Global warming, or the increasing of earth's temperatures, leads to rising sea level as polar ice caps and mountain glaciers melt and ocean water undergoes thermal expansion. Tidal records collected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Mobile District, at Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula, Mississippi, and at Mobile, Alabama, indicate trends of water-surface elevations increasing with time (relative sea-level rise). The trends indicated by the COE data were compared to relative sea-level trends indicated by the National Ocean Survey gages in the Gulf of Mexico. The average global rate of sea level rise has been suggested to approach about 2 mm/yr (0.007 ft/yr). Some leading scientists have suggested rates of sea level rise that are greater than 2 mm/yr, when accounting for effects of greenhouse gas emissions. As the sea level rises and inundates the coastal plain, structures along the existing coast and structures located in the back bays of estuaries will be even more adversely affected by future flooding. Also, if the land surface adjacent to the water also sinks due to soil compaction and other geologic processes (collectively call subsidence), additional land will be inundated. Copyright ASCE 2004.
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Relative sea-level rise as indicated by gage data along the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts
World Water and Environmental Resources Congress 2001