More on sea-level rise in the San Francisco Bay

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By Rebecca Bowe

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In this image of the Bay Area, the light blue shows areas that would be inundated with a 16-inch sea-level rise, and the dark blue shows areas impacted by a 55-inch sea-level rise.

When it comes to San Francisco Bay waterfront development, sea-level rise is a long-term threat that policymakers, developers, and coastal communities are just beginning to consider seriously. As we report in today’s Green City, water levels in the Bay are projected to rise as high as 16 inches by the middle of this century, and 55 inches by 2100, in worst-case scenarios, as a consequence of climate change.

San Francisco Bay: Preparing for the Next Level, a report issued by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and a trio of Dutch research and engineering firms, begins to lay out the possible implications of sea-level rise and offer possible mitigation strategies.

Here are a few images from that report depicting not just what may loom ahead, but how engineers from the Netherlands have suggested we deal with it.

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As this projection of the South Bay shows, San Mateo and Redwood City would be inundated by a 16-inch rise in sea level.

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The San Francisco Airport is of particular concern, and it already has areas that flood regularly. This graphic shows a report recommendation for levees that would wrap around the perimeter of the airport.

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A storm surge barrier with horizontal pivoting gates, in Maeslantkering, Port of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

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The spectrum of possible mitigation measures range from constructing sturdy levees to more adaptive solutions, like homes that can rise and fall with the tide.