See the U.S. With an Ocean That's 10 Feet Higher

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This week a gradual -- but unstoppable -- sea-level rise of 10 feet or more was predicted by multiple studies, based on observations of warming in West Antarctica. But what does that look like? A new interactive map shows the effect of a 10-foot sea level rise on U.S. coastal areas.

Want to see how your favorite beachside town or, say, Fort Lauderdale fares? Enter your zip code and find out. (Spoiler alert: Miami and Boston do not look good.)

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The map is based on 2012 research by the organization Climate Central, which examined the projected sea-level rise on every coastal city, county and state in the contiguous United States. If the ocean is 10 feet higher, the researchers project that 28,800 square miles of land would be affected, where 12.3 million people currently live.

In 40 large cities, the researchers say, more than half of the land area falls less than 10 feet below the high-tide line. Virginia Beach and Miami would be two of the hardest hit. Hoboken, N.J., would be the least affected.

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More than half of those 40 cities are in Florida, says Climate Central, where 85 percent of all existing housing falls below the critical high-tide line.

Despite the dire outlook for Florida, it's New York that could be most threatened over time. About 700,000 people there live in low-lying areas, the researchers report. And a 10-foot sea-level rise would put swaths of every state in New England at risk.

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