Published: November 5, 2020

In the northeastern Pacific off the U.S. West Coast, sea level rise was 4 to 5 millimeters a year lower than the global average during the 1990s and 2000s.

Then around 2010, sea level began steadily increasing along the West Coast. The largest increase, in 2014-16, coincided with a large El Niño event in 2015-16. While the rate has stabilized since then, it remains higher than the global average.

Changing conditions in the Pacific have stirred up Earth’s largest ocean and redistributed its heat, piling up warm waters along U.S. Western shores and raising sea level in the process.