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Sea-level rise accelerates faster on US east

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Sea level rise off the US east coast is accelerating up to four times faster than the global average. The finding confirms model predictions that the east coast will bear the brunt of the unevenly rising waters. It also suggests that a major Atlantic current may be slowing down, which could see temperatures drop in Europe.

The "hotspot" of rising sea levels extends over 1000 kilometres from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to Boston, Massachusetts, and possibly further north into Canada. It was identified by Asbury Sallenger and colleagues at the United States Geological Survey in St Petersburg, Florida, using tide gauge data from 1950 to 2009.

News of the hotspot may come as a surprise in North Carolina, where the state Senate recently passed a bill forbidding the use of models that include accelerating sea level rise. The bill has since been rejected by the state's House of Representatives.

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