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When Will Florida Be Underwater? Here's What Scientists Predict

Climate change is causing sea levels around Florida to rise. But when will Florida be underwater? Learn what scientists predict will happen.

when will florida be underwater
Written by
Riley Baker
Given the escalating impact of
climate change
on our planet, it's only natural that people are asking if and when Florida will be underwater.
Currently, the sea level surrounding Florida is eight inches higher than it was in 1950—and the speed at which it's rising is only increasing, not only putting Florida's residents at risk but also its entire ecosystem. So, when will Florida be underwater? And what's causing the problem? Here's everything you should know.

What's Causing Sea Levels to Rise Around Florida?

when will florida be underwater
According to
, the accelerated sea level surge in Florida can be attributed to three key factors. The foremost among them is the
thawing of ice sheets
in Greenland and the Arctic, contributing an excessive influx of water to the oceans.
The gradual weakening of the Gulf Stream, a rapid and warm Atlantic current, plays a significant role, too. This current significantly impacts the climate of North America's eastern coastline from Florida to Newfoundland and Europe's western coast.
Finally, Florida's geographic location also puts it at risk, as it sits on a bedrock of porous, sponge-like limestone. This unique ground makeup enables groundwater to effortlessly move through subterranean openings, mirroring the ascent of the ocean floor and contributing to the overall rise in sea level.

When Will Florida Be Underwater?

When will Florida be underwater? By 2100, scientists predict that the lower third of the state could be completely submerged.
According to the NOAA's
2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report
, sea levels along the U.S. coastline are expected to rise up to 1 foot (10-12 inches) by 2050. This is all occurring within 30 years, while that same amount of rise was previously measured within a 100-year span.
By 2100, it's estimated that the sea level will rise by about 2 feet, or 24 inches. If emissions aren't effectively curbed, the total sea level rise by the end of this century could range from 3.5 to 7 feet.

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So, what would this look like for Florida? It's hard to imagine, but according to
, that amount of water would cause one in eight homes in the Sunshine State to be underwater. In addition, 36 U.S. cities would be completely gone, and 300 U.S. cities would have lost at least half of their homes.
Unfortunately, there's more. According to projections made by the
Union of Concerned Scientists
, within the next 30 years, 64,000 homes in Florida will already be at risk of chronic flooding. "Along the Florida coast, Miami Beach alone—with its iconic high rises located within steps of the beach—accounts for more than 12,000 of those homes," reads the study.
The 10 top cities and regions the group says will soon be underwater include Miami Beach, Key West, Lower Keys, and Upper Keys—along with areas outside of Florida, including Hoboken, NJ, and Hilton Head Island, SC.

What Can You Do to Help?

when will florida be underwater
If this isn't a sign that it's time to take action, what is? Individuals can play a pivotal role in mitigating the escalating sea level rise in Florida by making small changes every day that
reduce carbon emissions
, whether that's being more
at home or curbing
transportation emissions
by carpooling or taking public transit more often. We can also support policies and initiatives aimed at curbing climate change, or use our voices to raise awareness about the urgency of the issue. We're all in this together, and even the smallest steps can add up to a big impact.