Updating Maryland's Sea-level Rise Projections
With 3,100 miles of tidal shoreline and low-lying rural and urban lands, "The Free State" is one of the most vulnerable to sea-level rise. Historically, Marylanders have long had to contend with rising water levels along the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and Coastal Bay shores. Shorelines have eroded and low-relief lands and islands (some previously inhabited) have been inundated. Prior to the 20th century, this was largely due to the slow sinking of the land since the Earth's crust is still adjusting to the melting of large masses of ice following the last glacial period. Over the 20th century, however, relative sea-level rise (how much the average level of tidal waters has risen with respect to land) has increased, at least partially as a result of global warming. This report interprets recent scientific results to produce projections useful for sea-level rise adaptation in Maryland.