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SOURCE: The News Tribune

DATE: July 30, 2018

SNIP: When planning for a rise in sea level caused by climate change over the coming decades, researchers say, even a seemingly small increase in absolute sea level will have big implications along Washington’s more than 3,000 miles of coastline.

Roads, homes and vital infrastructure all stand to be affected. One-hundred-year weather events could become 18-year weather events, experts say.

That includes Tacoma, where researchers expect sea level to rise from roughly 1.5 to more than 3 feet by 2100, depending on the level for greenhouse gas emissions over that time.

Meanwhile, under what researchers consider a “high greenhouse gas scenario” — essentially described as the status quo, where emissions continue to increase — sea levels in Olympia are expected to rise between 2 and 3.4 feet.

How can we plan for this future? That’s one reason why a new report from the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group and Washington Sea Grant is so valuable, according to the researchers behind it.

[T]he report provides a detailed look at the probable rise in sea levels at 171 sites along the coast and Puget Sound. The study utilizes the latest science, including the potential for higher-than-expected sea level rise in the 21st century.