Worldwide, modest global warming has caused the sea level to rise 6 to 8 inches in the past century, at a stable 2 mm per year. But by 2100, that number could increase by an additional 3 feet, according to a March 2006 report from the California Climate Change Center.

Scientists associate two major factors with the accelerated pace of rising sea levels: the warming of our oceans, causing them to expand; and the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Much of the melting began in the 20th century, a fact many climate-change scientists attribute to an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Fluctuations in wind, atmosphere and temperature also affect tides.

With 1 million more people expected to call the Bay Area home by 2020, scientists fear cities will continue to develop in areas close to shore and put themselves at risk.

“We have not incorporated climate change into our long-term planning,” said Dr. Peter Gleick, director of the Pacific Institute in Oakland.

A map the Pacific Institute created in 1990 graphically illustrates what lower Bayside elevations could be facing in 100 years. If water levels were to rise 3.3 feet, or 1 meter, much of San Mateo County east of Highway 101 could be inundated. Foster City would be underwater, as well as San Francisco International Airport and parts of Redwood City and East Palo Alto.

In the East Bay, much of Alameda would be filled, as well as up to four miles of low-lying Hayward and Union City.

Step right up and get your Reno oceanfront condos, ladies and gentlemen. See full article here.

The suspense is killing me. Will California ultimately be done in by (a) a massive earthquake along the San Andreas fault; (b) the lack of potable water from the underground aquifer, coupled with the prohibitive costs associated with desalinization and raiding rivers and reservoirs ever more Eastward; (c) staggering overpopulation and chronic over-consumption of natural resources; (d) a legislature and executive paralyzed by the mandates of the ballot proposition system, (e) a Southern California transportation infrastructure system premised upon the burning of fossil fuels in a world where oil reaches heights of $120 per barrel or more; (f) rising tides along the coast due to global warming; (g) zombies; or (h) all of the above? Is Vegas laying down odds yet? Can I put down a C-note on zombies?