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UW Sea Level Rise Projections

Jul 31

Written by:
7/31/2018 8:17 AM  RssIcon

imageA major new report has just been issued by the UW Climate Impacts Group. For the first time it gives detailed predictions for sea level rise that is mapped throughout Washington’s coast line, including Puget Sound.

Vashon is covered by 6 overlapping study regions, as shown in the map to the right.

Click on the map (may only work for some browsers, like Chrome) and then click on one of the circles representing the area you are interested in. A Google docs spreadsheet should open up providing probabilities of sea level rise decade by decade for that selected area. Note the spreadsheet has 3 tabs on the bottom.


“The new report provides probabilistic estimates for 171 coastal sites each decade from now until 2150. The analysis follows two previous assessments of sea-level rise in the state: the 2012 national report for sea-level rise in Washington, Oregon and California, and a 2008 report led by the UW Climate Impacts Group. In addition to updating the science, the new report offers more detail on what to expect at specific locations.

“The study follows a 2015 UW report on how climate change will affect Puget Sound. This new study provides much greater detail about sea-level rise, both in Puget Sound and along the coast.

Google Map of Washington“Previous assessments were zoomed out, and were not fine-scale enough to capture the variations in land movement along the coastlines,” said second author Harriet Morgan, a research consultant with the UW Climate Impacts Group. “Neah Bay is rising, and south Puget Sound is sinking. That up and down movement has a pretty big influence on how far the ocean will be able to travel inland.”


The actual report is at:

and articles about it are at:

This table shows the projections for feet of sea-level rise by 2100, taking into account geologically-driven vertical land motion, at three locations on Washington's coasts: Tacoma, Neah Bay and Taholah on the Quinault River. The white rows are for lower future emissions, and the yellow rows are for higher future emissions. Columns on the right are less likely, but still possible, scenarios, with the percent chance that each one could occur.

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