Disappearing ice in West Antarctica is bad news for coastal cities

On Wednesday, the journal "Nature" released a report that could be trouble for anyone living in a major coastal city. Scientists have long known that the survival of most coastal cities depends on the amount of ice on the ice sheet in West Antarctica. But unfortunately, the ice sheet appears to be melting much faster than expected, at a rate that would raise the global sea level by 3.5 feet in the twenty-first century. Cities like Boston would experience as much as a 5 foot rise in sea level by the year 2100. After that, the amount of ice melting off the continent will accelerate even more rapidly, until sea levels rise to a foot per decade in three or four hundred years. Currently, New York City has only seen a one foot rise in its sea level in the past 100 years. The rapid rise in sea level will mean a major shift away from coastal cities in the next hundred years.

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