Rapid Sea Level Rise Threatens East Coast

Could flood New York and Boston

Adam Roy

Sea levels on the East Coast of the United States are rising three to four times faster than the global average, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change. The study found that sea levels between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to north of Boston have risen 2-3.7 millimeters per year since 1990, compared to an average of 0.6-1 millimeters. The discrepancy appears to be due to a slowdown in a major Atlantic current that carries warm, tropical water north: the extra heat causes seawater to expand. “As demonstrated in this study, regional oceanographic contributions must be taken into account in planning for what happens to coastal property,” said U.S. Geographic Survey director Marcia McNutt.

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