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Sea Level Rise/ Flooding | SSMC

Sea Level Rise/ Flooding

Sea level rise (SLR) is primarily driven by three factors: thermal expansion of ocean waters, melting glaciers, and loss of polar ice sheets. Even though there have been different scenarios projected for SLR, it will certainly lead to coastal erosion, wetland flooding, contamination of aquifers and agricultural soil with salt, and coastal flora and fauna loss. It will also impact infrastructure and built systems in low-lying areas and force coastal communities (most of which are socially vulnerable and disadvantaged) and businesses to move inland, thereby affecting millions of lives and business continuity.

Graph: Areas inundated with 1 ft to 3 ft SLR. Source – County of San Mateo Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment, Pg 52. Accessed here.

 

SMC is considered to be one of the most at-risk county in California from SLR, according to this press release by Climate Central. Specifically, in SMC, several low-lying wastewater treatment plants that serve multiple cities are at risk of a 3-foot SLR, and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is at risk of a 2-foot SLR. The adjoining map contains details of at-risk infrastructure in different SLR scenarios. The complete vulnerability assessment of SMC can be accessed here. To know more about potential value of damages to homes and properties, use this interactive tool created by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). To explore flood maps and know more about areas under inundation in different SLR scenarios, use this interactive tool created by Our Coast, Our Future.

 

 

 

Graph: Areas inundated with 1 ft to 3 ft SLR. Source – County of San Mateo Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment, Pg 52. Accessed here.

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