Journal article Open Access

Global sea level change: Determination and interpretation

Douglas, Bruce C.

The notion of sea level rise brings to the popular mind the specter of deep inundation of coastal regions. One pictures skyscrapers emerging from the waters like so many sleeping flamingos standing in the shallows of a lake. Of course if all of the world's ice sheets suddenly melted or collapsed, this vision would apply to New York City and its coastal counterparts. But there is a general consensus that such a calamity is not an immediate threat [Houghton et al, 1990]. The actual situation for the recent historical past and near future appears to be more benign, but with nonetheless extremely significant, even devastating impacts due to erosion and flooding of coastal areas.

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