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New report: Coastal sea levels in U.S. to rise a foot by 2050

By Henry Fountain, New York Times, February 15, 2022

“An [update to a 2017] report by researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other agencies also found that, at the current rate of warming, at least two feet of sea-level rise is expected by the end of the century.

“[Rick Spinrad, a NOAA administrator,] said that while cutting greenhouse gas emissions to limit warming was critically important, the projected sea-level rise by 2050 ‘will happen no matter what we do about emissions.’

“On the West Coast, sinking land and compaction are less common, so sea-level rise is expected to be at the lower end of projections.

“The report said that the calculated rise over the next three decades means that floods related to tides and storm surges will be higher and reach farther inland, increasing the damage.

“The report provides detailed sea-level projections for states and territories by decade for the next 100 years. Dr. Spinrad said it was meant to help local officials, planners, and engineers make decisions about where to locate or how to protect critical infrastructure like roads, wastewater treatment systems, and energy plants, and otherwise adapt to rising waters.”

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