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Effects of rising sea levels on Middle Atlantic states

A report issued jointly by several US government agencies including the EPA and the US Geological Survey warns that a rising sea level threatens barrier islands and coastal wetlands in the Middle Atlantic states.  The Outer Banks of North Carolina are particularly at risk.  The agencies estimate that the rate of sea level rise will be about seven millimeters a year, or about two feet per century.  They predict that this rate is almost certain to increase, due to the fact that water expands as it warms, and because runoff from melting glaciers and erosion are both expected to increase.  In addition, they note, the Middle Atlantic region is subject to storms, is densely populated, and much of its infrastructure is low lying, all factors that increase its vulnerability.  However, uncertainty remains about the timing and extent of the effects of sea level rise, in part because the states involved have conducted only a few analyses, whose results have not led to new statewide policies. 

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