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The Attacking Ocean

The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels by Brian Fagan

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12:25pm, August 9, 2013

The threat of rising seas is not new. Since the last Ice Age began windingdown 15,000 years ago, the ocean has ascended 120 meters in a series of pulses. But when the world was thinly populated, small bands of hunter-gatherers could pick up and go when the sea surged. Now that hundreds of millions of people are settled in crowded coastal cities, the rising seas predicted for a warming world are more dangerous than ever, argues Fagan, an archaeologist.

Fagan chronicles the history of the climbing oceans and their influence on the development of early civilizations such as those of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. He also shows how modern societies from New Orleans to Shanghai continue to feel these effects. Without hyping the risks, Fagan provides solid geological, archaeological and historical evidence to support his arguments about what the future may hold.

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