Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Arizona recently released findings from tidal data collected over a two year period (2009-2010). The central conclusion of the data is this: New England sea levels are rising more rapidly than anticipated.
Although the study most likely represents a peak in data and not a permanent rise, the findings are still being held as significant. The study found that over a two year period, Northeast waters rose on average 3.9 inches with the steepest rise of 5 inches taking place in Casco Bay, off the coast of Portland, Maine. The report attributes the sharp rise to warming ocean temperatures. This conclusion builds upon the initial findings of a more long-term study undertaken by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. This study indicates that the waters of the Gulf of Maine are warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans. (An informative discussion of the impacts of this trend on both marine life and fisheries can be found here.)