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Sea Level Rise: Threatened Areas Map

Move slider to select sea level rise scenario
(sea level rise in centimeters)

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Map Animation
Use these buttons to watch the map overlay reflect over time.
  • Click the Play button to begin the animation.
  • Click the Toggle button to alternate between the beginning and end of the available years. The beginning year displays temperature averages projected into the past, and the end year displays temperature averages projected into the future.
  • Use the Slider to control the speed of the animation.
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Timeline
The timeline displays which decade you are currently viewing on the map. You can manually drag the handle to change the year in view.
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Map Legend
The Legend displays the range of values visible on the map overlay for the variable being displayed (temperature degrees, inches of rainfall, area burned, etc).
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Click the toggle button on the bottom left corner of the map to view a magnified map. You can drag the magnified map or the magnifying glass on the larger map to explore the region.
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Tool Charts
Click anywhere on the map to see a chart for this area.

Using the Area Selection Type Menu to the left, edit types of selection areas:

  • grid cells, where each cell is an area of 12km x 12km
  • predefined county boundaries

Then click anywhere on the map to automatically change the area described in the chart.

Select various chart options in the dropdown menus to the right, which can include Month, Model, and Temperature ranges (High, Low, or Average).

Note: The first set of chart options control the variables being viewed on the map.

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Add a Chart for comparison

Click "Add Chart" to create an additional chart to compare with. After creating the new chart, click on a new area of the map to view a chart for the same options in another location. Or change an option in the dropdown menu to view the chart for the same location, with different settings.

To edit the first chart again, either directly edit the dropdown menus, or click on the Location Name and then click on a new location on the map.

Click "Predefined boundaries" in the Area Selection Type Menu to the left before clicking on an area of the map, if you'd like to compare counties to one another.

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Lock Location

Fix the locations of the graphs to one area by clicking this toggle.

Elevation:
Model:

Sea Level Rise

Global models indicate that California will see substantial sea level rise during this century, with the exact magnitude depending on such factors as, global emissions, rate at which oceans absorb heat, melting rates and movement of land-based ice sheets, and local coastal land subsidence or uplift. Cal-Adapt’s “Sea Level Rise” map tool displays areas that may be vulnerable to inundation during an extreme storm event coupled with sea level rise, using two different models (“Bathtub” and “CoSMoS”).

The “CoSMoS” (Coastal Storm Modeling System) model was developed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to represent sea level rise and storm events, accounting for physical structures, wave dynamics, coastal erosion, and other hydrodynamical factors. These data are currently avaialble for the Bay Area and outer coast from Bodega Head to just south of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay. Use the slider bar to visualize flood extent associated with potential sea level rise (from 0 cm to 5 m) and a 100-year storm. More comprehensive visualizations, data, and supporting information are available through Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF).

The “Bathtub” data were developed by USGS (Bay Area) and Pacific Institute (Coast) to explore consequences of a 100-year flood event with 1.4 m of sea level rise. Blue color indicates areas already threatened by flooding, while the lighter shades are area projected to also be vulnerable to flooding given 1.4 m sea level rise. The “Bathtub” model can help identify areas of potential vulnerability, but does not account for protective structures, such as levees; or hydrodynamical processes such as wave run-up.

For reccomendations regarding planning for sea level rise, please consult State guidance documents from the California Coastal Commission and the Ocean Protection Council.

Take a Tour

Additional Sea Level Rise Tools & Resources

A number of tools and models are available for the California coast. A comparison of these tools is available here. The links below connect to externally developed resources.

Create a chart by clicking a location on the map and altering one of the dropdown option boxes.

Disclaimer

This information is being made available for informational purposes only. Users of this information agree by their use to hold blameless the State of California, and its respective officers, employees, agents, contractors, and subcontractors for any liability associated with its use in any form. This work shall not be used to assess actual coastal hazards, insurance requirements, or property values and specifically shall not be used in lieu of Flood Insurance Studies and Flood Insurance Rate Maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Uncertainty

The data presented in this tool are projections of future climate. They are not weather predictions and should not be treated as such. Climate projections tell us how weather conditions are likely to change on average, but they cannot predict the weather at a particular day and time. Learn more about what climate models can and cannot tell us.

Although climate models are powerful and effective tools for simulating the climate system, there is some uncertainty inherent in any projection of the future, and climate model projections are no exception. For example, climate model projections illustrate how the climate system is expected to behave under specific scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions. Since our emissions of greenhouse gases depend on a variety of different social, political, and economic factors, we cannot be certain how they will change. Therefore, projected climate data may not prove to be accurate if the actual emissions pathway we follow differs from the scenarios used to make the projections.

Another source of uncertainty in climate projections is the fact that different climate models—the tools used to simulate the climate system and produce future climate data—may produce different outcomes. There are more than 30 global climate models developed by climate modeling centers around the world, and they have different ways of representing aspects of the climate system. In addition, some aspects of the climate system are less well understood than others. Climate scientists are constantly working to improve our theories of the climate system and its representation in climate models. In the meantime, one way to account for model differences is to look at projections from many different models to get a range of possible outcomes. You can then take the average of the values across the different models, and this average value is a more likely outcome than the value from any single model. The default visualizations in this Cal-Adapt are based on the average values from a variety of models. Find out more about climate change data.

Climate Tools


screen shot for the Local Climate Snapshots tool
icon for the Local Climate Snapshots tool
screen shot for the Temperature: Decadal Averages Map tool
icon for the Temperature: Decadal Averages Map tool
screen shot for the Temperature: Degrees of Change Map tool
icon for the Temperature: Degrees of Change Map tool
screen shot for the Temperature: Monthly Averages Chart tool
icon for the Temperature: Monthly Averages Chart tool
screen shot for the Temperature: Extreme Heat Tool tool
icon for the Temperature: Extreme Heat Tool tool
screen shot for the Snowpack: Decadal Averages Map tool
icon for the Snowpack: Decadal Averages Map tool
screen shot for the Precipitation: Decadal Averages Map tool
icon for the Precipitation: Decadal Averages Map tool
screen shot for the Sea Level Rise: Threatened Areas Map tool
icon for the Sea Level Rise: Threatened Areas Map tool
screen shot for the Wildfire: Fire Risk Map tool
icon for the Wildfire: Fire Risk Map tool

Sea Level Rise: Threatened Areas Map

Climate data provided by:

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Sea Level Rise

Data Set Contributed: Bay Area Inundation

These layers represent areas around San Francisco Bay at risk of inundation, and correspond to varying amounts of long-term sea level rise (varying over decades) in conjunction with various return levels corresponding to shorter-term variability (hours to years). Most of these areas are currently behind levees or other protective structures, and would only be inundated if those structures were to fail. These data are described in detail in the reference: Knowles, Noah. 2010. Potential Inundation Due to Rising Sea Levels in the San Francisco Bay Region. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 8:1. Available at

http://escholarship.org/uc/search?entity=jmie_sfews;volume=8;issue=1.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Data Set Contributed: Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS)

These layers represent CoSMoS coastal flooding projections for the San Francisco Bay area due to the combination of sea level rise and storms, including waves, tides, surge, steric effects, and fluvial discharge. These data are available for comprehensive visualization and download from Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF). OCOF is a collaborative effort between Point Blue Conservation Science, USGS, the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and Coravai LCC.

Barnard, P.L., van Ormondt, M., Erikson, L.H., Eshleman, J., Hapke, C., Ruggiero, P., Adams, P.N. and Foxgrover, A.C., 2014. Development of the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) for predicting the impact of storms on high-energy, active-margin coasts. Natural Hazards, Volume 74 (2), p. 1095-1125, DOI:10.1007/s11069-014-1236-y

Pacific Institute

Data Set Contributed: Pacific Institute Coastal Data

These data include areas inundated by 100-year unimpeded Pacific coastal flooding under baseline (year 2000) conditions for the California Coastline, as well as areas inundated by 100-year unimpeded Pacific coastal flooding under a scenario of 1.4-meter (55-inch) sea-level rise.  These data are available for download via the Pacific Institute.

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