‘Nuisance’ high-tide flooding has been 'extraordinary' along the US coasts since 2000 and a new reports projects it will only become worse.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns rising sea levels will bring tides from 1.75 to two feet above the daily average, which will spill over into residential areas.
The team also projects that by 2021, the national high tide flood frequency could accelerate to an average of two to six days each year.By 2030 these natural disasters could triple and 20 years later that number is set to 15 times greater, with the typical coastal community flooding between 25 and 75 days a year.
Scroll down for video
Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, said: ‘America’s coastal communities and their economies are suffering from the effects of high tide flooding, and it’s only going to increase in the future.’
‘NOAA is committed to working with coastal communities to provide the information and data they need to tackle the problem of high tide flooding, both now and in the coming years as sea levels continue to rise.NOAA refers to high-tide flooding as a ‘nuisance’ because the event leads to public inconveniences such as destruction of property and road closures.
Waters typically accumulate about 20 inches above the average daily high-tide mark and is a result of rising sea levels – they were 13 times higher across the US last year than compared to 1920 levels.
Using data from May 2019 to April 2020, the organization found coastal communities saw an average flooding frequency of four days last year with record high-tides in 19 places in the country.
And locations along the east coast and Gulf of Mexico broke or tied with the all-time high tide flooding records.
The Southeast saw a three-fold increase in flooding days compared to that of 2000.
This included Charleston, South Carolina, which had 13 days of intense flooding.
Along the Western Gulf, percentage increases were the highest - greater than five-fold.
In Texas, Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi had 21 and 18 flooding days in 2019, and in 2000 those locations only experienced about one and three days of high tide flooding.
William Sweet, Ph.D., an oceanographer for NOAA’s National Ocean Service and lead author of the report, said: ‘As a Chesapeake Bay resident, I see the flooding first hand and it is getting worse. Records seem to be set every year.’
‘Communities are straddled with this growing problem. Fortunately, NOAA’s tide gauge network is keeping a close watch and helping us provide guidance about the disruptive flooding that is likely next year and for decades to come.’
The team is primarily looking at long-term projections, as climate changes seems to worsen as time progress.
By 2030 they believe high-tide flooding will increase to seven or 15 days.
The average is again set to rise by 2050 with 25 to 75 days, suggesting high tide flood levels may become the new high tide.
GLACIERS AND ICE SHEETS MELTING WOULD HAVE A 'DRAMATIC IMPACT' ON GLOBAL SEA LEVELS
Global sea levels could rise as much as 10ft (3 metres) if the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica collapses.
Sea level rises threaten cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives.
In the UK, for instance, a rise of 6.7ft (2 metres) or more may cause areas such as Hull, Peterborough, Portsmouth and parts of east London and the Thames Estuary at risk of becoming submerged.
The collapse of the glacier, which could begin with decades, could also submerge major cities such as New York and Sydney.
Parts of New Orleans, Houston and Miami in the south on the US would also be particularly hard hit.
A 2014 study looked by the union of concerned scientists looked at 52 sea level indicators in communities across the US.
It found tidal flooding will dramatically increase in many East and Gulf Coast locations, based on a conservative estimate of predicted sea level increases based on current data.
The results showed that most of these communities will experience a steep increase in the number and severity of tidal flooding events over the coming decades.
By 2030, more than half of the 52 communities studied are projected to experience, on average, at least 24 tidal floods per year in exposed areas, assuming moderate sea level rise projections. Twenty of these communities could see a tripling or more in tidal flooding events.
The mid-Atlantic coast is expected to see some of the greatest increases in flood frequency. Places such as Annapolis, Maryland and Washington, DC can expect more than 150 tidal floods a year, and several locations in New Jersey could see 80 tidal floods or more.
In the UK, a two metre (6.5 ft) rise by 2040 would see large parts of Kent almost completely submerged, according to the results of a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in November 2016.
Areas on the south coast like Portsmouth, as well as Cambridge and Peterborough would also be heavily affected.
Cities and towns around the Humber estuary, such as Hull, Scunthorpe and Grimsby would also experience intense flooding.