That model underestimates the height of annual floods by an average of 4.3 inches, relative to one-year flood heights estimated using standard methods at U.S. tide gauges with at least 30 years of hourly water level data. Environmental Research Letters, 12(4), 044013. http://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa6512 Stocker, T. et al. Sea Level Rise. Sefrioui S. (2017) Adapting to Sea Level Rise: A Law of the Sea Perspective. 7 014032 https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/7/1/014032/meta; Buchanan, M.K., Kopp, R.E., Oppenheimer, M. et al., Climatic Change (2016) 137: 347. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-016-1664-7 Between 1900 and 2016, the globally averaged sea level rose by 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in). By 2100, land now home to 200 million people could sit permanently below the high tide line. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51274-7_1 The Climate Central sea level rise group conceived and maintains this tool. However, this report focuses on median projections from a sea level rise model that does not incorporate the higher end of potential ice sheet sensitivity (Kopp et al. Nat.  Maya K Buchanan et al 2017 Environ. Lett. This population is almost certainly protected to some degree by existing coastal defenses, which may or may not be adequate for future sea levels. The consequences range from near-term increases in coastal flooding that can damage infrastructure and crops to the permanent displacement of coastal communities. Melting ice sheets will cause higher sea-level rise in the state due to how the Earth rotates and gravitational pull on the waters And well before that land is flooded, residents will face saltwater intrusion into freshwater supplies and frequent flooding. Accurately measuring coastal elevation over large areas is neither easy nor cheap. Integrates the leading sea level rise science, local flood history, and cutting-edge elevation data Customizable by year, projection type, sea level rise model, pollution scenario, and more Combine these layers with your own GIS data to learn what areas you care about are at risk of flooding Although SRTM data are freely available online, they are less reliable than lidar. Sea level rise is one of the best known of climate change’s many dangers. This will happen not just in the distant future, but also within the lifetimes of most people alive today. Back to top 9. Sea level rise isn’t consistent across the globe. So are Tianjin, the main port for the capital city of Beijing, and the Pearl River Delta region, an urban agglomeration comprising several major mainland cities and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau (explore map at coastal.climatecentral.org). Flooding can be costly because it can displace productive local economies dependent on density and convenient coastal locations. This report is based on a pollution scenario known as Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5, which assumes that humanity will moderately reduce warming emissions roughly in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement. By 2050, land now home to 93 million people could be lower than the height of the local average annual coastal flood. Combining CoastalDEM with sea-level-rise and coastal-flood models produces new estimates of exposure to rising seas around the world (box 2). Staff members are authorities in communicating climate and weather links, sea level rise, climate. Story By: Climate Central Data from: Climate Central, USGC, Google. New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding. 11. A new interactive map from nonprofit organization Climate Central gives an unsettling visualization of what New York City would look like, should sea levels drastically rise. Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). Surging Seas collects these sea level resources and more. 2) Population data. The Facts About Sea Level Rise. Please consider supporting our nonprofit efforts. Since 1900, it's gone up an average of eight inches around the world, due to global warming. Box 5. 14. Sea level rise is a global story, and it affects every coastal nation. 4. Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. Shanghai, which is the country’s most populous city, is projected to be particularly vulnerable to ocean flooding in the absence of coastal defenses (box 4). Even as land home to 200 million people today will be threatened by permanent inundation, areas now home to an additional 360 million will face the threat of at-least annual floods, totalling more than half-a-billion people on highly vulnerable land. Deep, immediate cuts to global emissions would modestly reduce the danger posed by rising seas this century. Back to top Bright, E. A., Coleman, P. R., Rose, A. N. & Urban, M. L. Landscan 2010 (2011). As a result, projections based on CoastalDEM may underestimate the extent of population exposure to future flooding. In small islands states, as elsewhere, land could become uninhabitable well before it disappears. Home to 26 million people, Shanghai is China’s biggest single urban agglomeration. In practice, the costs will run deeper than immediate physical damage to buildings and infrastructure, or the costs of adaptation, which will never be perfect. To estimate the height of local annual floods above sea level, this analysis uses a global model developed by Muis et al. How much it will rise depends mostly on the rate of future carbon dioxide emissions and future global warming. & Messina, J. 5) Protective features. In Proceedings of the ASPRS/MAPPS 2009 Fall Conference 351 (2009). Bright, E. A., Coleman, P. R., Rose, A. N. & Urban, M. L. Landscan 2010 (2011). Sea level rise is a result of heat-trapping pollution from human activities, which causes ice sheets and glaciers to melt, increasing the volume of water in the oceans. As humanity pollutes the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the planet warms. Kulp, S. A. Predicted Sea Level Rise Impacts on Major Cities from Global Warming Up to 4°C. In recent decades, China’s coastal provinces have attracted millions of migrants from the country’s interior and have become important centers in the global economy. Notably, the benefits of deep emissions cuts would reach far beyond sea level rise, reducing the danger posed by climate change’s many other risks. Developed using machine learning working with more than 51 million data samples (see methodology), the new dataset is substantially more accurate than SRTM, particularly in densely populated areas—precisely those places where the most people and structures are threatened by rising seas. Reassessment of 20th century global mean sea level rise. Springer, Cham. Risk Finder includes projections, analysis, and downloadable graphics and reports for every coastal city, county, and state -- and more -- in the contiguous U.S. The Climate Central sea level rise group conceived and maintains this tool. The second mechanism is the melting of ice over land, which then adds water to the ocean. Source: The Florida Oceans and Coastal Council. Wong, T. E., Bakker, A. M. & Keller, K. Impacts of Antarctic fast dynamics on sea- level projections and coastal flood defense. Sea level is on the rise. 8. Tools from NOAA, Climate Central, Information is Beautiful, and EarthTime are helpful for visualizing the effects of sea level rise. Sea level rise is a game of millimeters a year, but those millimeters add up to a huge amount of water entering the world’s oceans. Shortridge, A. “Cities boom and bust,” said Benjamin Strauss, coauthor of the new study and vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, which researches and reports on climate change. For more details, see Kulp and Strauss 2019, published in Nature Communications. Tighe, M. & Chamberlain, D. Accuracy Comparison of the SRTM, ASTER, NED, NEXTMAP USA Digital Terrain Model over Several USA Study Sites DEMs. The Climate Central sea level rise group conceived and maintains this tool. Hard to miss the human influence in the 20th century. Muis, S. et al. Sea level rise is a near term danger: today’s communities must make choices not just on the behalf of future generations, but also for themselves. The residents of small island states could face particularly devastating losses. If governments seek to limit future impacts from ocean flooding, they could also avoid new construction in areas at high risk of inundation, while protecting, relocating, or abandoning existing infrastructure and settlements. As a result, SRTM data generally overestimate elevation, particularly in densely forested and built-up areas. A new interactive map from nonprofit organization Climate Central gives an unsettling visualization of what New York City would look like, should sea levels drastically rise. Sea level can rise by two different mechanisms with respect to climate change. But in places where it is possible to compare CoastalDEM compare against lidar, CoastalDEM still underestimates population exposure, meaning that, on average, CoastalDEM appears to overestimate coastal elevation in populated areas. Despite these existing defenses, increasing ocean flooding, permanent submergence, and coastal defense costs are likely to deliver profound humanitarian, economic, and political consequences. As humanity pollutes the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the planet warms. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). The city already faces flooding driven by heavy rain and other events; by midcentury, much of Kolkata could lie in the annual coastal flood risk zone. Underestimates of flood heights produce underestimates of inundation. Estimates of future economic losses from sea level rise vary depending on the amount of climate pollution and subsequent rise projected, as well as other factors, such as whether future population growth, innovation, or migration are considered. Risk Zone Map shows near-term sea level rise and coastal flood threats. URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425711000678. The most recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we can expect the oceans to rise … Sea Level Rise: New York Projections and Impacts Summary of impacts and projections, with link to December 2010 special task force report to the NY legislature on sea level rise. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise: Advancing Waters As the climate warms, rising sea levels will mean more damage from hurricane storm surge. Climate Central has created an interactive, zip-searchable map of the U.S. to show the 20 ft of sea level rise that would be locked in by 2°C (3.6°F) of global warming, based on a newly published Science study. By 2100, CoastalDEM’s elevation data show, land currently home to 200 million people could fall permanently below the high tide line. *Maps do not factor in potential coastal defenses, such as seawalls or levees, and are based on elevation, rather than flood models. Bakker, A. M. R., Wong, T. E., Ruckert, K. L. & Keller, K. Sea-level projections representing the deeply uncertain contribution of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Kopp, R. E. et al. Climate Central just completed a novel analysis of worldwide exposure to sea level rise and coastal flooding. Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. The burning of fossil fuels increased the average global temperature over the years, and disproportionately increased temperatures across the Arctic, resulting in … SRTM is known to contain significant error caused by factors such as topology, vegetation, buildings, and random noise. Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. Low-lying Jiangsu Province, which abuts Shanghai, is also vulnerable. In the Maldives, the figure is one in three. Experts say yes, Report: Flooded Future: Global vulnerability to sea level rise worse than previously understood, Extreme Heat: When Outdoor Sports Become Risky, Climate Change is Threatening Air Quality across the Country, Ocean at the Door: New Homes and the Rising Sea. Risk Finder includes projections, analysis, and downloadable graphics and reports for every coastal city, county, and state -- and more -- in the contiguous U.S. relative sea level rise, which is the increase in sea level recorded relative to land and is affected by land movement at the tide gauge site. Finally, the relatively coarse spatial resolution of LandScan data likely introduces some error into results (LandScan estimates population on a global grid of roughly 1km x 1km cells). All of them are expensive, limiting the options available for a city in decline. Bakker, A. M. R., Wong, T. E., Ruckert, K. L., & Keller, K. (2017). Box 3 (below) details caveats and limitations for this report’s findings. That model, CoastalDEM, shows that many of the world’s coastlines are far lower than has been generally known and that sea level rise could affect hundreds of millions of more people in the coming decades than previously understood. Every global shore touches the same ocean, and the ocean is rising. Global data on protective features such as levees and seawalls are not publicly available, so those features, which reduce exposure to sea level rise, are not incorporated into this analysis. According to a Climate Central report this week, “Sea level rise is one of the best known of climate change’s many dangers. Research. By that year, projected sea level rise could push average annual floods above land currently home to some 36 million people. Although values derived using CoastalDEM represent cutting-edge projections of human exposure to global sea level rise this century, there are several caveats to note about the findings described in this report: 1) Bias in CoastalDEM. Some coastal areas see triple the average rate of rise while others don’t observe any changes, or can even see a drop in sea level. Special Thanks. Our scientists publish and our journalists report on climate science, energy, sea level rise… Climatic Change 144, 347–364 (2017). After a period of approximately 2,000 years of little change (not shown here), global average sea level rose throughout the 20 th century, and the rate of change has accelerated in recent years. To the many organizations that have financially supported Climate Central and its sea level program, including The Kresge Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation. The city is the world’s busiest container port and mainland China’s top financial center. Coastal displacement could shrink local tax bases, straining municipalities’ abilities to pay for public goods such as education. Downloadable data includes local, state and national analysis results, and our methods explain in detail how we generated our data and maps. Sea level rise model: Kopp et al. By overlaying social and economic data on a map that depicts sea level rise, a community can see the potential impact that sea level rise can have on vulnerable people and businesses. Back to top. This Climate Central map shows how […] IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 52, 4823–4831 (2014). Scientists agree that climate change has been driving a rise in global sea level, and the rise will accelerate, leading to ocean intrusion on land and aggravated coastal flood risk. Special Thanks. 18. sea level rise, compared to global rates. 6) Local annual floods. “Evaluating the Economic Cost of Coastal Flooding,” CEPR Discussion Papers 13128, C.E.P.R. More sea level resources from Climate Central. 2014, median climate sensitivity. However, global population has grown since 2010 and is projected to grow further this century, including in countries exposed to sea level rise and annual flooding. National Bureau of Statistics of China, National Data, custom information acquired via website. & Nagy, Dávid Krisztián & Oppenheimer, Michael & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban & Strauss, Benjamin H., 2018. Climate Central’s new mapping tool enables users to explore risks over time, for any coastal location in the world, incorporating multiple pollution scenarios, leading sea level rise models, and the most accurate available elevation data available—including Climate Central’s new CoastalDEM® elevation data for areas outside the United States. Separately, Climate Central added in local flood risk statistics approximating the one-year return level (approximately annual) water height (Muis et al. Ice sheet contributions to future sea-level rise from structured expert judgment. It is the peer-reviewed scientific paper upon which this report is based. The potential response of major ice sheets to rapid warming remains an area of deep and consequential uncertainty. Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections. Environmental Research Letters 12, 044013 (2017). Moderate emissions cuts (RCP 4.5), Kopp et al. And as … And in states around the world, mass displacement could shape national politics. Global and Planetary Change 146, 179–189 (2016). Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 2013). Climate Central converted elevation data to reference local mean higher-high water levels (roughly, high tide lines, derived using satellite measurements of sea surface heights and using global tidal models), and compared these elevations to sea level rise projections (Kopp et al. A high-end sea level rise probabilistic projection including rapid Antarctic ice sheet mass loss. But the evidence suggests that those costs will be steep. A global reanalysis of storm surges and extreme sea levels. 2014) to find regions that could permanently fall under the new high tide line in the coming decades. In the absence of coastal defenses such as levees, elevation determines the extent to which ocean floods can wash over the land. By 2100, sea level may be as high as six-and-a-half feet above 1992 levels, putting the homes of 7.8 million Americans at risk of being flooded. Becek, K. Assessing Global Digital Elevation Models Using the Runway Method: The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Versus the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Case. Source: Pinterest For example, climate activists often claim the island nation of Tuvalu is sinking under rising seas and spawning climate refugees. Res. The retreat of the world’s coasts could affect countries’ near-shore maritime claims, encouraging international disputes over fisheries and other ocean resources. Back to top. In fact, using CoastalDEM’s improved data on coastal elevation makes a bigger difference in projected exposure to ocean flooding than does switching from a low-end to a high-end sea-level-rise scenario when SRTM data are used. Please consider supporting our nonprofit efforts. Sea-level projections representing the deeply uncertain contribution of the West Antarctic ice sheet. “Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections,” Earth’s Future, 5, 1217–1233, https://doi.org/10.1002/ 2017EF000663 Remote Sensing of Environment 206, 231–239 (2018). This study’s middle-of-the-road projections for 2030 range from one inch of local sea level rise in the northwest corner of Washington State, where the land is slowly rising, to 8 inches near New Orleans, where it is sinking. Each pixel in CoastalDEM represents the corrected elevation at that point — the result of subtracting estimated error from SRTM 3.0. Moreover, such features are costly and require significant maintenance on an ongoing basis in order to be effective; in the U.S., for example, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated in 2013 that only 8% of existing levees it had monitored were in “acceptable” condition. 2. Future coastal flood threats in Shanghai, China Wong, T. E., Bakker, A. M. R., & Keller, K. (2017). Probabilistic 21st and 22nd century sea-level projections at a global network of tide-gauge sites. Over the course of the twenty-first century, global sea levels are projected to rise between about 2 and 7 feet, and possibly more. Sea level can rise by two different mechanisms with respect to climate change. Kopp, R. E., R. M. Horton, C. M. Little, J. X. Mitrovica, M. Oppenheimer, D. J. Rasmussen, B. H. Strauss, and C. Tebaldi (2014). 17. Please consider supporting our nonprofit efforts. Sea level rise could also produce humanitarian crises by stripping millions of people of their homes and traditional livelihoods. Transactions in GIS 14, 461–479 (2010). “Ice sheet contributions to future sea-level rise from structured expert judgment.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2019, 201817205; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1817205116 Earth’s Future 2, 383–406 (2014). Res. Probabilistic 21st and 22nd century sea-level projections at a global network of tide-gauge sites. Together, those six nations account for roughly 75 percent of the 300 million people on land facing the same vulnerability at midcentury. Yet as researchers have labored over sea level rise models, another factor critical to understanding the world’s vulnerability to rising waters has been largely overlooked. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, custom data acquired via website. That is the purpose of CoastalDEM. “Cities boom and bust,” said Benjamin Strauss, coauthor of the new study and vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, which researches and reports on climate change. Jevrejeva, S., Moore, J. Jackson, L. P. & Jevrejeva, S. A probabilistic approach to 21st century regional sea-level projections using RCP and High-end scenarios. Surging Seas maps, graphics and information are backed by scientifically peer-reviewed Climate Central research papers.National and state reports and fact sheets provide background and translate our research for more general audiences. Climate change: Sea level rise to affect 'three times more people' ... the Climate Central analysis will be less surprising where coastal lidar surveys are already used to assess future flood risk. & Messina, J. Spatial structure and landscape associations of SRTM error. This process was repeated for a number of different years and sea level rise model sensitivities, and under low, moderate, and high emissions pathways for heat-trapping pollution (Representative Concentration Pathways 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5), in order to achieve a comprehensive assessment of global coastal vulnerability. Climate Central built Surging Seas Risk Finder as a free web tool to help U.S. communities, planners and leaders better understand sea level rise and coastal flood risks. Read More. Sea level rise is a game of millimeters a year, but those millimeters add up to a huge amount of water entering the world’s oceans. Next, consider India’s situation in 2050. But in the coming decades, the greatest effects will be felt in Asia, thanks to the number of people living in the continent’s low-lying coastal areas. New Climate Satellite Measures Sea Level Rise Space is the best place — maybe the only place — to get a complete picture of how climate change is affecting the Earth's oceans. As sea levels continue to rise throughout the century, chronic flooding will spread and more land will be permanently lost to the ocean. To the many organizations that have financially supported Climate Central and its sea level program, including The Kresge Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation. In 19 countries, from Nigeria and Brazil to Egypt and the United Kingdom, land now home to at least one million people could fall permanently below the high tide line at the end of the century and become permanently inundated, in the absence of coastal defenses. Earth’s Future 5, 1217–1233 (2017). Note that the coral rings “float” with the sea level, and because they are living things, they rise with the sea level as new coral grows. West Bengal and coastal Odisha are projected to be particularly vulnerable, as is the eastern city of Kolkata (box 5; Home to 26 million people, Shanghai is China’s biggest single urban agglomeration. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, custom data acquired via website. Human-caused climate change is creating more coastal flood days in the U.S. New analysis looks at the human-caused influence on the number of coastal flood days for various locations across the U.S. As the climate warms, rising sea levels will mean more damage from hurricane storm surge. By that time, average annual coastal floods are projected to rise higher than a wide swath of Bangladesh, including parts of the cities of Dhaka and Chittagong (box 6; explore map at coastal.climatecentral.org). The multi-part tool provides local sea level rise and flood risk projections, searchable interactive maps, “fast look” community reports, data downloads, and exposure tabulations by zip codes, municipalities, counties, and more. Geoscientific Model Development 10, 2495–2524 (2017). World Meteorological Organization / Flickr, Interactive threat maps at coastal.climatecentral.org, Spreadsheet with country-level threats (CSV), http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-04134-5, https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/7/1/014032/meta, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-016-1664-7, https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa6cb3/meta. To the many organizations that have financially supported Climate Central and its sea level program, including The Kresge Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation. Special Thanks. Future coastal flood threats in Kolkata, India 2016), allowing the analysis to combine the water heights of such flood events with projected sea level rise when identifying areas at high risk. Three of every four people in the Marshall Islands now live on land that could lie below high tide in the next eighty years. A flood peaking at a certain height will generally not inundate 100 percent of the nearby area below that height, if the flood peaks and redescends rapidly. Climate Central calculated that “roughly three-quarters of the tidal flood days now occurring in towns along the East Coast would not be happening in the absence of the rise in the sea level caused by human emissions.” (See “Storms and Flooding” below.) The Influence of Land Cover on Shuttle Radar Topogra-phy Mission (SRTM) Elevations in Low Relief Areas. How fast it will rise depends mostly on the rate of glacier and ice sheet melting. Earth’s Future, 2, 383–406, doi:10.1002/2014EF000239 7:11969 doi: 10.1038/ncomms11969 (2016). However, sufficiently accurate elevation data are either unavailable or inaccessible to the public, or prohibitively expensive in most of the world outside the United States, Australia, and parts of Europe. 12 064009 https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa6cb3/meta Start with mainland China. Population exposure estimates do not factor in potential coastal defenses, such as seawalls or levees. Nauels, A., Rogelj, J., Schleussner, C.-F., Meinshausen, M. & Mengel, M. Linking sea level rise and socioeconomic indicators under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. Understanding the real threat posed by future sea level rise requires a better view of the ground beneath our feet. Jonathan L. Bamber, Michael Oppenheimer, Robert E. Kopp, Willy P. Aspinall, Roger M. Cooke. Climate Central just completed a novel analysis of worldwide exposure to sea level rise and coastal flooding. 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