USGS coastal-flooding projections inform national defense authorization act

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Results of USGS research investigating sea-level rise impacts to Department of Defense (DoD) facilities in Pacific atolls are included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

This act, signed into law on December 12, 2017, authorizes and prioritizes funding for DoD military activities and construction. USGS scientists used Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands as a field site to fine-tune their computer models forecasting how rising sea-level and future storm waves will likely affect the sustainability of low-lying Pacific islands. The act reports their forecasts of flooding projected to threaten a major Air Force radar installation in the Republic of the Marshall Islands in upcoming decades.

Waves overtop the beach on the north side of Roi-Namur Island and water runs into the nearby street.
On March 2, 2014, 5-meter-high waves with 15-second periods struck Roi-Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, during spring high tides, causing the largest overwash event in the Republic of the Marshall Islands since 2008.(Credit: Peter Swarzenski, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. Public domain.)