• Paul D. Wilke


Here's a link to an interactive tool found on NOAA's website depicting how rising sea levels will likely impact coastal areas. You can pick any location and then see what happens to the coastline as sea levels continue to rise all the way up to 2100. If you're hoping to buy some beachfront property for yourself that will be handed down to your kids someday, I'd recommend giving this a look first.

We recently vacationed on Tybee Island, Georgia, which is located in a low-lying marshy area right off the mainland. The screenshots below are simulations showing how the coastline is impacted for each foot of sea level rise. You can also tweak the settings to see what the anticipated timelines are for for best and worst-case scenarios, and everything in between.

1. Here is Tybee Island, Georgia at current sea levels:

2. Here is Tybee Island, Georgia after a 1-foot rise in sea level. Fort Pulaski is now isolated.

3. Tybee Island, Georgia after a 2-foot rise in sea level. At this point, the road to the mainland will be underwater during high tides.

4. Tybee Island, Georgia after a 3-foot rise in sea level. These next few represent worst-case, longer-term scenarios.

5. Tybee Island, Georgia after a 4-foot rise in sea level. Notice the main island is now starting to get devoured by the Atlantic. Any hurricane, though relatively rare on this part of the coast, would be catastrophic.

6. Tybee Island, Georgia after a 5-foot rise in sea level.

7. And finally, Tybee Island, Georgia after a 6-foot rise in sea level.