U.S. Military on the Front Lines of Rising Seas

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has analyzed the exposure and vulnerability of coast military installations to tidal flooding and sea level rise through the end of the century. 18 East and Gulf Coast sites in Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington D.C. were selected to be representative of coastal installations nationwide in terms of size, geographic distribution and military branch. US Military on the Front Lines of Rising Seas includes an executive summary, a two-page fact sheet, and individual fact sheets for each of the 18 bases.

UCS analyzed exposure of each installation’s land areas to tidal flooding, land loss, and storm surge in the absence of preventive measures over the next 100 years, and found that all of the 18 coastal military bases are facing substantially increased risks if effective steps are not taken to reduce flooding. By the end of this century, most installations can expect a large increase in the frequency of tidal flooding, storm surges that cover greater areas at increased depth, and loss of utilized land area from coastal erosion and subsidence.

UCS determined that all but two of the installations studied could flood 100 times each year by midcentury with a moderate rate of sea level rise. By the end of this century, nine installations could lose one-quarter or more of their land area, including currently utilized areas, with a moderate rate of increase - and half of their land or more with a faster rate. In that faster-rate scenario, four military installations would lose between 75 and 95 percent of their land area this century.

A webpage and pdf fact sheet was developed for each of the military base's studies - providing details on the projected impacts from coastal flooding, maps with future high tides and highest scenarios, and preparedness recommendations from UCS. 



Publication Date: July 27, 2016

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