New research by geologists at the University of Vermont and the US Geological Survey has established that land in the Chesapeake Bay region, including the US capital Washington DC, is sinking rapidly. . According to a press release, this is happening at an alarming rate - more than twice as fast as the rest of the east coast is sinking into the Atlantic.
The researchers predict that by the year 2100 the US capital will sink at least 15 centimeters into the bay, threatening drastic increases in floods and natural disasters.
The sinking, they explain, is caused by the melting of ice sheets. Millions of years ago, a huge ice sheet pressed down on the Earth's mantle, crushing the land under Long Island, New York and causing the Chesapeake region to rise. Now, as the ice sheet melts, the Chesapeake is sinking back to where it was before the ice age.
"It is time to start preparations," said Ben DeJong, the lead author of the study. "An extra fifteen centimeters of water really matters in this part of the world."