Satellite tracking of the oceans and the melting of ice sheets and glaciers from 2005 to 2011 now confirms that the seas worldwide have risen 2.39 millimeters per year over that seven-year period, and hasn't stopped. That's almost 17 millimeters over those seven years, or more than 5/8ths of an inch, about the width of a typical adult index finger at the first knuckle.
It seems small until you add it up over decades past and those to come. It's especially no small matter to those people living near sea level, on an atoll or along a coast, where every inch is of concern. All one needs is a storm surge - as that seen during Superstorm Sandy - and the steady rise of sea level becomes painfully clear.
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There is also the matter of those places where the land is also sinking, which is common along the Gulf Coast, for instance. Sinking land increases the effective sea level rise in those places. In New Orleans, for instance, satellite data has shown that different parts of the city are sinking at rates ranging from 1.79 to more than 15 millimeters per year. Tack on another 2.39 millimeters to those numbers to get a general idea of how much sea level is rising relative to the ground under the Big Easy.