A National Research Council study paints a grim view of the impact of climate change on coastal California areas such as Half Moon Bay, the Associated Press reports.
The warming ocean waters and the melting polar ice caps will have a measurable impact on the West Coast, with sea levels rising as much as a half foot by 2030 and three feet by the end of the century, according the NRC report.
The report projects less pronounced rise in the coastal waters of Northern California, Oregon and Washington because land is expected to rise as a result of seismic activity.
But coastal areas such as Half Moon Bay could suffer catastrophic damage if the NRC projections are accurate.
"Rising seas increase the risk of coastal flooding, storm surge inundation, coastal erosion and shoreline retreat, and wetland loss," the report said. "The cities and infrastructure that line many coasts are already vulnerable to damage from storms, which is likely to increase as sea level continues to rise and inundate areas further inland."
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