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Georgia and the Surging Sea

Ben Strauss, Claudia Tebaldi, and Scott Kulp
Created: 12/29/2015 - Updated: 5/31/2019


Floods exceeding today’s historic records in the Savannah area, about 3.5 feet above the local high tide line, are likely to take place by 2040 under a mid-range sea level rise scenario. Low-range projections lead to a better than even chance of floods exceeding 3 feet over the same period – levels not seen in the last half-century. Under high-range projections, there is a near-certain chance of floods above 8 feet by end of century. The southern Georgia coast faces a very similar risk of 3- and 8-foot floods.

Sea levels are rising at an accelerating rate, and the scientific community is confident that global warming is the most important cause. Higher sea levels translate to more and higher coastal floods. To forecast future risk, this analysis integrates historic local sea level trends and flood statistics with global sea level rise scenarios, developed by a multi-agency federal task force led by NOAA in support of the recent U.S. National Climate Assessment.

This report is being released as a high-level summary of findings and methods, coincident with the online launch of a Surging Seas Risk Finder tool for the state, providing much more detailed and localized findings, and accessible via

Published On

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Flow patterns
Infrastructure damage
Sea level rise
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Make infrastructure resistant or resilient to climate change
Governance and Policy
Develop / implement adaptation plans
Develop / implement adaptive management strategies
Sociopolitical Setting: 

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