Sea Levels Rising Way Faster Than We Thought

National Research Council revamps earlier estimates

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 23, 2012 3:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – Living near a coastline? Sea levels are expected to rise by up to 55 inches worldwide over the next century, according to a study that radically reinterprets the results of climate change. The US National Research Council study, released yesterday, concludes that sea levels will increase 20 to 55 inches by 2100—far more than rise of 7 to 23 inches predicted in a 2007 UN study. The difference: new data on melting polar ice caps that are accelerating sea-level rise, AFP reports.

More from the NRC study:

  • The global sea level will rise 3 to 9 inches by 2030 and 7 to 19 inches by 2050 (from its 2000 level).
  • Sea levels could rise faster in southern California because of a subsiding coastline and land erosion.
  • Oregon and Washington may see less sea-level rise because plate tectonics are making the land rise.
  • Higher sea levels will be accompanied by more severe weather; a serious earthquake in northern California could suddenly boost sea-level rise by a yard or more.
See more on the study here.

A polar bear looks towards Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007.
A polar bear looks towards Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
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