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      Sea-level rise exponentially increases coastal flood frequency

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          Abstract

          Sea-level rise will radically redefine the coastline of the 21 st century. For many coastal regions, projections of global sea-level rise by the year 2100 (e.g., 0.5–2 meters) are comparable in magnitude to today’s extreme but short-lived increases in water level due to storms. Thus, the 21 st century will see significant changes to coastal flooding regimes (where present-day, extreme-but-rare events become common), which poses a major risk to the safety and sustainability of coastal communities worldwide. So far, estimates of future coastal flooding frequency focus on endpoint scenarios, such as the increase in flooding by 2050 or 2100. Here, we investigate the continuous shift in coastal flooding regimes by quantifying continuous rates of increase in the occurrence of extreme water-level events due to sea-level rise. We find that the odds of exceeding critical water-level thresholds increases exponentially with sea-level rise, meaning that fixed amounts of sea-level rise of only ~1–10 cm in areas with a narrow range of present-day extreme water levels can double the odds of flooding. Combining these growth rates with established sea-level rise projections, we find that the odds of extreme flooding double approximately every 5 years into the future. Further, we find that the present-day 50-year extreme water level (i.e., 2% annual chance of exceedance, based on historical records) will be exceeded annually before 2050 for most (i.e., 70%) of the coastal regions in the United States. Looking even farther into the future, the present-day 50-year extreme water level will be exceeded almost every day during peak tide (i.e., daily mean higher high water) before the end of the 21 st century for 90% of the U.S. coast. Our findings underscore the need for immediate planning and adaptation to mitigate the societal impacts of future flooding.

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          Detecting outliers: Do not use standard deviation around the mean, use absolute deviation around the median

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                svitousek@usgs.gov
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                16 April 2020
                16 April 2020
                2020
                : 10
                : 6466
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2175 0319, GRID grid.185648.6, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Civil & Materials Engineering, ; Chicago, IL 60607 USA
                [2 ]U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2188 0957, GRID grid.410445.0, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, Department of Earth Sciences, ; Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9716-441X
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3369-4673
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1414-6476
                http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9085-8470
                Article
                62188
                10.1038/s41598-020-62188-4
                7162943
                32300112
                730a6232-d619-41a1-8ab8-5fd9b436d9e5
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 6 November 2019
                : 21 February 2020
                Funding
                Funded by: Department of the Interior | United States Geological Survey | Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (#G16AC00275)
                Categories
                Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Uncategorized
                climate-change impacts,natural hazards,physical oceanography
                Uncategorized
                climate-change impacts, natural hazards, physical oceanography

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