America's shoreline won't look the same in 2050. Shorelines change gradually all the time, but a combination of factors — chief among them rising sea levels — mean that some stretches of the U.S. coasts could be altered dramatically in the next 35 years.
In a 2014 report, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey attempted to predict the likelihood of a coastal area receding by at least one meter (three feet, four inches) in a year. To do this, they looked at available data on rates of sea-level rise plus several geological and hydrographic factors: wave height, tidal range, coastal slope, geographic features of the coastal area, and the rate the shoreline has changed in the past.
What they found is good news for most of the West Coast, but bad tidings for the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. In the map below, Dutch data visualization specialist Nadieh Bremer shows which areas are most likely to see their shoreline disappear by a meter or more a year, with the bigger, brighter red dots signifying such change is extremely likely and smaller, grayer dots signifying the opposite. — Peter Weber
The West Coast:
The Pacific Northwest:
The East Coast:
The Gulf of Mexico:
Click below for the full map: