Government report details East Coast sea level increase

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The state of the ocean along the East Coast is the subject of an alarming report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The rates of sea level rise are increasing faster on the East Coast than they are globally, according to the report. Sea-level rise from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to Boston has grown 2 to 3.7 millimeters a year since 1990.

The report warns that if global temperatures continue to climb, rates of sea level rise along the East Coast are likely to continue growing.

“Many people mistakenly think that the rate of sea level rise is the same everywhere as glaciers and ice caps melt, increasing the volume of ocean water, but other effects can be as large or larger than the so-called ‘eustatic’ rise,” USGS Director Marcia McNutt said in a statement. “As demonstrated in this study, regional oceanographic contributions must be taken into account in planning for what happens to coastal property.”

Click here for the full report by the science publication The Bunsen Burner.

In related news, an op-ed piece in the New York Times discusses how ocean acidification is profoundly affecting global waters and their ecologically and economically vital marine life.

“It is literally causing a sea change and threatening the fundamental chemical balance of ocean and coastal waters from pole to pole,” said John Beddington, chief scientific adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, and administrator, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Click here for their essay, “Acid Test for Marine Life.”

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