Quantcast
Climate
Flooding in Port Arthur, Texas on Aug. 31, 2017. U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez

2017 Broke Records for Number of Flooded Days on U.S. Coasts

Due to the combined impacts of climate change and upcoming El Niño conditions, coastal high tide flooding in the U.S. will be up to 60 percent more frequent in 2018 than it was 20 years ago, the most recent high tide flooding report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announced Wednesday, projected.


The report, NOAA's 2017 State of High Tide Flooding and 2018 Outlook, also found that the 2017 meteorological year (May 2017 - April 2018) broke records for the number of high tide flooding days nationally, for an average of six days per coastal location observed.

The report predicted that, going forward, 2018 and the years after would continue to break records due to sea level rise, and that the rate of increased flooding might accelerate. Overall, the average number of flooded days has already doubled in the past 30 years. Flooding is increasing most quickly along the Southeast Atlantic coast, up by 160 percent since 2000. Flood frequencies are also significantly increasing along the Northeast Atlantic coast, at 100 percent, and the Eastern and Western Gulf Coasts, at 50 percent.

In 2017, more than a quarter of the 98 coastal locations where NOAA measured flooding broke their individual records in 2017. Regionally, the Northeast Atlantic and Western Gulf of Mexico saw the highest number of flooded days in 2017, at a median of 11 and 12 days respectively. Cities that broke records included Boston and Atlantic City, with 22 days of flooding, Sabine Pass, Texas with 23 days of flooding and Galveston, Texas with 18 days. Records also broke along the Southeast Atlantic and Eastern Gulf, with 14 days at Bay Waveland, Mississippi and six days at Fort Myers and Cedar Key, Florida. San Diego was a regional anomaly, breaking records with 13 flooded days.

Flooding along the Northeast and in the Gulf of Mexico was influenced by an especially stormy hurricane and nor'easter season, augmented by rising sea levels. But high tide foods can also occur without storms as sea levels continue to rise.

"There's a clear upwards trend of this type of flooding," University of Florida geologist Andrea Dutton told The Guardian in an article about the report. "Extreme events like hurricanes may be the breaking point but this sort of frequent flooding is the taste of what is coming in the future on a permanent basis. We need to rethink our relationship with the coastline because it's going to be retreating for the foreseeable future."

In 2018, El Niño conditions are expected to result in a higher number of flooded days than average in 48 coastal locations. The Northeast Atlantic and Northwest Pacific Coasts are expected to lead on average with five to six median days of flooding.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Politics
Jess Lundgren / CC BY 2.0

The Trump Administration’s ‘Dishonest’ Attack on Fuel-Economy Standards

By John R. Platt

The Trump administration's plan to freeze fuel-economy standards is "the most spectacular regulatory flip-flop in history," said a retired EPA engineer who helped to develop new the standards under the Obama administration.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
Lizzie Carr traveling down the Hudson River on her stand-up paddleboard. Max Guliani / The Hudson Project

Her Stand-Up Paddleboard Is a Platform for Campaigning Against Plastic Pollution

By Patrick Rogers

Lizzie Carr was navigating a stretch of the Hudson River north of Yonkers, New York, recently when she spotted it—a hunk of plastic so large and out of place that she was momentarily at a loss to describe it.

Keep reading... Show less
Science
The Ross Ice Shelf at the Bay of Whales. Michael Van Woert, NOAA

Scientists Study Ice Shelf by Listening to Its Changing Sounds

By Marlene Cimons

Researchers monitoring vibrations from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf were flabbergasted not long ago to hear something unexpected—the ice was "singing" to them. "We were stunned by a rich variety of time-varying tones that make up this newly described sort of signal," said Rick Aster, professor of geosciences at Colorado State University, one of the scientists involved in the study.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
DSLRVideo.com / Flicker / CC BY-SA 2.0

'Go Out and Vote' Patagonia Endorses Candidates For First Time in Its History

Outdoor brand Patagonia is endorsing candidates for the first time in its history in an effort to protect the country's at-risk public lands and waters.

The civic-minded retailer is backing two Democrats in two crucial Senate races: the re-election of Sen. Jon Tester of Montana; and Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Animals
Desert Bighorn Sheep in Joshua Tree National Park. Kjaergaard / CC BY 3.0

Leaked Trump Administration Memo: Keep Public in Dark About How Endangered Species Decisions Are Made

In a Trump administration memorandum leaked to the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing its staff to withhold, or delay releasing, certain public records about how the Endangered Species Act is carried out. That includes records where the advice of career wildlife scientists may be overridden by political appointees in the Trump administration.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Disposable diapers add staggering amounts of waste to landfills. Pxhere

Dirty Diapers Could Be Recycled Into Fabrics, Furniture Under P&G Joint Venture

Disposal diapers can take an estimated 500 years to decompose. That means if Henry VIII wore disposables, they'd probably still be around today.

Although throwaway nappies are undoubtedly convenient, these mostly-synthetic items cause never-ending steams of waste that will take centuries to disappear.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
The swelling barrier lake after a landslide forced evacuations along the Yarlung Zangbo River. YouTube screenshot / CCTV+

6,000 Evacuated After Tibet Landslide

Six thousand people have been evacuated after a landslide in Tibet Wednesday blocked a river that flows downstream into India, creating a lake that could cause major flooding in the subcontinent once the debris is cleared, The Associated Press reported.

Chinese emergency officials announced the evacuations Thursday. The landslide impacted a village in Menling County, but no one was killed or injured, Chinese officials said.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Pexels

Carbon Capture: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Climate Change

By Daniel Ross

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report lays out a rather grim set of observations, predictions and warnings. Perhaps the biggest takeaway? That the world cannot warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5°C) over pre-industrial levels without significant impacts.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!