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Are Rising Seas Returning to the West Coast?

(Photo: Craig Miller)

Researchers say sea levels haven’t been rising along the West Coast of North America for decades, but that could be about to change, according to a new study.

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography say they’ve observed changing wind patterns that, if persistent, could soon speed up sea level rise along California’s shores.

Global sea level rise averaged about two millimeters per year throughout much of the 20th century and then accelerated to 3 millimeters per year in the 1990s, said researcher Peter Bromirski.  But along the West Coast, he said, sea levels have been steady since about 1980.

“There are indications that a change is underway,” said Bromirski. Continue reading