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July 10, 2019

Atlantic City could see flooding more than 100 times per year by 2050, report says

High tide flooding is one of the most noticeable impacts of global sea level rise, NOAA says

Environment Climate Change
Atlantic City open container bill Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Atlantic City could see high tide flooding more than 100 times per year if current climate trends continue, a new report says.

If current climate change trends continue, Atlantic City could experience coastal flooding more than 100 times per year by 2050, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The comprehensive report examined the state of high tide flooding in 2018 and looks forward to the next year, and beyond. High tide flooding, as defined by NOAA, is "coastal flooding that occurs at high tide when water levels measured at NOAA tide gauges exceed heights associated with minor impacts."

NOAA calls high tide flooding one of the most noticeable impacts of global sea level rise, and New Jersey's coast is square in its crosshairs.

In 2018, according to NOAA, Atlantic City had nine days of high tide flooding; this year, the NOAA expects the number will fall between eight and 14, staying relatively consistent.

But in the next decade, and then in the next 30 years, the figure could skyrocket. By 2030, the agency believes Atlantic City will see between 20 and 35 days of high tide flooding each year and by 2050 as many as 65 to 155 events per year.

You can explore a web version of the NOAA report here, including interactive maps for the 40 "accelerating high tide flooding" locations, including Cape May and Ocean City, Maryland. The full report is available here.

Notably, a recent study estimates that New Jersey could see more than 2,500 homes flooded or submerged entirely because of sea level rise by 2050. The flooding and submerging, according to the report from Climate Central, would result in a $2.62 billion loss for New Jersey homeowners.

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