Sea Level Rise and Global Climate Change: A Review of Impacts to U.S. Coasts

This early report, published by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (now Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, C2ES), describes the threat that sea level rise poses, and identifies the specific types of impacts this phenomenon will likely have. The state of understanding of the impacts on U.S. coasts is reviewed, and impacts described include inundation of wetlands and lowlands, coastal erosion, increased vulnerability to flooding, and salinization of the water supply. 

This report also emphasizes the importance of human activities in increasing the vulnerability of the coastal zone to sea-level rise, and measures to reduce that vulnerability.  Additionally, the report gives a broad overview of how regional coastal topography will cause differences in relative local rates of sea level rise.

Three different types of policy responses are also discussed, including planned retreat, accommodation, and hard structure and soft protection.

Publication Date: February 2000

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • James E. Neumann
  • Gary Yohe
  • Robert Nicholls
  • Michelle Manion

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  • Assessment

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