Map: Which Parts of the Coast Will Be Underwater As Tides Rise?
The nonprofit Climate Central came out with a map that shows you which coastal areas are going to be at risk of flooding as global warming causes ocean tides to rise.
The areas in Los Angeles most likely to be flooded include the low-lying area around the ports of San Pedro and Long Beach and the area surrounding Marina Del Rey, including Venice. The map shows that Orange County stands to be one of the biggest losers as ocean tides rise, particularly the northern coast. Over 11,000 residents in Orange County are at risk of flooding if tides rise by just a foot (compared to L.A. county's 4,000). If tides rose by six feet, the current homes of over 80,000 Orange County residents would be put at risk (compared to L.A. county's 30,000).
So how likely are any of these scenarios? Climate Central says that the sea level could rise 11 inches by 2050 and scientists estimate by the end of the century sea levels could rise anywhere between two and seven feet.
The more immediate problem for us is that even if ocean levels rise just a little bit, storms could cause the tides to temporarily surge. Climate Central writes, "Southern California is unaccustomed to high water from coastal storms. Modest sea level rise will cause historically extreme water levels to become common, likely in the next few decades."
Altogether 374,000 Californians live in 160,000 homes that could be affected by tides if they rise just 4 feet from where they are now.
This isn't the first time we've heard some scary predictions about what will happen to our precious coastline as sea levels rise, but it is the most extensive map of its kind that maps the entire coast of the United States and takes into account the affected population. The New York Times writes, "While some coastal governments have previously assessed their risk, most have not, and national-level analyses have also been rare. The new package of material may therefore give some communities and some citizens their first solid sense of the threat."
Head on over to the Surging Seas interactive map to sea which coastal areas are most at risk of flooding. We've taken screenshots of Southern California, and the most flood-prone areas around northern Orange County and the ports.