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article imageSea levels rising faster than they have in past 27 centuries

By Karen Graham     Feb 23, 2016 in Environment
In a new study, scientists say it is "extremely likely' that sea levels rose faster in the 20th century than any any time in the preceding 2,700 years, and the rise in sea levels has been even faster in the last two decades.
The new study was based on reconstructing the history of the Earth's sea levels, using 24 areas around the globe, dating back some 3,000 years.
This information, reports the Washington Post, along with data from tide gauges, led scientists to conclude that the rise in sea levels in the 20th century was faster than any time in the past 27 centuries.
"We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries,” said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who along with nine of his colleagues from a number of U.S. and global universities wrote the study. The study found that sea levels were almost steady prior to the Industrial Revolution, at which time there is a record of a consistent rise.
Rate of sea level rise
The authors point out that if mankind sticks to the climate treaty agreed upon in Paris in December 2015, we can still expect sea levels to rise between 9.5 inches and 2 feet by 2100.
The Washington Post cites data from NASA that says sea levels rose about 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) from 1900 to 2000, suggesting a sea level rise of about 1.4 millimeters a year. The current rate is 3.4 millimeters per year, and according to NASA, this is accelerating.
However, a news release from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on February 12, 2016, reported on a study that showed rising sea levels are slowed by increased water on land. The study found that even though the ice sheets and glaciers continue to melt, changes in weather and climate over the last 10 years have allowed the continents to "soak up and store an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes, and underground aquifers, temporarily slowing the rate of sea level rise by about 20 percent."
If all this extra information leads to confusion, it is only because studies are coming in fast and furious as new technologies add to our armory of instruments to measure all the parameters that make up climate science.
Climate Central points out one particular bit of information, though. If not for humans, and the Industrial Revolution, sea levels might not have risen at all and all the "nuisance flooding" of our coastal areas would have been avoided.
This latest study, "Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era," was published in the journal Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on February 11, 2016.
More about Sea level rise, Climate change, 20th Century, climate change deniers, nasa reports
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