According to MSNBC News, the sea level has increased by 8 inches since 1880. This seemingly incremental amount has already taken a toll on the coastlines of the United States, particularly in low-lying coastal areas such as Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, California and New York.
According to the New York Times, scientists expect ocean levels to rise at about a foot per century, possibly accelerating, should the rate of global warming continue at its current pace.
Billions of dollars in both public and private land and property funds have already been lost, thanks to storm surge damage, relocation of sewage plants, and efforts to replenish sand on eroded beaches, as told by the New York Times.
The Times makes it clear that money is not the only issue: as ocean levels continue to rise incrementally, coastal areas will eventually become uninhabitable for 3.7 million people in the United States.
Instead of focusing on insurance planning and allocation of taxpayers' money, the Times reports that coastal scientists have urged politicians to organize "orderly retreat" from the areas of flood danger throughout the United States. However, the states in danger have yet to engage in significant measures to protect citizens against the potential consequences of the rising sea level.