Sea Level Rise in the Meadowlands: 2023 Measurements

Coastal marsh ecosystems are in danger of disappearing if the sea level rise is greater than the marsh’s surface elevation change. Every year for the past 15 years we measure marsh surface elevation to see how marshlands are keeping up with sea level rise. In 2023, we measured six sites. Sites monitored for less than five years (3 sites) show a 14.2 mm/year increase in surface elevation. Sites monitored for 15 years or more (3 sites) showed increases of 7.2 mm/yr. The data is more reliable with increasing years of monitoring. According to the latest estimates (Kopp et al. 2016a), there is a 50% chance that the rate of SLR in New Jersey by 2050 will exceed 8 mm/year relative to 2000 levels, and there is a 95% chance that it will exceed 4 mm/year. Therefore, the chance that we will see sea level rise impacts in the Meadowlands marshes by 2050 is between 50 and 95%.
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