss of land-based ice due to increased melting. Along the Mid-Atlantic Coast, coastal lands are subsiding further exacerbating sea level rise. In addition, oceanographic effects due to shifting of the Gulf Stream will potentially affect sea level in this region.
Global sea level is projected to rise during the 21st century at a greater rate than during 1961 to 2003. Thermal expansion is currently contributing about half of the average rise, but land ice will lose mass increasingly rapidly as the century progresses. It is uncertain how much of the current land ice located in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets may melt. Other factors include changes in ocean dynamics, glacial isostatic adjustment and sediment compaction.