East Coast Planners Ask: How High Will the Water Rise?

It's not just melting ice that threatens to submerge communities along the East Coast of the U.S. Several other factor are conspiring to raise sea levels. Scientists are racing against time to predict how bad things are going to get, and how fast.
January 15, 2014, 9am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Scientists have spent decades examining all the factors that can influence the rise of the seas, and their research is finally leading to answers," writes Justin Gillis. "And the more the scientists learn, the more they perceive an enormous risk for the United States."

Scientists believe that rising seas will be acutely felt along the East Coast, where "[m]uch of the population and economy of the country is concentrated" and a confluence of forces (which may have begun 35 million years ago) are conspiring to accelerate long-term trends.  

"Scientists say the East Coast will be hit harder for many reasons, but among the most important is that even as the seawater rises, the land in this part of the world is sinking," observes Gillis. "And that goes back to the last ice age, which peaked some 20,000 years ago."

"Up and down the Eastern Seaboard, municipal planners want to know: How bad are things going to get, and how fast?"

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Published on Monday, January 13, 2014 in The New York Times
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