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Sea Levels Have Risen To Highest Recorded Level

Rising Sea Levels

Sea levels in the twentieth century has risen higher than at any point in the previous 2,800 years, according to newly collated data.

By reconstructing historical rises and falls in global sea level, scientists have calculated that over 50 percent of the 13.8 centimeters of sea level rise recorded in the 1900s came about from global warming. The key reason is attributed to glacial melt.

Scientists working at the Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, U.S studied information relating to ancient sea levels taken from 24 locations around the world (ranging from New Zealand to New Jersey.)

Having collected this information, scientists reviewed the information using current ocean tide measuring technology. Here it was discovered that sea levels rose by about 0.1 millimeters per year from a point 2,800 years ago (the founding of the Roman Empire) to 2,000 years ago. After this, the next interesting point was when sea levels declined by around 0.2 millimeters per year during the 11th through 14th centuries.

Sea levels rose considerably around the start of the industrial revolution, when there was a 1.4 millimeter increase with sea levels, per year, throughout the 20th century.

The risk of increasing sea levels impacts on coastal flooding and poses a particular risk to island nations. A big risk is Antarctica, which contains a vast amount of ice that. If this emptied entirely into the ocean, under a doomsday scenario, this would lead to a 80 meters rise in the sea level.

The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled “Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era.”

With more recent data, a separate study has found melting glaciers, primarily those found in Greenland and Antarctica, accounted for 29 percent of sea level rise from 2003 to 2009.

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.