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Global Warming's Flooding Could Hit L.A. Sooner Than Expected

Global Warming's Flooding Could Hit L.A. Sooner Than Expected

A climate-research organization says global warming - triggered conditions could create "unprecedented coastal flood heights in the Los Angeles area" as soon as 30 years from now.

That appears to be sooner and harsher than previously predicted. Climate Central has released new forecast data, including an interactive map (below), on global warming's coastal effects for L.A.

It found that ...

 ... coastal flooding could affect 6,000 L.A. County residents, $1.4 billion in property, 32 miles of public roads, and 34 sites listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as potential sources of contamination.

If it weren't for protection "features" such as beach ridges and tidal gates, the damage would be worse, Climate Central says:

Nearly 12,000 people and $3 billion in property occupy county land less than 3 feet above the high tide line in Los Angeles County, with 90 percent of those totals concentrated in Long Beach and Venice.

Researchers at the nonprofit group think that global warming - triggered sea levels will start to hit the 3-foot mark along the L.A. coast by midcentury.

Experts say the collapse of part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet as well as an accelerating Antarctic ice loss rate add up to higher sea levels locally - at 3 feet above the mean high tide - starting from 30 to 50 years from now

Ben Strauss of Climate Central says:

Sea level rise means more floods, reaching higher - and that's already happening today. In Southern California, floods threaten small bays and port areas. The open coast won't flood - but erosion will increase on beaches and rocky shores.

On June 11, Climate Central will launch a microsite for data on California climate change. It will be available here .

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.