The California Coast Is Disappearing Under the Rising Sea

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High surf pummels homes along Faria Beach in Ventura County in an undated photo. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

High surf pummels homes along Faria Beach in Ventura County in an undated photo. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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The California coast grew and prospered during a remarkable moment in history when the sea was at its tamest.

But the mighty Pacific, unbeknownst to all, was nearing its final years of a calm but unusual cycle that had lulled dreaming settlers into a false sense of endless summer.

Remnants of a bluff-top apartment building in Pacifica that fell down to the beach are seen in an undated photo. (Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Remnants of a bluff-top apartment building in Pacifica that fell down to the beach are seen in an undated photo. (Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Elsewhere, Miami has been drowning, Louisiana shrinking, North Carolina’s beaches disappearing like a time lapse with no ending. While other regions grappled with destructive waves and rising seas, the West Coast for decades was spared by a rare confluence of favorable winds and cooler water. This “sea level rise suppression,” as scientists call it, went largely undetected. Blinded from the consequences of a warming planet, Californians kept building right to the water’s edge.

But lines in the sand are meant to shift. In the last 100 years, the sea rose less than 9 inches in California. By the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 9 feet.

Red the full story on LATimes.com.

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