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Climate Change Could Cause Sea Levels In California To Rise By 10 Feet

28 April 2017, 8:27 am EDT By Andrew Norman Tech Times
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A study revealed that the rise in sea level is comparatively greater in California than anywhere else in the world. Scientists predicted that by 2100, the state could face a rise in sea levels by as much as 10 feet.  ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

Rising sea levels due to climate change is a concerning issue and one which environmentalists all over the world are grappling with. This rise in the water level is mainly because of increasing temperatures, which subsequently lead to the melting of the Antarctic ice shelves.

A new study claims that the changes in sea level may be more apparent in California than anywhere else globally. Environmentalists even posit that with the ever-increasing greenhouse emissions, the sea level may rise by as much as 10 feet in California by the end of the century.

How Bad Is The Problem?

A group of researchers from the California Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team undertook the new study. Similar analysis have been performed in 2010 and updated in 2013. However, the council wanted to update the data further, which led them to conduct this study.

The team members revealed that the rise in sea level has already caused some issues in California. It has led to coastal flooding, erosion, and even greater periodic tidal flooding.

The scientists made an educated prediction regarding the sea level rise along the coastal areas of the state. The forecast was based on the analysis of the tide gauges in three locations, namely Crescent City in northern California, La Jolla in San Diego, and Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The study revealed that sea levels would likely rise between 1 foot and 6.9 feet in San Francisco by the end of the century. In La Jolla, scientists estimated the change in level to be between 1.1 feet and 7.1 feet by 2100.

"Crescent City faces a range of 1.2 inches under the lowest estimate to as much as 5.9 feet," the scientists posited.

However, researchers also pointed out that these estimates may not reflect the actual final figures, which may end up being higher. Under certain scenarios of extreme greenhouse emissions, scientists did not rule out the possibility of sea levels in the state rising by 10 feet by the turn of the century.

Why California Experiences Greater Sea Level Rise

Scientists posit that due to the Earth's rotation and gravitational pull, the melting Antarctic ice is pulled toward the Californian coast, which results in the higher sea level increase in the region. If the ice that melts originates in the Western part of Antarctica, then the problem is enhanced further for California.

"For every foot of global sea-level rise caused by the loss of ice on West Antarctica, sea-level will rise approximately 1.25 feet along the California coast," the study surmises.

The council will conduct workshops in spring and summer this year to review the research's findings. They will also draft a proposal outlining the various measures the state authorities can implement against the imminent danger of rising sea levels.

The study has been submitted to the California Ocean Protection Council.

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