Surging Seas Risk Finder

Posted on: 10/30/2013 - Updated on: 2/27/2020

Posted by

Rachel Gregg


Climate Central released Surging Seas Risk Finder, its second generation web tools and analysis, in October 2013, with a major upgrade in April 2014. Risk Finders are now available for most coastal U.S. states. We will roll out tools on a regional basis for all U.S. coastal states, including Hawaii and Alaska.

Climate Central's Surging Seas Risk Finder is designed to provide local regions and policy makers with the tailored local information they need to understand and respond to the risks of sea level rise and coastal flooding. They contain major updates to our analysis, using the same essential methods as our original work, but incorporating greatly improved and expanded data.

The Surging Seas Risk Finder presents searchable complete results in detail, divided into four areas:

  • Forecast: Projections of sea level rise and flood risk
  • Map: Interactive zooming map of sea level and flood risk zones
  • Analysis: Detailed analysis of exposed population, assets and infrastructure by individual location, from zip to state level
  • Comparison: Comparisons of exposure across the whole state or selected county

UPDATE - August 20, 2015

 We have launched Surging Seas Risk Finder and new reports for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama​, the three states hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, on the eve of the storm's 10-year anniversary, and in the hope that our offering will be a useful new tool to inform future resilience efforts. ​You can a​ccess sea level and flood risk analysis for ​all 21 coastal states​ so far released,​ ​plus Washington, D.C.​,​ on our website.

New Findings Include: 

  • In​ ​Louisiana, more than one million people live below 6 feet​​*,​​ ​including roughly a quarter million that appear to lack levee protection, using ​our​ methodology.​**
  • ​In Mississippi, the exposure of populations with high social vulnerability is disproportionately high, 50 percent greater than would be expected if the chance of exposure were the same for all social vulnerability levels.
  • In Alabama, 87 percent of the property value exposed below 6 feet ​sits in just two zip codes. ​
  • Floods are very likely to reach more than 6 feet above the high tide line this century across these three states, even under low sea level rise scenarios. Floods are likely to break 10 feet under a fast scenario.


The public web tool was developed in order to provide local regions and policy makers with tailored local information that can be used to assess and respond to the risks of sea level rise and coastal flooding. 

Currently available for:

      - California
      - Connecticut
      - Delware
      - Florida
      - Georgia
      - Maine
      - Maryland
      - Massachusetts
      - New Hampshire
      - New Jersey
      - New York
      - North Carolina
      - Oregon
      - Rhode Island
      - South Carolina
      - Virginia
      - Washington
      - Washington, D.C. - See more at:…

Managing Organizations

Climate Central is an independent nonprofit organization that was founded in 2008 to meet the need for a central authoritative source for climate change information.

Climate Central scientists publish peer-reviewed research on climate science; energy; impacts such as sea level rise; climate attribution and more. But our work isn't confined to scientific journals. We investigate and synthesize weather and climate data and science to equip local communities and media with the tools they need to visualize the threat of climate change and the need for practical solutions.