FloodA recent report published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states that the global sea level could rise by as much as 8 feet by 2100.

A key force behind rising sea levels is climate change. A warming climate can cause seawater to expand and ice to melt, both of which lead to a rise in sea level. Because many people live in coastal areas across the globe, scientists have been monitoring the rising sea level closely due to its ability to displace families. According to NOAA, the global sea level has been rising at a rate between 0.04 to 0.1 inches per year since 1900.

However, that rate expected to greatly accelerate in the coming years.

“Currently, about 6 million Americans live within about 6 feet of the sea level, and they are potentially vulnerable to permanent flooding in this century. Well before that happens, though, many areas are already starting to flood more frequently,” Robert E. Kopp, co-author of the report, tells Rutgers Today. “Considering possible levels of sea-level rise and their consequences is crucial to risk management.”

The researchers came to this consensus after examining the latest published, peer reviewed science, while taking into account the recent information on the instability of the Antarctic ice-sheet.