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Coastal America to Face Fivefold Increase in 'Destructive' Floods by 2050, Report Warns

© REUTERS / DEVIKA KRISHNA KUMARThe Shell Norco manufacturing facility is flooded after Hurricane Ida pummeled Norco, Louisiana, U.S., August 30, 2021.
The Shell Norco manufacturing facility is flooded after Hurricane Ida pummeled Norco, Louisiana, U.S., August 30, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.02.2022
A large portion of US businesses and population are located along the nation's coastlines, which will face a severe threat in the coming years due to flooding even in the absence of rain and storms.
A rise of more than a foot in sea level may cause havoc in the coastal states of the US as scientists forecast around 10 times more flooding events due to high tides and storms over the next 30 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns in a new report.

"Major or destructive flooding is expected to occur five times as often in 2050 (0.2 events/year) as it does today (0.04 events/year)", according to the report released Tuesday.

The loss to the economy can be gauged from the fact that annually, coastal areas produce more than $9.5 trillion in goods and services, employ 58.3 million people, and pay $3.8 trillion in wages.
As per the US Census, more than 94 million people, or about 30% of the total US population, lived in coastline counties in 2017, a growth of 15.3% since 2000.

"Coastal flooding can be exacerbated by many factors that are not included in these estimates, such as rainfall, river discharge, wave impacts like coastal erosion, and existing infrastructure", the report added.

NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad has said that over the next 30 years the nation is expected to experience the same amount of rising sea levels as it saw over the course of the entire 20th century.
Based on satellite data and tide gauge data, the report says that the Gulf Coast is expected to witness a rise of 14-18 inches in sea level while the East Coast may see a jump of 10-14 inches.
The Hawaiian Islands, the headquarters of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, will see a rise of 8 inches in sea level by 2050.
The report states that New York would see seas rise by nearly 12 inches by 2050 in comparison to 2020.
By the end of this century, the report predicts five scenarios concerning rising sea levels. The lowest rise in sea level would be of about two feet and the highest would be more than seven feet in comparison to 2000.
"Current and future emissions will determine the amount of additional rise in the future: the greater the emissions, the greater the warming, and the greater the likelihood of higher sea levels", the 111-page report pointed out.
The report warns of a much more significant rise in sea levels if global temperatures jump above 3°C by the end of this century because of the potential for the rapid melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.
Despite warnings from scientists about the severe impact of the uncontrollable use of fossil fuels, the Biden administration in the US has issued 34% more (3,557) oil and gas drilling permits than the preceding administration in its first year.
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