National Geographic : 2001 Feb
SERVATION "EarthPulse CLIMATE Rising Tide of Concern Sea levels are climbing-andpeople are in harm's way Coastal and island dwellers risk losing their homes, or even their lives, as a consequence of rising oceans. In the past century sea levels climbed an average six inches-a figure that seems small but reflects a rate of increase ten times the average over the past 2,000 years. The world is warming, causing seawater to expand and accel erating the melting of mountain glaciers. Melting polar ice sheets could eventually add to the rise. Sea levels have fallen and risen over the millen nia. At the peak of the Ice Age 20,000 years ago, average sea level was 400 feet lower. Even if the pollutants that contribute to temperature rise are reduced, the climb is expected to continue in the 21st century, hiking sea levels along with it. The consequences: flooding, erosion, tainted drinking water, displaced populations, and loss of farmland and biodiversity. How will Earth cope?