(AP) - A new study concludes that sea levels on Earth are rising at a rate several times faster than they have risen in the past 2,800 years. And scientists say it is clear that man-made climate change's rising temperatures are to blame.
They predict the rate of sea level rise will accelerate, increasing a couple feet or more.
An international team of scientists dug into two dozen locations across the globe to chart gently rising and falling seas over centuries and even longer.
Until the 1880s and the world's industrialization, the fastest seas rose was about 1 to 1.5 inches a century, plus or minus a bit. During that time, global sea level really didn't get much higher or lower than 3 inches above or below the 2,000-year average.
But in the 20th century the world's seas rose 5.5 inches. Since 1993 the rate has soared to a foot per century. And two different studies published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said by 2100 that the world's oceans will rise between 11 and 52 inches, depending on how much heat-trapping gas Earth's industries and vehicles expel.