In the US, sea levels have risen dangerously over the past 13 years, putting some coastal cities at risk. In detail, the sea level has risen by 12 centimeters from 2010 to today, in the coastal areas of the southern and southeastern states of the country This is revealed by a new US study which also identifies the four cities most vulnerable to this dramatic increase.
“The entire Southeast Coast and Gulf Coast are feeling the impact of accelerating sea level rise. It turns out that the water level associated with Hurricane Ian was the highest on record in due to the combined effect of sea level rise and storm surges," told Jianjun Yin, a climate scientist at the University of Arizona and author of one of the academic papers published in recent weeks, to the Washington Post.
In the USA the sea level has risen dangerously: the risks
The cities most threatened according to the recent study are New York, Houston, New Orleans and Miami. The rate of sea level rise since 2010 has increased by about one centimeter per year in the region, which equates to nearly five inches of sea level rise over the past 12 years to 2022, or more than double the average global.
Rising water levels, exacerbated by shrinking wetlands, mangroves and coastlines due to massive development, put millions of residents living along the US South Coast at greater risk from severe storms and flooding. Scientists believe this rapid sea level rise is a worrying sign of climate change due to global warming.
The study highlights that recent catastrophic hurricanes, including two of the strongest storms to ever hit the United States, Michael in 2018 and Ian in 202, were significantly worsened by rapidly rising ocean levels. Data shows sea levels are eight inches higher than they were in 2006 following the hurricane's devastating impact in New Orleans.
The west coast of the country, at least for now, would seem to have fewer risks from this point of view.
A new study finds that both century-long tide gauge data and more recent altimetry data reveal a rapid decadal acceleration of sea level rise over 2010-2022 along the US East and Gulf Coasts.