Fears that sea levels will be rising 1cm a year by 2100

Share

"And this is nearly certainly a conservative estimate", he added. Scientists had previously estimated that global sea levels were increasing at a steady 3 millimeters (0.1 inches) per year.

Sea-levels are rising at an accelerating speed all around the world as ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland melt.

The rate of global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades, rather than increasing steadily, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data.

If the rate of change continues at this pace, global mean sea levels will rise 61 centimetres between now and 2100.

"This acceleration, driven mainly by accelerated melting in Greenland and Antarctica, has the potential to double the total sea level rise by 2100 as compared to projections that assume a constant rate-to more than 60 cm instead of about 30", said Nerem.

Leaders in coastal cities from NY to Shanghai are debating how to handle rising sea waters.

The study highlighted that if the oceans keep on to growing at this pace, sea level will rise 65cm by 2100.

Steve Nerem, a professor of aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder and lead author on the paper, described the phenomena as akin to a "driver merging onto a highway", in a press release accompanying the paper.

Rising sea levels, which menace coastal populations and infrastructure, are one of the most visible threats of climate change.

In the past 100 years, it has climbed about a foot or more in some US cities because of ocean currents and the natural settling of land - 11 inches in NY and Boston, 12 in Charleston, 16 in Atlantic City, 18 in Norfolk and 25 in Galveston, Texas, according to a USA TODAY analysis of tide gauge data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

La NINA and El NINO and (the opposing phases of the El Nino Southern Oscillation, or ENSO) influence ocean temperature and global precipitation patterns.

Satellite shows that sea levels are rising because of the warming of the ocean and melting from glaciers and ice sheets.

"When you try to extrapolate numbers like this you're assuming sea level change and acceleration are going to be the same as they've been over the past 25 years".

In their observation, the researchers took into account the factors that significantly altered the sea levels for several years, like the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines and the annual El Niño and La Niña phenomenon.

Sea levels have been recorded by a series of four satellites, starting with the 1992 launch of the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, in addition to long-term data captured by tidal gauges.

The second was that of melting ice flowing into the oceans from places such as Greenland and Antarctica.

By what is presumably a complete coincidence, the funding for the NASA satellites that provide this data is now in danger of being axed as part of the government's current crack-down on various scientific projects.

Share