Sea Level Rise

The Sea Level Rise Foundation was an early partner in the establishment of GLISPA —

The two articles copied below suggest that newest scientific studies may indicate that Sea Level Rise will exceed earlier (IPCC) estimates because apparently more of the total global temperature rise is being sequester in the oceans than previously thought.

Global Warming: Ocean Temperatures Rising ‘Up to 152% Faster than Thought’

Climate Change Affecting Height Intensity of Global Ocean’s WavesInaccurate temperature readings of Southern Hemisphere oceans have led to global warming being underestimated(Getty)

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Scientists may have underestimated the extent of global warming because of inaccurate temperature readings from oceans in the southern hemisphere.

Californian researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology measured temperatures directly from the ocean, as well as using satellite data and climate modelling.

They compared the data to sea-level rises and upper-ocean warming in the northern hemisphere, to map warming trends. The results show the seas have been absorbing more than twice as much of the heat trapped by excess greenhouse gases as previously thought.

The team studied rising temperatures of the southern hemisphere over the decades between 1970 and 2004, and recommended increasing estimates of the rate of ocean warming by between 48% and 152%.

“One could say that global warming is ocean warming”
– Gregory Johnson and John Lyman

Paul Durack, who led the study, said this was the first time scientists have been able to work out how big the gap is between previous estimates and the reality of rising ocean temperatures.

“There has been a general acknowledgement in the literature, that southern-hemisphere estimates of ocean warming are likely biased low,” he said. “Our study is the first to attempt to quantify the magnitude of what this generally acknowledged underestimate is, using as much information as is available.”

Sea temperatures are a fundamental way of measuring global warming, as the ocean stores more than 90% of human-induced excess heat.

Gregory Johnson and John Lyman at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote in a commentary on the research: “One could say that global warming is ocean warming.”

“Quantifying how fast, and where, the ocean is warming is vital to understanding how much and how fast the atmosphere will warm, and seas will rise,” they added.

Higher sea temperatures are also connected to rising sea levels, because water expands as it warms.

Wenju Cai, from the CSIRO in Melbourne, told New Scientist that the findings have a great impact on our understanding of global warming.

“The implication is that the energy imbalance – the net heating of the earth – would have to be bigger,” he said.

Buoys called Argo floats have been collecting ocean data from around 2004, increasing the information available to scientists.

“Prior to 2004, ocean change research was limited by very sparse temperature measurements,” Durack told ABC Science Online.

The research was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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Study: Recent sea level rise is highest in 6,000 years

Rice_Doyle.png Doyle Rice, USA TODAY6:10 p.m. EDT October 14, 2014
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(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

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Melting glacial ice and ice sheets have driven seas to levels unmatched in the past 6,000 years, says a study out this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers studied examples of past sediments in Australia and Asia that dated back 35,000 years and found that overall, the planet’s sea level was fairly stable for most of the past 6,000 years.

Things began to go haywire about 150 years ago, the same time humanity began to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.

“There’s something going on today that wasn’t going on before,” said Kurt Lambeck of the Australian National University, who was lead author of the study, in an interview with the Australia Broadcasting Corp. He said the sea level rise is affected by increasing temperatures.

As the Earth’s temperature warms, so do the seas. Heat-trapping greenhouse gases cause more land ice (glaciers and ice sheets) to melt and water to expand.

REPORT: Scientists warn sea levels could swamp coasts

Lambeck told the Guardian that the sea level increase of the past 100 years is “beyond dispute.”

Sea level has risen nearly 8 inches worldwide since 1880, but it doesn’t rise at the same level. In the past century or so, it has climbed about a foot or more in some U.S. cities such as Charleston, Norfolk and Galveston because of the added influence of ocean currents and land subsidence.

Global sea level will rise 1 to 3 feet around the world by the end of this century, according to this year’s Fifth Assessment Report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Contributing: Wendy Koch, USA TODAY

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 50 years. Former President (1995 to 2016) of Island Resources Foundation.
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