Boston, New York, and Norfolk, Virginia will all see more than a foot of sea level rise by 2050, according to a new study by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
The study, which is based on 23 tidal gauges stretching along the entire East coast, shows that Boston will have more than 27 inches of sea levels rise, Norfolk facing two feet, and New York seeing 20 inches of levels. This will ultimately lead to beach erosion, increased coastal flooding, and threats to life and property according to Dr. Boone of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Sea levels are already eight inches high then they were in 1900, and the science community largely agrees that levels will rise another three feet by the end of this century. However, that is just a global average and certain places such as Boston, New York, and Norfolk are seeing more accelerated rises then this prediction. Meanwhile, areas just south of Norfolk have not seen rapid increases at all.
“Sea level is rising at these stations,” Boon said in a press release, “but there is no statistically significant acceleration in the rise rate during the period of record.”
For those who are affected by a rise in sea levels, this new study is an important indication to the fate of their land and property in the coming years. “My analysis focuses on relative sea level,” Boon said. “That value — the height of the sea surface in relation to the land, is what really matters to coastal communities.”