Monday, February 16, 2015

Sea-Level Rate of Rise is Increasing

The sea level is rising more quickly now than in the past, according to new estimates. Using probabilistic techniques and data re-analysis, a recent study estimates that between 1901 and 1990 the sea level rose by an average of 1.2 mm/year. But between 1993 and 2010, the sea level rose at an annual rate of 3 mm/year; two and a half times as fast as in the past.

Two factors are probably contributing to the increased rate of rise. One is a steady decline in arctic and glacial ice, and the other is an increase in ocean temperatures; water expands as it warms. I'm sure there will be arguments about WHY the glaciers and sea ice are melting and the oceans warming, but it would be hard to deny that the sea level is rising more quickly than in the past.

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