From Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=warming-accelerates-us-east-coast-sea-level&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20110621
A new study finds that sea levels are creeping up faster along the coast of North Carolina thanks to climate change
June 21, 2011
Sea level is rising faster along the U.S. East Coast than it has for at least 2,000 years, according to new research.
The ocean began rising an average of 2.1 millimeters per year some time between 1865 and 1892 and hasn't stopped, the study concludes. The current rate of sea level rise is about 3.2 mm per year.
That trend, gleaned from muck collected in North Carolina salt marshes, is a direct consequence of increasing temperatures, said co-author Benjamin Horton, a coastal geologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
"We can see climate-related patterns," he said. "We can see our hypothesis that as temperature goes up, sea level goes up."
The reverse is also true, according to the research, which shows temperatures and sea levels rising and falling in lockstep for at least the last 1,000 years. The findings will be published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Peter Clark, a geologist at Oregon State University, said the new study represents a "significant advance" because it extends the record of sea level rise back two millennia, giving scientists a better context for current sea level rise.