Both sea levels and temperatures in the Mediterranean have been rising since the 1970s, Spanish scientists report.
The study, "Climate Change in the Spanish Mediterranean," warned that the pace of change has picked up in the past decade, the BBC reported. Researchers at the Spanish Oceanographic Institute predict the Mediterranean could rise half a meter (19.5 inches) in the next half-century.
The report said rising sea levels could cause major problems in low-lying areas within a few decades. Even small rises in sea level mean storms can cause more property damage and erosion.
A half-meter increase would have "catastrophic consequences," the study said.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
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