Dec 16, 2018 | Updated: 09:51 PM EST

Rising Sea Level Will Double The Frequency Of The Coastal Flooding By Mid-Century

May 20, 2017 08:18 AM EDT

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Researchers recently tracked the rising sea level due to the global warming. They observed that it can enhance and double the chances of frequent coastal flooding by 2050.

 According to this research study, the tropical regions will be the worst affected areas on earth by the coastal flooding. The increment of the ocean watermark by 10-to-20 centimeter globally would double the risk of coastal flooding in the regions, existing in the high latitude. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Vancouver have the chances to be highly exposed to this situation. In a word, the rising sea level would affect the cities exist throughout the seaboard of North America.

The jump in the ocean level would increase the flooding incidents in the tropical areas along with the populated river deltas of Africa and Asia. Cities like Kochi, Mumbai, Abidjan and much more would face the impact of the rising sea level, even at the low end, Phys.org reported. Sean Vitousek, the lead author of the study and climate scientist at the University of Illinois, uttered significantly about the frequency of the coastal flooding.

Vitousek says the increments of the sea level by 5-to-10 centimeters will double the frequency of the flooding. The increasing frequency of the coastal flooding with the climate change will surely challenge the existence of the coastal communities globally. The situation would be very grim for the small island nations as they are more vulnerable to this flooding. So the rising sea level would be a great matter of concern for many areas on earth.

Storms are the key causes of the coastal flooding and impact of this flooding increases when the large waves, high tides and the storm converge. The Philippines experienced Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 that left 7000 people dead or missing. The U.S. also faced the wrath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. That means these two nations have witnessed the aftermath of flooding and now the rising sea level would be another contributing factor to it.

The increment of the warm ocean water and rapid melting of the glaciers and ice sheets play a significant role in the rising sea levels. According to Vitousek, so far the reports about coastal flooding only include storm surges and the extreme tides. Popular journal Scientific Reports revealed the whole fact. Previous studies had the observational data that don't include the important factor that wave has the significant role behind this flooding.

Vitousek and the colleagues used a statistical method named the extreme value theory and a computer modeling to complete the observational data. While assessing the wave factor they actually tried to know the rise of the sea level that can double the frequency of the coastal flooding. Currently, the rise of the sea level is increasing by 3 to 4 millimeters every year. This rising sea level would accelerate with the shedding of the ice blocks close to the polar regions.

This shedding of the ice blocks is acute in the Antarctica and Vitousek described this complete fact, as the sea level "wild card". He said the occurrence of the flood levels in the tropics would occur every year if ocean water levels increase 25 centimeters by 2050. Currently, it occurs every fifty years. It is now evident that the rising sea level would be very much responsible for the frequent coastal flooding by the mid-century.

 

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