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Abstract

Sea level rise (SLR) along Virginia’s coasts and around the Chesapeake Bay as measured by tide gauges is analyzed and discussed. It is shown that the SLR rates vary between one location to another and in most locations the rates increase over time (i.e., SLR is accelerating). The latest science of SLR is reviewed and the causes of the high SLR rates in Virginia are discussed. The impacts of land subsidence and ocean currents (changes in the Gulf Stream in particular) on sea level are especially notable and important for predicting future SLR in Virginia. The consequences of SLR on increased duration and severity of floods are demonstrated and potential responses are discussed.

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