Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



WATER WORLD
Sea level rise in 20th century was fastest in 3,000 years, Rutgers-led study finds
by Staff Writers
Newark NJ (SPX) Feb 23, 2016


Sea-level rise in the 21st century is expected to worsen coastal flooding. Image courtesy Arnon Polin. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Global sea level rose faster in the 20th century than in any of the 27 previous centuries, according to a Rutgers University-led study published this week. Moreover, without global warming, global sea level would have risen by less than half the observed 20th century increase and might even have fallen.

Instead, global sea level rose by about 14 centimeters, or 5.5 inches, from 1900 to 2000. That's a substantial increase, especially for vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas.

"The 20th century rise was extraordinary in the context of the last three millennia - and the rise over the last two decades has been even faster," said Robert Kopp, the lead author and an associate professor in Rutgers' Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used a new statistical approach developed over the last two and a half years by Kopp, his postdoctoral associates Carling Hay and Eric Morrow, and Jerry Mitrovica, a professor at Harvard University.

"No local record measures global sea level," Kopp said. "Each measures sea level at a particular location, where it is buffeted by a variety of processes that cause it to differ from the global mean. The statistical challenge is to pull out the global signal. That's what our statistical approach allows us to do."

Notably, the study found that global sea level declined by about 8 centimeters [3 inches] from 1000 to 1400, a period when the planet cooled by about 0.2 degrees Celsius [0.4 degrees Fahrenheit].

"It is striking that we see this sea-level change associated with this slight global cooling," Kopp said. By comparison, global average temperature today is about 1 degrees Celsius [1.8 degrees Fahrenheit] higher than it was in the late 19th century.

A statistical analysis can only be as good as the data it's built upon. For this study, a team led by Andrew Kemp, an assistant professor of earth and ocean sciences at Tufts University, and Benjamin Horton, a professor in Rutgers' Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, compiled a new database of geological sea-level indicators from marshes, coral atolls and archaeological sites that spanned the last 3,000 years.

The database included records from 24 locations around the world. Many of the records came from the field work of Kemp, Horton, or team members Roland Gehrels of the University of York in the United Kingdom and Jeffrey Donnelly of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The analysis also tapped 66 tide-gauge records from the last 300 years.

"Scenarios of future rise depend upon our understanding of the response of sea level to climate changes," Horton said. "Accurate estimates of sea-level variability during the past 3,000 years provide a context for such projections."

Kemp said, "As geologists, we can reconstruct how sea level changed at a particular site, and progress in the last 10 years has allowed us to do so with ever more detail and resolution. Gathering together and standardizing these reconstructions gave us a chance to look at what they had in common and where they differed, both of which can tell us about the causes of past, present and future sea-level change."

Kopp's collaborators Klaus Bittermann and Stefan Rahmstorf at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany used the study's global sea-level reconstruction to calculate how temperatures relate to the rate of sea-level change.

Based on this relationship, the study found that, without global warming, 20th century global sea-level change would very likely have been between a decrease of 3 centimeters [1.2 inches] and a rise of 7 centimeters [2.8 inches].

A companion report finds that, without the global warming-induced component of sea-level rise, more than half of the 8,000 coastal nuisance floods observed at studied U.S. tide gauge sites since 1950 would not have occurred. The Climate Central report, led by Benjamin Strauss and co-authored by Kopp, Bittermann, and William Sweet of NOAA, was also published today.

The Kopp-led study also found that it's very likely that global sea level will rise by 1.7 to 4.3 feet in the 21st century if the world continues to rely heavily upon fossil fuels. Phasing out fossil fuels will reduce the very likely rise to between 0.8 and 2.0 feet.

Scientists at the following institutions contributed to the study: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Tufts University; Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; University of York in the United Kingdom; and Harvard University. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Group, the U.K. National Environmental Research Council, the Royal Society, and Harvard University.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Rutgers University
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
WATER WORLD
Marine virus outbreaks linked to coral bleaching
Houston TX (SPX) Feb 18, 2016
A study by biologists from Rice University and Oregon State University has found that significant outbreaks of marine viruses may be associated with coral bleaching events, especially as a result of multiple environmental stresses. The new findings in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology document a viral outbreak that occurred as corals were bleaching - losing color as a byproduct of expe ... read more


WATER WORLD
More Austrian troops to deal with migrant inflow

Taiwan vows new safety laws after quake disaster

Enabling human-robot rescue teams

Contested waters in NATO's new Aegean migrant mission

WATER WORLD
Scientists prove feasibility of 'printing' replacement tissue

Patient wears 3-D glasses during brain surgery

Beyond diamonds and gems: The world's rarest minerals

Shaping crystals with the flow

WATER WORLD
DNA evidence shows that salmon hatcheries cause substantial, rapid genetic changes

A new form of frozen water

How climate change will affect western groundwater

Marine virus outbreaks linked to coral bleaching

WATER WORLD
Ice sheet modeling of Greenland, Antarctica helps predict sea-level rise

150,000 Antarctica penguins die after iceberg grounding: study

Clams help date duration of ancient methane seeps in the Arctic

Penguin parents: Inability to share roles increases their vulnerability to climate change

WATER WORLD
Feeding a city with better food sources

How hunter-gatherers preserved their food sources

Soilless farming suggested as a solution to food shortage in Qatar

Transgenic sweet corn no more susceptible to Goss's wilt disease

WATER WORLD
Death toll rises as Fiji cleans up after 'strongest ever' cyclone

Moderate 5.9 magnitude quake hits NW Pakistan

New app turns smartphones into worldwide seismic network

5.8-magnitude quake hits New Zealand city: USGS

WATER WORLD
Three soldiers get life for I.Coast military chief's murder

Saving the wildlife 'miracle' of Congo's Garamba park

Kenya army says it killed Shebab intelligence chief

In Congo, a war for Africa's elephants

WATER WORLD
Neanderthals and modern H. sapiens crossbred over 100,000 years ago

Neanderthals mated with modern humans much earlier than previously thought

Easter Island not destroyed by war, analysis of 'spear points' shows

Modern 'Indiana Jones' on mission to save antiquities




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement