If this CRS report isn't timely after a trip to Florida, I don't know what is. Then again, I was in Orlando, which is on a 'mountain' - about 80 feet (25 meters) above current mean sea level. So you'll be safe in Orlando, but you may have a few million more neighbors.
This report was released on 12 September 2016, authored by Peter Folger and Nicole T. Carter.: Sea-Level Rise and U.S. Coasts: Science and Policy Considerations.
Click on the graphics to enlarge them.
Policymakers are interested in sea-level rise because of the risk to coastal populations and infrastructure and the consequences for coastal species and ecosystems. From 1901 to 2010, global sea levels rose an estimated 187 millimeters (mm; 7.4 inches), averaging a 1.7 mm (0.07 inch) rise annually. Estimates are that the annual rate rose to 3.2 mm (0.13 inches) from 1992 to 2010. Although the extent of future sea-level rise remains uncertain, sea-level rise is anticipated to have a range of effects on U.S. coasts. It is anticipated to contribute to flood and erosion hazards, permanent or temporary land inundation, saltwater intrusion into coastal freshwaters, and changes in coastal terrestrial and estuarine ecosystems.
Some states, such as Florida and Louisiana, and U.S. territories have a considerable share of their assets, people, economies, and water supplies vulnerable to sea-level rise. In 2010, roughly 100 million people lived in U.S. coastal shoreline counties. Increased flood risk associated with sea- level rise may increase demand for federal disaster assistance and challenge the National Flood Insurance Program. Federal programs support local and state infrastructure investments such as roads, bridges, and municipal water facilities that may be damaged or impaired. Sea-level rise also is anticipated to affect numerous federal facilities.
Global and Relative Sea Levels. Sea levels are expressed in terms of global sea levels, which is the average value of sea surface heights around the globe, and relative sea levels, which is the sea level relative to the land surface. Since 1900, expanding oceans due to warming ocean water and melting glaciers and ice sheets have been the main drivers of global sea-level rise. Oceans have warmed due to a combination of natural variability and the influence of greenhouse gas emissions on atmospheric temperatures. Similarly, glaciers and ice sheets since 1900 have been melting due to both natural variability and greenhouse gas emissions. In 2012, the U.S. National Climate Assessment expressed very high confidence in global sea levels rising at least 0.2 meters (8 inches) but no more than 2.0 meters (6.6 feet) by 2100.
There are regional and local variations in the rate of sea-level rise. Regional or local factors can be natural, such as the land rebounding upward after continental ice sheets melted at the end of the last ice age, or they may be due to human activities, such as groundwater pumping, oil and gas extraction, sediment compaction, and land management practices, among others. With few exceptions, sea levels are rising relative to the coastlines of the contiguous United States, as well as parts of the Alaskan and Hawaiian coastlines.
Policy Considerations. Policy choices related to sea-level rise have the potential to shape the future development and resiliency of U.S. coasts. Policy options include a continuation of current government programs and policies, actions that address the forces contributing to sea-level rise globally or locally, and actions that reduce the vulnerability to and consequences of sea-level rise on U.S. coasts. For all the policy options, there are underlying questions of costs and benefits and who bears the costs of pursuing or not pursuing the policies. A challenge for federal lawmakers is how to deal with the tension between federal efforts to manage national and federal government risks (e.g., federal disaster costs, coastal ecosystem shifts) related to sea-level rise and the local and state roles in shaping coastal development and ecosystem health. Related policy questions include the following: To what extent do federal programs, regulations, and funding influence how coasts develop and redevelop? Who is responsible for the costs associated with adjusting to sea-level rise? Who will bear the risks associated with vulnerable coastal development and infrastructure? Some stakeholders are concerned that governments at all levels are paying insufficient attention to the risks posed by sea-level rise; others are concerned that overestimating the risk of sea-level rise could result in foregoing current uses of coastal areas and promoting overinvestment and overdesign of sea-level rise mitigation and adaptation.
This is an excellent report - very comprehensive given its short length. Great graphics. Groundwater, too!
"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." - Muriel Rukeyser