NOAA Warns of Coastal Flooding in California

NOAA Warns of Coastal Flooding in California

(Photo: Matt Merrifield / Nature Conservancy)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has warned that Californians may see a significant increase in coastal flooding with greater frequency this winter. According to the agency, with today’s rising sea levels sometimes all it takes is a high tide to cause flooding. 

Several factors contribute to the state’s unusually high tides, including the twice daily tides, king tides (exceptionally high tides) during a new or full moon primarily in winter along the West Coast, and El Niño, which can cause changing weather patterns and warmer surface waters in the Pacific and can lead to increases in sea level. 

Scientists report that a rise of only ten to twenty centimeters in sea level, may more than double the frequency of serious flooding events around the world, including in California. This increase is projected to occur by 2050.

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