The oceans are rising faster than at any time since before the Assyrian Empire, and it’s all our fault, scientists reported on Monday.
That dire assessment came via a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The report shows that sea levels are rising at their quickest clip in 28 centuries, and human emissions of greenhouse gasses are primarily responsible. The paper predicts that, unless the rate of carbon emissions is drastically reduced, the ocean could rise as much as four feet by 2100.
But the threat posed by these rapidly rising waters isn’t confined to some far-off future date. Climate Central, a climate research center in Princeton, New Jersey, has applied the new study’s findings to calculate how big a role man-made climate change has played in the uptick of flooding along the American East Coast. According to their calculations, three-quarters of tidal floods currently afflicting the Eastern seaboard wouldn’t be happening if we weren’t melting all those ice caps with our power plants, airplanes, and rolling coal.