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A 2012 study by the U.S. Geological Survey revealed that ocean levels on the U.S. Atlantic coast are rising three times faster than the global average. The Northeast "hotspot" includes the coastline from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to Boston. Major American cities are at greater risk for increased flooding and storm damage.

As the world warms and seas rise, some spots are expected to take the brunt of the higher ocean levels, while others may not see such a deluge, new research by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveals.

The study homed

in on one "hotspot," where sea levels are rising more than three times faster than the global average: the 621-mile (1,000-kilometer) stretch along the eastern United States' Atlantic coast.

From Cape Hatt

eras, N.C., to north of Boston, Mass., tide-gauge records reveal sea levels have increased on average about 0.08 inches (2 millimeters) per year from 1950 to 2009. Globally, meanwhile, sea levels have increased about 0.02 inches (0.6 millimeter) per year during that window.

Which cities are most at risk? Click the link to find out.

News in Pictures

Polar stratospheric clouds, also known as nacreous clouds (or mother of pearl, due to its iridescence), are clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000-25,000 meters (49,000-82,000 ft). Usually the clouds only form over the poles during winter because the air in the upper stratosphere needs to be at least -78C.

Spectacular polar stratospheric clouds captured over Peru

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