As the world warms and seas rise, some spots are expected to take the brunt of the higher ocean levels, while others may not see such a deluge, new research by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveals.
The study homed in on one "hotspot," where sea levels are rising more than three times faster than the global average: the 621-mile (1,000-kilometer) stretch along the eastern United States' Atlantic coast.
From Cape Hatteras, N.C., to north of Boston, Mass., tide-gauge records reveal sea levels have increased on average about 0.08 inches (2 millimeters) per year from 1950 to 2009. Globally, meanwhile, sea levels have increased about 0.02 inches (0.6 millimeter) per year during that window.
Records for a more recent, 40-year period, beginning in 1970, revealed faster rates of sea-level rise both globally and for this stretch of the U.S. East Coast. And rates are expected to continue increasing as global warming, which climate scientists agree is the result of greenhouse gas emissions, continues.