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New York, Boston "Directly in Path" of Sea Level Rise

New York, Boston "Directly in Path" of Sea Level Rise
By 2100 visitors to Boston
could be parking their boats,
not their cars, in Harvard Yard.









New York, Boston "Directly in Path" of Sea Level Rise


Christine Dell'Amore

NGC
May 28, 2009


Major cities in the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada "are directly in the path of the greatest rise" in sea level if Greenland continues to melt due to global warming, a new study says.




Scientists believe that the influx of fresh water from the disintegrating ice sheets will disrupt a circulation pattern in the Atlantic Ocean, causing seas to expand.
The new projections call for an extra 4 to 12 inches (10.2 to 30.5 centimeters) on top of the rise of 8 inches (20.3 centimeters) previously estimated in the journal Nature Geoscience in March.
That previous study found that, if global warming continues, sea levels around New York City would rise by twice as much as in other parts of the United States within this century.
In the new study, researchers considered three scenarios: that Greenland's present melt rate of 7 percent would continue, or a drop to either one or 3 percent a year—viewed by many as more likely, as the rate is actually expected to slow in coming decades.
"We hope the high end wouldn't happen," said study lead author Aixue Hu of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
But "we should be aware that there's a potential the melt of the Greenland ice sheet could be faster than we expected."


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