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Environment

Some Southern California Beaches Could Be 4 Feet Underwater in 18 Years

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Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM

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Pull back, David Geffen, pull back! Whoever thought it was a good idea to build houses on the edge of the crashing surf in Malibu wasn't thinking long-term. (He was thinking hot tubs and bikinis, obviously. Or, in Geffen's case, infinity pools and man-thongs).

A new report from Climate Central says Southern California can expect the sea to rise 4 to 5 feet in the next 18 years. That's before your beach pad will be paid off. That's soon.

And while you might not think 4 feet sounds like much ...

... it's extreme.

Consider that a winter storm surge, high surf and a high tide of 7 feet above the mean tide line will already have waves crashing through some Southern California homes. Add four feet -- the shallow end of your favorite pool -- to that.

Yeah, your flat screen is going for a salt water bath, friends.

According to the report, titled "Surging Seas," SoCal can expect a 4 foot rise in sea level at the L.A. Harbor and a 5 feet rise in places like La Jolla in San Diego.

California ranked third in states with the highest level of salt water heading towards them by the year 2030. We were beat out by Florida (number one) and Louisiana (number two).

A summary of the study says:

Sea level rise due to global warming has already doubled the annual risk of coastal flooding of historic proportions across widespread areas of the United States.

Surging Seas

Compare the impending 4- to 5-foot rise to the 8 inches the world has seen in the last century, according to the report. Yeah.

The report's lead author, Ben Strauss of Climate Central, says:

Sea level rise is not some distant problem that we can just let our children deal with. The risks are imminent and serious. Just a small amount of sea level rise, including what we may well see within the next 20 years, can turn yesterday's manageable flood into tomorrow's potential disaster. Global warming is already making coastal floods more common and damaging.

The good news? Barstow is the next, hot coastal community. And land there is going cheap ...

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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