- Causes of Future Sea Level Rise
- Elevation Maps
- Will we really lose all that land?
- Sea Level Rise Planning Maps
Rising sea level inundates low-lying areas, converts wetlands to open water, erodes beaches, exacerbates flooding, and increases the salinity of estuaries and aquifers. Here are some reports by EPA that explore the question of which lands are low enough to become inundated. Whether they actually will be inundated or protected by human activities is a different question, which we examine elsewhere.
Reports and other products:
- Elevation maps from a $1 million project to create elevation maps using best available data, which EPA carried out during the Bush Administration A fairly polished product is available for the mid-Atlantic states at various scales. County-specific maps are posted for Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
- Maps of Lands Close to Sea Level along the Mid-Atlantic Coast: An Elevation Dataset to use while waiting for LIDAR (PDF) (44 pp., 2,150 KB) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. From Background Documents Supporting Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.1: Coastal Elevations and Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise - U.S. EPA, EPA-430-R-07-004 (2008). This EPA report documents EPA's Bush-era elevation study, but the maps themselves are only available here.
- Tables showing area of low land by county and state. These tables quantify the area of vulnerable land based on the maps created during the Bush-era study. The tables provide uncertainty ranges based on the design accuracy of the data used to create the maps
- Uncertainty Ranges (PDF)(66 pp., 962 KB) (2008). From Background Documents Supporting Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.1: Coastal Elevations and Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise - U.S. EPA, EPA-430-R-07-004 (2008). This paper quantifies the area of land vulnerable to sea level rise for each of the coastal counties in the mid-Atlantic, by formally considering the limitations of the elevation data used in the Bush-era elevation mapping study
- State-specific elevation maps for the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. These Clinton-era maps are not as accurate as the Bush-era maps.
- Maps of Lands Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise: Modeled Elevations along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. - Climate Research, CR 18:205-228 (2001). This paper documents the state-specific maps from the Clinton-era study.
- Report of the Coastal Elevations and Sea Level Federal Advisory Committee to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (pdf) (16 pp, 99 KB)(2008). The report includes a gentle and subtle critique of the Bush-era EPA's decision to remove all the elevation maps from the interagency report called Coastal Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise - U.S. Climate Change Science Program (2009)
- Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise: The Cost of Holding Back the Sea - Coastal Management, 19:171-204 (1991). In spite of the name, this is the first paper in a journal to estimate the area of land potentially submerged by a 50, 100, or 200 cm rise in sea level
- The first nationwide assessment of the impacts of sea level rise. Chapter 7 from EPA's 1989 Report to Congress: Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States EPA-230-05-89-052 (1989) was the source of the "factoid" that a one meter rise in sea level could submerge an area of dry land the size of Massachusetts. statement that , and The overview and wetlands papers in Appendix B of the same report provide extensive documentation.
- Policy Implications of Sea Level Rise: The Case of the Maldives. Paper in Proceedings of the Small States Conference on Sea Level Rise. Malé, Republic of Maldives. Edited by Hussein Shihab. (November 14-18, 1989). Part of this paper discusses the vulnerability of the Maldives to inundation based on some simple surveys taken when the author visited some of the islands
- Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise: A Challenge for this Generation - (Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc, 1984). Case studies of Charleston and Galveston estimate the area of dry land potentially submerged by a rising sea