The truth about climate change and sea-level rise: The facts, the science, and a case for science,
A decade ago, the scientific community was still reeling from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.
Now it is looking back with a new sense of hope, and the best evidence of the world is in sight.
In the last two decades, sea-levels have risen faster than any other major cycle on Earth.
But there is one major thing that can’t be ignored.
For the past several centuries, the world has been warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, which means that sea-rise is going to get worse, not better.
That is the conclusion of a new analysis of global sea-surface temperature records and research by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The research, published Monday in Nature Geoscience, found that in the past half-century, global sea levels have risen about 0.8 millimetres (0.06 inches) per year.
That’s not a big change, but it is enough to significantly change the way sea-cover is mapped, as it is now, in the Earth’s oceans.
As the study puts it: “In the absence of a major global warming hiatus, the observed increase in global sea level over the last 50 years is consistent with the assumption that global sea surface temperatures have been rising more slowly over the past century than at any time in the last 10,000 years.”
The paper was conducted by a team led by Dr. Peter Wadhams of the University of Oxford.
The team used the UK-based Global Sea-Surface Temperature dataset to examine the past five decades, with a focus on the last 15 years.
In this decade, global mean sea level increased by 0.6 millimetre, with most of that growth occurring in Antarctica, where sea-Level rise accelerated in the decade before the pandemics.
For most of the decade, sea levels rose about 0,5 millimetrees per year, with the largest increases in the Antarctic.
But that trend reversed between the 1990s and 2015.
The authors of the paper say the most dramatic increase occurred between 2007 and 2010, the year in which global sea floor temperatures spiked above 1.0 millimetes per year — a period of time in which sea-surge data from both the Antarctic and the equator showed dramatic warming.
“This record was particularly exceptional during the decade leading up to the onset of the current [global] warming hiatus,” the authors write.
“The increase in sea level during the 2010-2015 hiatus was much faster than the other recent decades and has been the dominant trend since 2000.”
But sea-water temperatures don’t just change as the planet warms.
The warming that occurs as the atmosphere warms also changes how warm the water around the globe absorbs the heat of the sun, which causes it to warm more rapidly.
The increase in ocean temperatures, in turn, means that the world’s oceans have warmed more than they have in the recent past.
And that warming has caused some of the biggest impacts on coastal cities and coastal ecosystems.
For example, sea level rise has increased the rate at which the sea-floor melts, or breaks up, in places that used to be protected by ice.
That means more water is being lost, leading to increased erosion and further coastal flooding.
That water is also being pushed farther inland, which is putting more stress on coastal infrastructure.
“For the past 50 years, we have seen a very dramatic increase in the rate of change in sea-based global mean surface temperature anomalies,” the researchers write.
But the global sea rise in the period between 1997 and 2015 has been about 2.6 per cent per decade.
That suggests that, even if sea levels were to continue rising at their current rate, the current trend could see global sea rates rise by a third by 2060.
“While the global mean temperature anomalies are rising faster than before, there is also some evidence that they are not continuing to rise as rapidly as they did prior to the recent hiatus,” Wadham said.
“However, even in the absence (of) the hiatus, there are still large gaps between the trend in sea levels and the average global temperature anomaly.”
For the study, Wadham’s group used data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the World Bank, and other institutions.
They used this dataset to look at sea-volume data in the Arctic and Antarctic, which showed that sea level had risen roughly 0.3 millimeters per year between the 1960s and 2000s.
The researchers also used data on ice thickness in the western and eastern Pacific Ocean, which indicated that sea levels had risen about 10 millimetuses per year from the mid-1960s to the mid 1990s.
And they used the data on the length of the ice sheet on Greenland, which shows that sea heights have risen 0.4 millimetras per year since the mid 1970s.
“It is the combined impact of all