Sea Level Rise Maps

California Sea Level Rise Maps 

The Pacific Coast of the Western United States has already experienced large waves and surges at high tides that have exceeded mean sea levels expected by the year 2100.  For the next several decades extreme storm surges and large wave events pose a greater hazard to the West Coast than the longer term climate-driven sea level rise expected by the year 2100 (up to 5.5 feet notwithstanding underestimates). The impacts of these large wave events and storm surges are likely to become more frequent and greater in magnitude. 

Los Angeles Sea Level Rise Maps

10 Feet (3 Meters). Interactive map showing the Los Angeles coastline under water as a result of a 10 foot rise of sea level.

Newport Beach
Maps Showing Rise in Sea Levels
According to Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, although the rise in sea levels will occur gradually, vulnerable cities like Newport Beach and San Francisco will be among those impacted first by large wave events and storm surges.

1 Foot (0.3 Meters).  Map showing those approximate areas of Newport Beach that would be under water with a 1 foot rise in sea level.  The National Research Council projects that sea levels along the Southern  California coast will rise up to one foot (2 inches - 12 inches) by the year 2030.

7Meters (23 Feet).  Newport Beach landmarks at risk include the Balboa Pavilion, Newport Beach’s oldest standing building and one of its most famous landmarks.  Submerged under water at 7 meters - roughly the equivalent of the sea level rise resulting from the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (see table at right). 

Sacramento Sea Level Increase

How will global warming sea rise changes impact Sacramento? What will Sacramento look like?  What happens to the map of Sacramento if sea level rises by 2 metres? 7 meters? 9 meters? 80 meters?

6.6 Feet (2 Meters). Map of Sacramento under a sea level rise level of 2 meters.

23 Feet (7 Meters).  Consequences of a 23 foot (7 meter) rise in sea level for the Sacramento area.  Showing the effect of a 20 foot rise in sea level.  The Greenland ice sheet contains enough water to raise the sea level by 23 feet if all of it were to melt, according to Bill Krabill, a scientist conducting Arctic ice mapping research at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility (WIFF).

29.5 Feet (9 Meters).  Sea level rise map of the city of Sacramento, California flooded to almost 30 feet.

Santa Monica Rising Sea Level Maps

197 Feet (60 Meters).  Map of Santa Monica flooded at almost 200 feet.  Melting all Antarctica ice would cause a global sea level rise of about 240 feet (USGS).  Coastal inundation mapping.

Ventura County Sea Level Rise Maps 

13 Feet (4 Meters).  Map of the Oxnard Plain coastline of Ventura County, California flooded at 4 meters (13 feet). using NASA data. A 13 foot sea level rise is projected to occur if the West Antarctic ice sheet collapses according to the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (an Environment Canada research lab at the University of Victoria) and the University of Calgary, Nature Geoscience, January 9, 2011.

2 Feet. Sea level rise projected for 2040.  Coastline of the Oxnard Plain. Projected 2 foot ocean rise map.  Maurice D. Van Arsdol, Jr., Douglas J. Sharman, Angela Constable, Jinkang Wang, and Louise Rollin, "Impacts of Global Sea Level Rise on California Coastal Population Resources,” Basia Zaba and John Clarke, eds., Environment and Population, CICRED - Committee for International Cooperation in National Research in Demography, Paris, 1995, pp. 413-430.  See map on p. 425.

Enhanced risk zone (gray shaded area) from 2 foot sea level rise projected for the year 2040 along the California coastline of Ventura County Oxnard basin area.  Van Arsdol et al, p. 425.

Florida Sea Level Rise


If the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) melted, what would Florida look like?

What would Florida look like if the oceans rise up 10 feet?


Florida Sea Level Rise of 5 Meters (17 Feet)

What happens if sea levels rise 5 meters?  Here is a coastal inundation mapping image created by William Haxby of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University showing Florida climate change impacts under a 5 meter (17 foot) sea level rise.  Source:  NASA Earth Observatory, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.


East Coast of USA Sea Level Rise Maps

East Coast sea level rise maps.  Showing sea level rise created for "An End to Global Warming."  Zero meter rise.  1 meter rise.  3 meter rise.  10 meter rise.  30 meter rise.  100 meter rise.  Dave Pape, Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo, April 13, 2005.


Maryland Sea Level Rise Maps

2025.  Sea levels forecast to rise up to 10 inches by 2025 based on a 3 degree Fahrenheit rise in ocean temperatures.  “As global temperatures rise because of the greenhouse effect, oceans levels expand by the warmer water temperatures and because of the glacial melting, according to John S. Hoffman, director of EPA's Strategic Studies staff, which conducted [the Sea Level Rise Project].  The study provided two scenarios on the possible effects over the next 40 to 100 years.  The low scenario, based on on the calculated three-degree rise in ocean temperatures, will make the seas rise . . . up to 10 inches by 2025.  Such an increase by 2025 would be enough to 'significantly increase (storm and erosion) hazards at places like Ocean City [Maryland].' Hoffman said. . .

For barrier islands like Ocean City, according to Stephen P. Leatherman, a University of Maryland coastal geographer who participated in the research, the results would differ, depending on the scenario.  'Even the rate of sea level rise in the low scenario would mean erosion problems two or three times worse than what they (Ocean City) are seeing now, and the high scenario would be almost catastrophic — at least a major, major increase in storm hazards, there,' he said.  One big problem cited by Hoffman is that around the United States there are already 1,137 active hazardous-waste disposal sites located in 100-year floodplains, areas where major innundations should occur at least once a century.” Climate change 2025.  (Associated Press, "Greenhouse effect' may harm bay water," Frederick News-Post, Frederick, Maryland, May 2, 1983, p. 13)

2025.  Maryland shoreline in Somerset County projected to be eroded back 17 feet with a 2 inch sea level rise by 2025.  “In August [2008], consultants with URS Inc. presented a draft report [Somerset County, Maryland : Rising sea level guidance] on sea level rise to the Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission. They predicted that by 2025 the shoreline will be eroded back some 17 feet across the board [with a sea level rise of 2 inches or 53 mm], increasing to 42 feet by 2050 and 92 feet by 2100. The greatest impact will be in the Deal Island and Chance communities, while Smith Island for the most part will be underwater just 90 years [2098 or ca. 2100] from now. . . .

The URS consultants are basing their report on historical data by predicting a 2 inch increase in average sea level by 2025, 5 inches by 2050 and one foot by 2100. [Somerset County Technical and Community Services Director Jack Willing Jr. ] said the state [of Maryland] is forecasting a two to three foot rise with four feet ‘the worst case scenario.’ He asked the consultants to modify their report accordingly.  Kyle Gulbronson, the senior planner and project manager with URS, said four feet ‘is a doomsday scenario’ for much of the county. The effects "will be dramatic," he said.” (Richard Crumbacker, Crisfield Times, “Storm gives look into the future - Consultants predicted vulnerable areas, and high tide showed it,” Crisfield Times, Crisfield, Maryland, September 10, 2008, pp. 1, 3 reporting findings in URS & RCQuinn Consulting, Inc., "Somerset County, Maryland : Rising sea level guidance," a report to the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program, Department of Natural Resources pursuant to NOAA Award No. NA05NOS4191142, September 24, 2008, p. 14) 



North America Sea Level Rise Maps

60 Meters (197 Feet).  Map of North America flooded to 60 meters.  Global flooding. The Nexial Institute, 2002

North Carolina Rising Sea Levels Maps

3.5 Meters (11.5 Feet)Map of North Carolina lands close to sea level. 

Source:  James G. Titus and Charlie Richman, "Maps of Lands Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise: Modeled Elevations along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC, p. 18 originally published in Climate Research, November 2, 2001, p. 218)

Texas Sea Level Rise Maps

Galveston Sea Level Rise Maps

23 Feet (7 meters).  Consequences of a 23 foot (7 meter) rise in sea level for Galveston, Texas area.  According to Bill Krabill, a Arctic ice mapping scientist with NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility (WIFF), if the Greenland ice sheet were to melt, it contains enough water to raise the sea level by 23 feet.  Historic Galveston sites (Bishop's Palace) located near seashore areas.

What would Texas look like if all ice caps melted? 

Potential Global Sea Level Rise

rising sea levels

Source:  Adapted from Poore, Williams and Tracey cited in E. Lynn Usery, Modeling Sea-Level Rise Effects on Population Using Global Elevation and Land-Cover Data, AAG Meeting, April 2007What is the worst case scenario for rising sea levels?  What would maps look like if all ice caps melted?


Sea Level Rise Maps - (Meters) World Map
1 Meter to 6 Meters • 5 Feet = 1.5 Meters

See Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) ESRI ArcMap Global inundation analysis.  David Braaten, Nathaniel Haas, Kolonie Hulbutta, John Kostelnick, Xingong Li, Joshua Meisel and Rex Rowley.

Africa Sea Level Rise Maps 

Climate change vulnerability in Africa, Anna Ballance, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, 2002

African cities at risk to rising sea levels, Coastal Analysis Data Set utilizing GRUMP beta population and land area grids, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, CIESIN, Earth Institute, Columbia University, 2005

Alexandria, Egypt Sea Level Rise Maps

1 Meter (3.28 Feet)
sea level rise. Alexandria, Egypt.  Map of the city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta, Egypt flooded at a sea level rise of 1 meter. Potential impact of sea level rise: Nile Delta, UNEP/GRID Geneva; Prof. G. Sestini, Florence; Remote Sensing Center, Cairo; DIERCKE Weltwirtschaftsatlas, 2000.

7 Meters (23 Feet) sea leve rise.  Map of the city of Alexandria, Egypt and Cairo area flooded at a sea level rise of 7 meters. using NASA data.

Lagos, Nigeria Sea Level Rise Maps

Lagos, Nigeria sea level rise map videos (1 meter to 60 meters, .

Lagos, Nigeria - Rising Sea Levels 

Video showing rising sea levels in Lagos, Nigeria for zero meters, 1 meter, 2 meters, 3 meters, 4 meters, 5 meters, 6 meters, 7 meters, 8 meters, 9 meters, 10 meters, 11 meters, 12 meters, 13 meters (1 degree C), 20 meters (1.5 degrees C), 30 meters (2.5 degrees C), 40 meters (4 degrees C), 50 meters (5 degrees C), and 60 meters.   Source:  Carbon Virgin.


Asia Sea Level Rise Maps 

60 Meters (197 Feet).  Map of Asia and Australia flooded to 60 meters. The Nexial Institute. 2002

Australia Sea Level Rise Maps 

60 Meters (197 Feet).  Map of Asia and Australia flooded to 60 meters. The Nexial Institute. 2002

Bangladesh Sea Level Rise Maps

Potential impact of sea-level rise on Bangladesh, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), GRID-Arendal citing Potential impact of sea-level rise on Bangladesh, Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID Geneva: Univeristy of Dacca; JRO Munich; The World Bank; World Resources Institute, Washington D.C., 2000

Europe Sea Level Rise Maps 

60 Meters (197 Feet).  Map of Europe flooded to 60 meters. The Nexial Institute. 2002

100 Meters (328 Feet). Map of Europe Flooded to 100 Meters. The Nexial Institute. 2002

Scotland Projected Coastline Map With Global Warming

Dunbar Scotland

20 meters (65.6 feet). Map of Dunbar, Scotland impacted by 20 meter rising sea levels. 


 Sea Level Rise Impacts of Arctic and Antarctic Melting


We have already reached a tipping point where we will soon see an ice-free Arctic Ocean in the summer. 

There's nothing we can do about that. It could be in 2015.  It could be in 2025.  It almost doesn't matter.  It'll happen in this generation. 

As a result, the whole weather system could change. (1)

— Dr. David Carlson
Director, International Polar Year
July 2009


2050 | Rising Sea Levels

2050 .  1 to 4 feet. Ocean waters projected to rise one to four feet by 2050 threatening the homes of 25 million to 40 million people.  "Most experts foresee an increase of at least 0.6 of a degree Fahrenheit before the middle of the next century.  Seas would rise as higher temperatures made water expand much as they do sidewalks:  thermal expansion has already raised sea levels four inches since the turn of the century.  Polar ice caps might also partially melt.  All this would lift the waters one to four feet by 2050 and threaten the homes of 25 million to 40 million people worldwide."  (Newsweek, July 11, 1988, p. 19)

2050. Several feet.  Sea level projected to rise several feet by the year 2050. 
“Whether the greenhouse effect has arrived or not, some scientists calculate that global temperatures could increase between 3 degrees and 9 degrees F by the year 2050. If that happens, even hotter, dryer summers are on the way, probably accompanied by a gradual melting of polar ice caps and glaciers that will cause sea levels to rise several feet by mid-century. By then it is probable that more CO2 production, from sources as diverse as industry and rampant deforestation, will play an increasingly important role in heating up the earth.” (David Brand, Andrea Dorfman-New York and Dick Thompson-Washington, “Is The Earth Warming Up?,” Time Magazine, Monday, July 4, 1988)

2050.  Rising sea levels projected to inundate coastlines where millions live. 
"Although scientists argue over whether the greenhouse has already arrived, there is no dispute that industrial emissions will cause global warming.  The chief culprits are carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted when such fossil fuels as coal and oil burn, and chemicals called CFC's used in plastic foams and air conditioning.  These 'greenhouse gases' act like panes of glass, trapping heat near the surface of the earth.  The result:  global temperatures are expected to rise 2 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit by the middle of the next century.  There would be greater increases at higher latitudes, smaller rises near the equator.  Wind and rainfall patterns would shift, with possibly disastrous consequences for agriculture.  Sea levels would rise, inundating coastlines where millions of people live.  Droughts would get worse and storms more violent."  (Newsweek, May 22, 1989, p. 80)

2100 | Global Warming Sea Level

2100 (3 to 5 feet).  A minimum 3 to 5-foot sea level rise should be anticipated by 2100.  “[M]ost climate scientists now believe that the main drivers of sea level rise in the 21st century will be the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (a potential of a 16-foot rise if the entire sheet melts) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (a potential rise of 20 feet if the entire ice cap melts). [16 feet + 20 feet = 36 feet] The nature of the melting is non-linear and is difficult to predict.  Seeking to correct the IPCC’s failure to come up with a comprehensive forecast for sea level increase, a number of state panels and government committees have produced sea level rise predictions that include an examination of melting ice sheets. For example, sea level rise panels in Rhode Island and Miami-Dade County have concluded that a minimum of a three- to five-foot sea level rise should be anticipated by 2100.” (Rob Young and Orrin Pilkey, “How High Will Seas Rise? Get Ready for Seven Feet,” Yale Environment 360, January 14, 2010)

2100 (1.5 to 7 feet).  Global warming projected to cause 1.5 – 7 feet sea level rise by 2100.  “Published estimates of sea level rise due to global warming generally range from 0.5 to 2.0 meters (1.5 to 7 feet) by 2100.” (U.S. EPA, The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United StatesEPA-230-05-89-050, Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, December 1989, p. xxxvi)


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Rising Sea Levels Map