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Briefing Date:06/21/2012
Topic:Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
National Research Council
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
and
Ocean Studies Board
Committee on Sea Level Rise in California, Oregon, and Washington

*****

Congressional Briefings
Thursday, June 21, 2012
253 Russell Senate Office Bldg. – 2:00 p.m.
and
2318 Rayburn House Office Bldg. – 3:30 p.m.

on

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington:
Past, Present, and Future

by

ROBERT A. DALRYMPLE, Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Civil Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, and Chair, Committee on Sea Level Rise in California, Oregon, and Washington, National Research Council

ANNE M. LINN, Study Director, Committee on Sea Level Rise in California, Oregon, and Washington, National Research Council

Sea level is rising, placing cities and infrastructure that line many coasts at increased risk of coastal flooding, storm surge inundation, shoreline erosion and retreat, and wetland loss. Global sea level rose during the 20th century, and observations and projections suggest that it will rise at a higher rate during the 21st century. However, sea-level rise is not uniform; it varies from place to place. Consequently, some states are seeking to incorporate local projections into coastal planning. The forthcoming National Research Council report Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future estimates the contributions to global sea-level rise (such as thermal expansion of ocean water and melting of ice sheets and glaciers) as well as the factors that influence sea-level rise along the U.S. west coast (such as atmosphere and ocean circulation patterns in the northeast Pacific Ocean and tectonics along the coast). It then uses models and historic trends to project sea levels for 2030, 2050, and 2100, both globally and along the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts.

These briefings were for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on June 22, 2012 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.

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