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New interactive map shows which coastal regions could end up underwater

Published Jun 21st, 2024 2:47PM EDT
coast of taiga river, siberian permafrost
Image: okyela / Adobe

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Life on the coast isn’t always going to be as luxurious as it is right now. That’s because rising global temperatures could eventually cause the sea levels to rise even more, burying much of the current coast underwater. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has created a sea level rise map to let viewers see how it’ll play out on American seashores.

You can see the new map by visiting NOAA’s new website. From there, you can plug in your town or address, giving the map somewhere to focus. This gives you a more personalized look at how the rising sea levels will affect your own local infrastructure.

sea level rise map
The NOAA’s Sea Leve Rise Viewer shows what Destin, Florida will look like if sea levels rise ten feet. The areas marked in light blue are coastlines that will sink underwater. Image source: NOAA

If you don’t live near a coastline, then you can always input another city in the sea level rise map to get a simulation of what the escalating sea levels will do to the coastline. There are a total of six different tabs you can flip through right now, including Local Scenarios, Sea Level Rise, Mapping Confidence, Vulnerability, Marsh Migration, and High Tide Flooding.

Each tab provides its own wealth of information about rising sea levels, which could rise as much as 1.6 feet if certain ice shelves collapse. Each tab also contains a slider to let you see what the water levels would look like—aside from the High Tide Flooding tab. The maximum right now is a 10-foot increase, which would cause massive damage to the coastline.

The interactive sea level rise map is designed to pull from new data as it comes in, so NOAA plans to keep this up to date for a long while going forward. NOAA estimates that America’s coasts will climb nearly two feet higher than where they currently sit and that those two feet of additional water could arrive within the next century.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.