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article imageSea Level Fears As Nasa Tells Us Of Faster Changes

By Michelle Duffy     Mar 12, 2007 in Environment
We know the polar ice caps are melting. We even understand why and how but do we actually realise how fast?
Head of oceanography at NASA, Mr Eric Lindstrom has spoken out about how fast the sea levels may be rising.
He fears that since records began, the sea levels rose an a very slow and steady rate after the Industrial Revolution - the era which triggered off a lot of the Global Warming we experience today, yet now, the levels are rising at three times the original rate.
This news comes at a time when a dangerous combination of the Earth warming up, the caps melting and extended natural cycles of the sea level change are discovered to be speeding up Global warming. Mr Lindstrom spoke at a recent conference about the oceans in Hobart, Australia.
"All indications are that it's going to get faster," says Eric Lindstrom. He went on to add his discoveries on the Antarctic 'splits' in the area's ice shelves five years ago, creating icebergs the size of a small country.
These incredibly huge icebergs were not a big problem as studies had shown that their presence did not effect sea levels due to the bergs floating in the oceans. Yet since the event of warming, these ice shelves are now blocking the regular flow of ice from the Antarctic continent meaning that ever so often, great glaciers are allowing surges into the oceans, thus raising levels in the sea.
"What we're learning is that ice isn't slow. Things can happen fast," Mr. Lindstrom said.
He fears that if the ice sheets become a big problem, then low level countries could be swamped by the oceans and disappear of the face of the planet.
A climate panel in the UN has also released a report showing that sea levels could rise to up to 43 centimetres by the year 2100.
Not in our lifetime, but will greatly effect the world in which our children live.
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