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When it comes to climate change, one thing is certain: our oceans are rising. And South Florida is expected to be among the first regions on Earth to experience the impact. In fact, some initial preparations are already underway. WLRN-Miami Herald News presents a series of stories about the effects of sea-level rise. The project is called “Elevation Zero: Rising Seas In South Florida." Click through the pages below to see our entire archive of Elevation Zero stories.

Study Finds "Extreme" Sea Level Rise Could Displace Entire South Florida Cities By 2100

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, monitors weather and climate change for the federal government. It predicts about one foot of sea level rise by 2100 under the best case scenario, and more than eight feet of sea level rise in the so-called “extreme” scenario. That’s prompted a study that shows what extreme sea level rise could look like in South Florida.


The non-profit, independent research group Climate Central conducted this study. It says under worst-case conditions of 10 to 12 feet of sea level rise, 29 percent of Floridians would be displaced by 2100. But in some South Florida cities, displacement rates could be much, much higher. For example, 100 percent of Hialeah, Homestead, Miami Beach, Doral and Pembroke Pines residents could be at risk of having to seek higher ground.


NOAA says there’s a less than two percent chance that seas will rise more than five feet before the end of the century. In a January report, its researchers said sea level rise and the rising temperatures that cause it can be limited by taking carbon out of the atmosphere. It’s not clear how that might happen.