Climate.gov tweet chat: Talk with a sea level rise expert about past and future risk of high-tide flooding on U.S. coasts

November 14, 2019

Sea levels have been rising over the last century and are expected to continue to rise at an even faster rate over the next century due to climate change. Why does this matter? In the United States, almost 40 percent of population lives in densely populated coastal areas susceptible to flooding, erosion, and other hazards related to storms. We have built large amounts of infrastructure along coastlines that are necessary for local jobs and regional economies. And it is this infrastructure—roads, bridges, subways, power plants, sewage treatment plants—that are at risk from sea level rise.


Nuisance flooding in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2012. Nuisance flooding has increased rapidly along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coast. Photo by Amy McGovern.

The risks aren’t just from rare extreme events. As the sea rises, daily high tides move farther inland. In many cities across the country, the frequency of flooding during high tides has already increased by 300-900% compared to the early and mid-twentieth century. High-tide flooding isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it can be inconvenient and expensive. Further increases in high-tide flooding over the next century are likely to compromise infrastructure and strain city budgets.

On Tuesday, November 19, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern, join NOAA oceanographer William Sweet in a high-tide flooding and sea level rise tweet chat to learn just how much of our coastlines are at risk for flooding and what we can do about it.

Dr. William Sweet is a NOAA Oceanographer researching and developing products about how sea level rise affects coastal flood risk and how people perceive that risk.  He helped the U.S. Department of Defense assess coastal flood risk across their global installations, developed the latest sea level rise scenarios for the U.S. and was a lead author for Volumes 1 and 2 of the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment.  He enjoys sailing the Chesapeake Bay and teaching his kids about the signs of sea level rise from his home in Annapolis.    

Join us for a Sea Level Rise Tweet Chat

  • What: Tweet Chat – tweet your questions @NOAAClimate and use the hashtag #ClimateQA
  • When: November 19, 1:00 — 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Where: https://twitter.com/NOAAClimate

Can’t make the chat? Return to this page in coming weeks; we will update this page with a selection of questions and answers from the discussion.