This reminds me of the time a friend’s student wrote about “seal levels” and “seal level rise” in her homework and tests, and cracked us up. Oh, how we mocked, “Oh, wait until global temperatures rise and Sea World and circuses have a huge influx of seals!” Bad grad student humor, I know.
Anyway, here are some global sea level rise maps from the University of Arizona’s Department of Geosciences Environmental Studies Laboratory, including North America, Louisiana, Florida, the Northeast US and Europe. Note that the maps are projections based on a model, but one that more or less accurately represents the current estimates of flooding with increasing rise in sea level. The maps referenced below are for a 1 meter (3.3 feet) increase – the website has a suite of maps for increases up to 6 meters, animations that go with each map and an interactive bit (which works sporadically).
When global sea level rises even by 1 meter (3.3 feet), there will be a lot more than New Orleans to worry about. We then have two choices: ask every single city, village and town on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic to move to higher ground (any estimates on the sea level highstand?) or demand Dutch-like flood protection. If Amsterdam and the coastal Netherlands aren’t going anywhere, why should New York City, Washington DC, coastal Delaware, coastal North and South Carolina, Miami, coastal Louisiana including New Orleans and all of coastal Texas? More critically, how does one propose to move them? If it takes millions to move a town of 200, what’s the plan for, say, Manhattan?