Sea Levels, Global Warming: Is This Our New Reality?

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Sea Levels, Global Warming: Is This Our New Reality?

Jay Baez, Reporter

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On Monday, February 19th, 2018, the National Academy of Sciences released a study, based on satellite data ranging from the 1930’s to present day, showing that the sea level has been rising about 3 millimeters (0.1 inches) per year, and that, in the past 25 years alone, it has risen about 7 centimeters (2.8 inches).

Steve Nerem, a professor of aerospace engineering sciences who also works for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, said, “This acceleration, driven mainly by accelerated melting in Greenland and Antarctica, has the potential to double the total sea level rise by 2100 as compared to projections that assume a constant rate, to more than 60 centimeters instead of about 30.” If sea levels rise by 65 centimeters (2 feet), it could cause drastic problems for coastal cities around the world, leading to scientists concluding that ocean levels will rise by 2 feet by the end of the century.

Though the focus remains on the steady rise of sea levels, falls in sea levels are also an issue. In 2010, there was a 7 millimeter fall in sea levels. Seeking the environmental cause for such a dramatic fall, scientists discovered that Lake Eyre, the lowest point in Australia, was steadily filling from the heavy rains of that year.