City Sea Level Rise (SLR)

20" by 2050

Long Island and Southeastern CT should plan for a 20" sea level rise by 2050. This conclusion was reached by James O'Donnell of UConn's Department of Marine Sciences and CT Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaption. A precursor to Mr. O'Donnell's conclusion was a technical report issued by NOAA entitled "Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment". This document identified 4 sea level rise scenarios ranging from an 8" rise to a 6.6' rise by 2100. This document was not specific to one area but gave guidance for planners and researchers to determine how sea levels may impact local communities.

Utilizing this guidance, which has also been adopted by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in their long-range planning, Mr. O'Donnell concluded that by 2100, Connecticut may experience a rise in sea level from nearly 2' to 6.8'. Planning for such a distant time frame is very challenging so the guidance provided is to plan for the year 2050, which is coincident with a typical mortgage of 30 years. The extrapolated data suggest a 20" rise by 2050. "However, alerting the public with property in the altitude zone impacted if a 1.0M (3.3') increase in mean sea level was to occur is also prudent" the text also states. It should also be noted that Mr. O'Donnell suggests that the science behind these conclusions could change as more data is collected and analyzed. Thus, he suggests a 10-year reassessment of the planning threshold.

Mapping Tools

To explore an interactive mapping tool on how sea level rise, and other scenarios, may impact the City of Groton and other coastal regions City of Groton, CT: Community Resiliency Planning.