There was a very good article in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle titled:
What catches you about this article is the series of maps showing the effect of a one meter rise in sea level to the shoreline around San Francisco Bay. It's particularly significant in the south bay toward San Jose. Huge, low-lying areas down there would get flooded.
Further up the bay, the effect is less. But there are still critical areas which will be significantly impacted. The Oakland and San Francisco airports would be largely underwater. So would some low areas near the mouth of the Petaluma River around Novato. The article makes the point that much preparation has been done in the bay area to deal with earthquakes. But little thought has gone into future rises in bay levels.
The maps were prepared for the Chronicle by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. This organization was created in the 60's to manage and plan the future development and preservation of the entire bay. This was a reaction to the steady landfilling that was turning the San Francisco Bay into the San Francisco River.
The BCDC's website has a page on Climate Change. They say that historically, the bay has risen 7 inches in the past 150 years. They say further:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the 2006 California Climate Action Team Report project that mean sea level will rise between 10 and 90 cm (12 and 36 inches) by the year 2100.
That's followed with links to the maps printed in the Chronicle article. The versions on the BCDC website are better because they show the flooded areas in blue, which makes them easier to see. The most dramatic, at least for us travelers, are the maps of the airports. Check out what will happen to the San Francisco and Oakland airports with a 1 meter sea level rise.
It's not a surprise that little preparation has been done concerning rising seas due to global climate change. Specific forecasts for this have been slow in coming and they're still very uncertain. But it's encouraging to see the beginning of an awareness that climate change will have serious consequences for the San Francisco Bay Area.