Much of Venice could be underwater in 96 or so years if a major Pacific storm hits and the ocean continues its global warming-triggered rise, USC researchers announced today.

That's right:

Projections include water all the way across Abbot Kinney Boulevard to Lincoln Boulevard by 2110 if conditions are right. Of course, 96 years is a long way off. But even by 2050, a two-foot rise in sea level could put some of L.A.'s gilded coast at risk of becoming a playground for fish. By 2100, academics are forecasting, a Tom Cruise-height increase in the ocean level on our coast (5.5 feet or so) could permanently redefine our definition of oceanfront property:
While USC's Sea Grant Program report has some good recommendations about how we can prepare, there doesn't seem to be much stopping the march of the sea.

The school's academics found that Ballona Creek could also flood through to Lincoln Boulevard in 96 years, putting much of the new Playa Vista community at risk.

A lot of what we depend on for civilization along the city's coast – “wastewater management, storm water management, potable water systems and roads” – could be washed out, according to a summary of the report's findings.

Along with Venice and Playa Vista, Wilmington and San Pedro also could end up being temporary boating destinations. Phyllis Grifman, lead author of the report, notes:

Some low-lying areas within the city's jurisdiction, such as Venice Beach and some areas of Wilmington and San Pedro, are already vulnerable to flooding.

Venice's “Abbot Kinney corridor,” now a white-hot strip of restaurants, bars and boutiques, is singled out for its low-lying exposure to a Pacific invasion.

The purple area represents high storm waters combined with sea-rise projections in 2110.; Credit: USC

The purple area represents high storm waters combined with sea-rise projections in 2110.; Credit: USC

The city could experience as much as $714 million in losses if the sea invades as expected.

For now the academics are calling for keen stormwatch warnings, serious sand “nourishment” and beach widening.

We also suggest investing in a life raft.

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