The Mid-Atlantic coastline is experiencing rising sea levels faster than the global average, according to a report released by the federal EPA January16.
According to the study (pdf):
“In the mid-Atlantic region from New York to North Carolina, tide-gauge observations indicate that relative sea-level rise (the combination of global sea-level rise and land subsidence) rates were higher than the global mean and generally ranged between 2.4 and 4.4 millimeters per year, or about 0.3 meters (1 foot) over the twentieth century.”
The global average was 1.7 millimeters per year through the twentieth century, after a period of little change during the previous two thousand years.
Global sea-level rise is driven by the expansion of ocean water as it warms, and by melting of glaciers and ice sheets.
“Locally, sea-level rise is also influenced by changes to the geology of coastal land, making coastal elevation mapping an important area of future study,” the EPA wrote in a statement describing the study.
“The Mid-Atlantic region, the focus of this report, is one of the areas in the U.S. that will likely see the greatest impacts due to rising waters, coastal storms, and a high concentration of population along the coastline,” EPA said.