Sea Level Rise: By the Numbers

Global warming is causing our sea levels to rise and putting our coastal cities -- and billions of people -- at risk across the globe. Consider these stats:


Since the late 19th century, sea level has risen by more than two millimeters per year on average, the steepest rate for more than 2,100 years. 


The sea level has risen four to 10 inches during this past century -- and is predicted to rise another three feet by 2100.


In the U.S., 53% of American live in or near coastal cities and towns.


Of the world’s largest cities, 13 out of 20 are located on a coast.


Almost 25% of the world’s population is settled near a coastline, within 62 miles (100 kilometers) of a shoreline. Expectations are that this percentage could increase to 50% in the next few decades with the trend of people moving to coastal cities.


As much as 33% of coastal land and wetland habitats are likely to be lost in the next hundred years, if the level of the ocean continues to rise at the current rate.


For every foot of sea leve rise, we can expect about 100 feet of coastal flooding. 


More than 600 million people live in coastal regions that are less than 10 meters above sea level.   


There are more than 12,000 miles of coastline in the United States.

(Sources: Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, Climate InstituteArchitecture 2030

More on Sea Level Rise

Sea Level Rise: Most Threatened Cities

Sea Level Rise: Rapid Ice Shelf Melting

Sea Level Rise: At-Risk Populations