Sea Level Rise

A growing topic in Newport

Only three months into 2014, the city of Newport has hosted two lectures on the effects of climate change on our beautiful city by the sea. Recent storms such as Irene, Sandy and Nemo have put the city on high alert for flooding events and their likeliness to happen again continues to grow. In Newport, the sea level rise is estimated to reach three to five feet by 2100, with a potential for one foot of sea level rise by 2050.

Downtown Newport Flood Map
A map of downtown Newport with potential seal level rise including storms surges based on previous events. Click here to view more maps of Newport by the RI Sea Grant.

Warming waters in our region have already created higher sea levels, and the melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and mountain glaciers are already affecting global ocean levels. Sea level rise impacts communities by inundating low-lying coastal areas and increasing risks from storm tides.

In Rhode Island, an estimated 2,700 homes are within an elevation of 3.3 feet above sea level. Planning for more frequent flooding during extreme high tides, winter storms, and hurricanes is the first step. Luckily the state of Rhode Island is being proactive in terms of planning for these changes and is leading the country in how to plan for large flooding events.

For more information on how Rhode Island is planning for climate change visit: riclimatechange.org and seagrant.gso.uri.edu/climate.

We also recommend checking out NOAA's Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts interactive map to view any city in the United States with up to six feet of sea level rise.