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Scientists: Long Beach Island Slowing Sinking And Global Warming Is To Blame

LONG BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The Jersey Shore could be no more.

Right now, New Jersey's shoreline is slowly sinking, and according to scientists, the entire thing could be underwater in less than 40 years.

At Long Beach Island, there is already proof of erosion happening. Scientists say sea levels are rising, the shore is sinking, and beaches are eroding.

"There's hardly any beach," Tammy Smith told CBS 2's Drew Levinson.

Long Beach Island is in the middle of what scientists call the "hot zone." A U.S. geological survey revealed sea levels from North Carolina to Boston are rising at twice the rate as most places on the planet.

The culprit, they said, is Global Warming.

"We know that ice sheets are melting now. We do know that the temperatures will contribute to rising sea levels and we do know that the Jersey shore, Delaware shore, and the Maryland shore are also sinking. The effects can be seen especially hard on the south end of Long Beach Island," said Ken Miller, a Rutgers Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

"We used to be able to jog [Long Beach Island]. We used to be able to fish it the whole way. We used to be able to do everything." said Bill Hutson.

Hutson has lived on Long Beach Island for a quarter century and is lobbying the government for help.

"About a third of the island has been through a federal beach replenishment which is adding additional height to the dunes and to the flat banks and we are still lobbying," Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini said.

Scientists said if the trend can't be reversed then today's high school graduates will be vacationing at a very different beach here by the time they retire.

Based on scientists' predictions, sea levels are expected to rise by one and a half feet in the next 40 years, and five feet by the end of the century.

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