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rising sea levels

Forecasters in Mississippi are bracing for what could be one of the most devastating floods in the state's history, as days of heavy downpours stoke fears that a river in the state capital of Jackson will continue to swell beyond its banks and threaten the homes of thousands of people.

Flooding has already began to ripple across parts of Jackson and surrounding areas, and state and federal officials are working to contain the severity of the flooding in the face of additional rainfall expected in the days ahead.

The American Flood Coalition is hosting its first Florida Mayors Summit in Washington, D.C., Monday and Tuesday, where 19 current mayors, representing more than 2.6 million Floridians, will hear from experts and talk to members of Congress about flooding and sea level rise.

Some of the most dramatic sea rise around South Florida has occurred in the last two decades: at least five inches near Virginia Key since 1992.

If the past is any indication, worsening threats from climate change, like rising seas in South Florida, could take a larger toll on the poor as people are forced to abandon their homes.

Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Sea levels locally may be rising more quickly than had been anticipated. The estimates for Tampa Bay have just gone up.

Scientists monitoring Tampa Bay have updated the most conservative estimate for the expected rise in the bay during this century. That means they're no longer considering the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's prediction of a 2-foot rise. The conservative estimate now is from three to 3 1/2 feet above current sea levels.

Four thousand years ago, rising seas decimated huge swaths of mangroves in Florida Bay.

Today, seas rising at a far greater rate, combined with increasing storms and drought, could lead to another catastrophic loss of mangroves that help keep the state from sliding into the sea, according to a new study published by the U.S. Geological Survey in the journal Nature Communications.

Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa routinely floods during thunderstorms.
WUSF Public Media

By Rebecca Hersher / NPR

Sea levels are rising, and that is sending more ocean water into streets, sewers and homes. For people who live and work in coastal communities, that means more otherwise-sunny days disrupted by flooding.

Flooding
U.S. Coast Guard photo

By Steve Newborn

Two members of Congress have joined a new coalition of  political, business and local leaders looking into combatting flooding from rising seas.  The pair - one a Republican, the other a Democrat - highlights the group's non-partisan outlook.

A newly created 'Underwater Homeowners Association' held its first meeting in The Village of Pinecrest Wednesday. The group is made up of residents who want to tackle the issue of sea level rise as a community. It is also the finishing touch on a piece created by environmental artist Xavier Cortada.

“Today is the day where I conceptually sign the painting,” Cortada said.

Fourth National Climate Assessment

The latest in a series of scientific reports on climate change was recently submitted to Congress. A group of Florida scientists delved into the report, and things aren't looking too good if you've got beachfront property.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A coalition of local governments met Monday to find a way to combat climate change. But there's only so much that can be done on the local level.

Dinorah Prevost / WUSF Public Media

As sea levels continue to rise in Florida, repeated flooding and storm surge are major concerns for Tampa Bay.

David Hastings, a climate scientist at Eckerd College, said the region could experience some of the most severe effects of climate change. He told the civic group Cafe Con Tampa on Friday that in the next 30 years, sixty-five thousand homes in Florida will flood twice a month affecting 100,000 Florida residents.

If current sea-level rise trends continue, the ocean that makes many South Florida cities desirable places to live may become an existential threat.

Climate change could impact the strength of hurricanes in the Atlantic. That’s according to Senior NASA Scientist Timothy Hall, who spoke Wednesday during a webinar hosted by ReThink Energy Florida, an environmental advocacy group.

National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service

No more computer models or projections. Finally – concrete data.

A scientific paper published in February may pave the way for a new conversation about rising sea levels using data instead of projections.

Wikipedia Commons

Marches to raise awareness about the need to address climate change and rising sea levels will be held Saturday throughout the Tampa Bay area. It's part of a worldwide effort to urge action to curb greenhouse gases.