Surging Seas: Ocean at the Door

Created: 6/12/2019 - Updated: 2/27/2020


Climate Central’s and Zillow’s Surging Seas: Ocean at the Door map shows the vulnerability of old and new housing stock to rising seas plus chronic floods, helping homeowners, planners, renters, and real-estate investors understand the consequences of the changing climate for coastal property. Potential flood exposure maps are generated by comparing land elevation to the height of a typical once-a-year flood, plus local sea level rise projections over time. Areas below the resulting heights are classified as being in a “risk zone.” The shape and extent of the risk zone depends on the year selected, climate pollution scenario and other factors that can be tuned by clicking on Set Projections.

This map displays the number and value of homes located in the selected risk zone, including a special focus on recently built homes. The map incorporates the latest, high-resolution, high-accuracy lidar elevation data supplied by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA; for exceptions, see sources), and provides the ability to search by location name or postal code.

This map is paired with a companion reportbrief, and interactive tool (scroll to the “Future Flood Risk to Homes” section of the tool after inputting a location name).The integrated project was executed in partnership between Climate Central and Zillow.


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.


Scale of Project
National / Federal
Sector Addressed
Land Use Planning
Transportation / Infrastructure
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Infrastructure damage
Sea level rise
Type of Tool
Adaptation Planning / Decision Support
Habitat/Biome Type
Tool Cost

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