Interactive Sea Level Rise Data Visualizations

These two interactive Tableau data visualizations help users query, visualize and compare the latest projections for sea level rise out to the year 2150 from Miller et al. 2018. These tools are designed for direct application to risk management and planning in Washington state.

The sea level projections are locally-specific — data are provided for 171 locations along Washington’s coastline, accounting for the geographic variability in vertical movement of the land surface across Washington state. The projections are probabilistic — they describe a full range of likelihoods of future sea level changes for a given greenhouse gas scenario over time.

Learn more about the projections and the data visualizations by clicking on the tiles or by navigating directly to the visualizations below.

For more information about the projections, and for extensive documentation on the methodology used, please read the project report and associated appendices.

About the Data Visualizations

There are two different ways to visualize the relative sea level projections for Washington state.

We've produced two different ways to visualize the Washington state 2018 relative sea level rise (RSLR) projections. Both allow users to explore how the projections change over time (2020-2150) for over 171 distinct locations along the Washington coast.

These tools enable users to:
• Select a specific location of interest
• Visualize how the anticipated amount of local sea level rise depends on future greenhouse gas emissions
• Explore different likelihoods for how much sea level rise could occur at different points in time (e.g., "When is this location likely to experience XX feet of sea level rise, with YY% confidence?") (Visualization #1, see below)
• Explore the likelihood of a certain amount of sea level rise at a given point in time (e.g., When is this location likely to experience XX feet of sea level rise, with YY% confidence?”) (Visualization #2, see below)
Viz 1: Visualize Projected Sea Level Change By YearViz 2: Visualize the Likelihood of a Given Sea Level Change By YearAccess the Visualizations on Tableau Public

Using the Visualizations

Learn some handy tips for using and navigating the data visualizations.

Have a question about what is displayed or how to use these Tableau data visualizations? Read our quick tips and tricks for using these data visualizations. Or, watch the 20-minute webinar with Harriet Morgan, "Visualizing Washington’s Sea Level Rise Projections."
Download the How to Use Info SheetWatch the webinar

Relative Sea Level Rise?

These visualizations show projected relative sea level rise. What is relative sea level rise?

Relative sea level rise (RSLR) is the long-term (over multiple years or decades) average sea surface height relative to a fixed point on land. Relative sea level changes reflect both changes in absolute sea level and vertical movement of the land surface (i.e., subsidence or uplift). In Washington state, vertical land movement can impact near- and long-term changes in observed and projected relative sea level rise.
Learn More

Planning for Sea Level Rise

What other coastal hazards should be considered in planning?

The Miller et al. (2018) projections describe potential changes in the long-term average relative sea level (i.e., over multiple years or decades), relative to the contemporary sea level (defined as average sea level between 1991-2009). Short-term water level variability – e.g., due to storms, El Niño, and other processes – can temporarily add to or reduce the rate of sea level change, and will continue to do so into the future. If there is a subduction zone earthquake parts of Washington’s coastline may be subject to a sudden, additional land level change which is not factored into relative sea level rise projections. Coastal subsidence during such an event would have the effect of raising local relative sea level.

A report has also been published on Extreme Water Level in Washington State that includes guidance intended to support planning for the multiple dimensions of sea level rise in coastal Washington.
Learn MoreExtreme Water Level in Washington StateAdditional Sea Level Rise Resources & Reports



Climate Impacts Group Researcher Harriet Morgan walks viewers through how to use the Sea Level Rise data visualization tool.


VISUALIZATION #1: Projected sea level change by year


VISUALIZATION #2: Likelihood of a given sea level change by year


SUGGESTED CITATION

Lavin, P., Roop, H.A., Neff, P.D., Morgan, H., Cory, D., Correll, M., Kosara, R., and Norheim, R., 2019. Interactive Washington State Sea Level Rise Data Visualizations. Prepared by the Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, Seattle. Updated 7/20.

FUNDING

The project was funded by an EarthLab Innovation Grant with support from Tableau and Seattle Public Utilities. Additional support was provided by the Climate Impacts Group’s Science Communication Fund. Paige Lavin, a Program on Climate Change (PCC) capstone student, was instrumental in the development of these data visualizations.

PROJECT CONTACT

Questions can be directed to Harriet Morgan

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