AUG 27, 2015 5:25 PM PDT

New NASA Analysis Confirms Higher Sea Level Rise Over The Next Century

WRITTEN BY: Andrew J. Dunlop
A NASA study recently revealed that, on average, sea levels around the world have risen almost 3 inches in less than 25 years, and that, in some areas levels have actually risen 9 inches. NASA is currently in the midst of an intensive study, using observations and analysis, all of which are pointing in one direction: an unavoidable rise in sea levels of several feet over the next hundred years.



University of Colorado, Boulder’s Steve Nerem is the lead of the Sea Level Change Team. “Given what we know now about how the ocean expands as it warms,” says Nerem, “and how ice sheets and glaciers are adding water to the seas, it’s pretty certain we are locked into at least 3 feet of sea level rise, and probably more.” But, he adds, “…we don't know whether it will happen within a century or somewhat longer,” Nerem explains.



The NASA team just released their new forecasts based on analysis of the past 23 years of their sea level data. This is how long NASA has been keeping satellite records on sea levels.

The data is from three satellite missions. The first mission, launched in 1992, was a collaboration between NASA and the Centre National d'Études Spatiales, or the CNES, the French space agency. The second was a mission called  Jason-3, which was led by the NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Other participants included NASA, CNES and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or the IPCC) issued an assessment in 2013, which was based on a consensus of international researchers. It stated that global sea levels would likely rise from 1 to 3 feet by the end of the century. Nerem’s team has found, in their analysis of data that has become available since the IPCC’s 2013 report, that   three feet is much more likely, and that, in that time, sea levels could rise even more.

One surprising finding from Nerem’s team’s analysis is that changes in sea level are not uniform world-wide. Ocean currents and natural cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (or the PDO) cause some significant regional differences. But, they are all subject to change as these natural cycles wax and wane, which could cause problems in the future.

“Sea level along the west coast of the United States has actually fallen over the past 20 years,” says Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, “…long-term natural cycles there are hiding the impact of global warming. However,” he explains, “there are signs this pattern is changing. We can expect accelerated rates of sea level rise along this coast over the next decade as the region recovers from its temporary sea level ‘deficit.’”

Source: https://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/48913
About the Author
  • Andrew J. Dunlop lives and writes in a little town near Boston. He's interested in space, the Earth, and the way that humans and other species live on it.
You May Also Like
DEC 09, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 09, 2019
Here we go again: record level carbon emissions in 2019
A report from researchers collaborating to produce the annual Global Carbon Budget has found that 2019 will break record levels of carbon emissions…...
DEC 18, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 18, 2019
BedMachine: the most accurate map of Antarctica yet
Research published recently in Nature Geoscience details the findings of the most accurate topographical map of Antarctica that we have to date. The map ha...
DEC 30, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 30, 2019
New Cobalt-free Electrochemistry to "Clean Up" Battery Manufacturing Practice
The rise of portable devices and electric vehicles (EVs) are changing the way we live and work. But the use of lithium-ion batteries, which are essential f...
JAN 04, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 04, 2020
What will be the future of the North Atlantic Current?
A study published recently in Scientific Reports predicts the fate of the North Atlantic Current. The current is responsible for moving warm water from the...
JAN 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 06, 2020
Psychedelics Linked to Stronger Connection to Nature
Taking psychedelic drugs, sometimes referred to as “tripping,” was recently shown to increase individuals’ “nature relatedness&rdqu...
JAN 14, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 14, 2020
That awkward conversation: climate change
New research published in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability takes a psychological angle at understanding why people deny climate change. Focu...
Loading Comments...