Studies show sea level rise is accelerating off North Carolina

Ocean Isle Beach and other parts of the south coast of North Carolina were inundated by Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Sea level rise is expected to worsen coastal flooding over the next few decades.

New research reinforces what scientists and others have warned about the ocean along the North Carolina coast: Seas are rising faster than in most other parts of the United States, and faster than most of scientists expected.

“It’s very concerning,” said Dr. Phil Bresnahan, an oceanographer at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. “I don’t think there is any way around that conclusion.”

Sea level rise is a natural phenomenon. But it’s also an event that is being exacerbated by human actions, especially the pumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which, among other things, is increasing the rate of melting of the polar ice caps.

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