Though the number may not sound significantly alarming at first, it will only take 30 years for sea levels to rise by the same amount they have risen in the past 100 years.
“It’s like history is repeating itself, but in fast-forward,” William Sweet, who works at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and contributed to the report, told NPR.
The report is the most comprehensive published in the U.S. so far for predicting rising sea levels, and due to technological advances and more detailed reporting of present day effects, they are confident it’s extremely accurate.
The most affected areas will be the East Coast and Gulf Coast — with a foot-and-a-half level rise predicted for the Gulf Coast, and over a foot predicted for the East Coast. With this new information, it’s a good time to revisit the website Climate Central‘s water level maps that allow users to simulate these scenarios.
As noted in the report as well, the rise in sea levels doesn’t only refer to the rise in actual ocean water, but in contributions to more flooded roadways, washed away beaches, foundational issues for buildings, etc.
You can see what it would look like on your local map if water levels rose through a combination of sea level rise, tides, and storm surge. It gives you the option to view in meters or feet; you can try out the tool for yourself here.
NYC if the water level rose to 1 meter (about 3 feet).
NYC if the water level rose to 2 meters (6 feet).
NYC if the water level rose to 3 meters (9 feet).
NYC if the water level rose to 5 meters (15 feet).
As can be seen in the maps above, the sea would devastate the entire NYC coastline and could even encroach on more inland neighborhoods like Flatbush, Brooklyn, Astoria, Queens and especially in Lower Manhattan, like Greenwich Village.