Life on Earth as we know it is imperiled—by now this is an obvious fact to everyone except the densest of self-serving politicians. Last year, we experienced the warmest 12 months ever recorded; the oceans' acidity levels are climbing at alarming rates, and scientists have confirmed that temperatures are increasing so dramatically that by 2100, July in NYC will be equivalent to a current summer in Florida. Now a new study says sea levels have risen far, far more quickly over the past couple of decades than we previously thought.

The study, released by a team of researchers from Harvard and Rutgers Universities, found that previous studies suggesting that the sea level had risen six inches from 1900 to 1990 were incorrect—in fact, the sea level had only risen 5 inches in that time period, a difference the Times notes would "fill three billion Olympic-size swimming pools."

This is not good news. This is bad news. If scientists misjudged the speed at which the sea level rose in the previous century, it means the rate at which it has risen since 1990—at about 1.2 inches per decade—has created an unprecedented gap. "Unfortunately, it is really much larger than anyone thought," researcher Carling Hay said in a statement, noting that the new rate of acceleration is about 25 percent higher than scientists had believed previously.

Note that scientists have previously suggested that our greenhouse gas emissions could push the sea level up by three feet by the end of the century [pdf]. Even a two-foot rise in the global sea level will bump NYC's sea level up by 2.3 feet, according to the EPA, and considering how prone Manhattan is to flooding already, this can only bode quite poorly for future generations. But whatever, we'll all be dead by then! #SaveOurStyrofoam, amirite?