New Map Shows How Climate Change Could Sink Parts of Maryland

People with banners protest as part of a climate change march

Climate scientists warn that parts of Maryland could be underwater by 2050. A report from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the Maryland Commission on Climate Change estimates that sea levels will rise by between 1 and 1.6 feet in the next few decades and produced a map showing significant sections of the Old Line State submerged. By 2100, the scientists project that water levels could increase by as much as 4.9 feet. 

Bill Dennison, who helped conduct the research, described Maryland as the most vulnerable state in the US, specifically the Chesapeake Bay region. He said the area “has a lot of low-lying coastline that will be inundated.” 

The study is not the first to suggest that parts of the United States will be underwater in the coming decades. Some estimates claim that as many as 17 American cities will be submerged by 2050, including Miami, Atlantic City, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and New Orleans. 

If sea levels grow by 4 to 8 inches by 2050, the island of Manhattan will be partly underwater, whereas New Orleans may be similarly affected by 2040. This is according to some travel guides and is based on a projection that water levels will rise eight feet by 2100. 

A study by Rutgers University in 2018 also cited that possibility and stated that levels had risen 0.2 feet since the start of the 21st century. An Annual Review of Environment and Resources said that 11% of the world’s population is vulnerable to flooding that could devastate economies and infrastructure. 

However, some experts disagree and say there is no impending climate catastrophe. The World Climate Declaration comprises scientists and experts from various disciplines, calling for the climate debate to be purged of politics and based instead on objective science. They say the world has warmed “significantly less than predicted” and that politicized spokespeople understand far less about the climate than they espouse.