California sea level to rise 6 inches by 2030

By Amir Khan on June 25, 2012 9:16 AM EDT

San Francisco
San Francisco, California (Photo: Creative Commons)

The sea level on the West Coast will rise several inches over the next two decades, and California will see the biggest increase, according to a report released by the National Research Council on Friday. The report gives experts their best look yet at how global warming and melting ice will affect sea level rise on the West Coast.

While 6 inches may not sound like a large increase, the report says that sea levels by California will be 3 feet higher by the year 2100. As sea levels rise,  coastal areas will be at an increased risk from storms and floods. Within 50 years, Califronia's coastal wetlands will be gone, according to the report.

Like Us on Facebook

"There are two components of regional sea level rise," Robert Dalrymple, a professor of civil engineering at Johns Hopkins University, who led the team of scientists who worked on the report, told Reuters.

"What is the land doing in terms of moving up and down, and what is the sea level doing in terms of moving up?"

However, as sea levels rise, some land may rise too, giving residents a false impression of safety.

"If the land is rising, then to the residents on that land, it looks like the sea level is falling," Dalrymple said.

The sea level rise projection for northern California, Oregon and Washington are much lower than for the rest of the West Coast, but researchers warn that an earthquake of magnitude 8 or greater could cause a large piece of land to drop into the ocean and raise the sea level by over 3 feet almost immediately. Experts said such quakes happen approximately every 1,000 years.

The report helps experts better plan for the future, Susan Hansch, chief deputy director of the California Coastal Commission, told the Associated Press.

"A lot of the data we had before was worldwide data or has the caveat, 'Can't be used for planning purposes. It all comes down to the better data you have, the better decisions you can make."

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Sponsored From Around the Web

    ZergNet
Follow iScience Times
us on facebook RSS
 
us on google
 
Most Popular
INSIDE iScience Times
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet  Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)