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June 4 2013

Worldwide Sea Level Is One Finger Higher

Satellite tracking of the oceans and the melting of ice sheets and glaciers from 2005 to 2011 now confirms that the seas worldwide have risen 2.39 millimeters per year over that seven-year period, and hasnít stopped. Thatís almost 17 millimeters over those seven years, or more than 5/8ths of an inch, about the width of a typical adult index finger at the first knuckle.

It seems small until you add it up over decades past and those to come. Itís especially no small matter to those people living near sea level, on an atoll or along a coast, where every inch is of concern. All one needs is a storm surge ó as that seen during Superstorm Sandy ó and the steady rise of sea level becomes painfully clear.

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