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Rising Seas Claiming California’s Coast Faster Than Scientists Imagined

By Julie Cart, KQED News/CALmatters

A slow-moving emergency is lapping at California’s shores — climate-driven sea level rise that experts now predict could elevate the water in coastal areas up to 10 feet in just 70 years, gobbling up beachfront and overwhelming low-lying cities.

The speed with which polar ice is melting and glacier shelves are cracking off indicates to some scientists that once-unthinkable outer-range projections of sea rise may turn out to be too conservative. A knee-buckling new state-commissioned report warns that if nothing changes, California’s coastal waters will rise at a rate 30 to 40 times faster than in the last century.

Read the complete story at KQED News/CALmatters.

For more information on the threat of rising seas to the California coastline, read the Public Press two-part series on sea level rise: Sea Level Rise Threatens Waterfront Development (Summer 2015)  and Wild West on the Waterfront (Spring 2017).