NASA Measures 3 Feet Rise Of Sea Levels In 23 Years

Posted: Aug 27 2015, 5:38am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 27 2015, 5:44am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

NASA Measures 3 Feet Rise of Sea Levels in 23 Years
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  • Sea levels have risen about a minimum of 8 cm (3 inches) since 1992!

According to NASA scientists global warming has caused the sea levels around the world to rise 3 feet.

On Wednesday NASA scientists revealed the rise in the global sea levels. Sea levels have risen up to 8 cm or 3 inches since 1992. In the last 22 years global warming has contributed a lot to the rise in the sea levels.

Warming waters and melting ice has made the largest contribution to the rise in sea level. The issue was discussed at a panel of NASA scientists and then the information was revealed.

Previously it was thought the sea levels would rise about 0.3 and 0.9 metres. A United Nations panel had made the predictions. The rise was thought to occur at the end of the century. But the new research by NASA has shown sea levels are rising faster than originally thought.

“Sea level along the west coast of the United States has actually fallen over the past 20 years because long-term natural cycles there are hiding the impact of global warming,” said Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

“However, 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.’”

A geophysicist, Steve Nerem from the University of Colorado is carrying out the research. According to Nerem the sea levels are rising faster than they did 50 years ago. The situation is likely to get very worse.

“Given what we know now about how the ocean expands as it warms 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,” said Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lead of the Sea Level Change Team.

“But we don't know whether it will happen within a century or somewhat longer.”

The rise in sea levels is not uniform. Some areas show a high rise of 25 cm while others areas have a falling sea level. The data was comprised by analysis of satellites data encompassing 23 years.

Ocean currents and natural cycles are currently offsetting rise in the Pacific and US west coast levels. But a significant rise in these parts is expected to occur in the next 20 years.

NASA scientist Tom Wagner stated the planet is not changing but has already changed.

“We’ve seen from the paleoclimate record that sea level rise of as much as 10 feet in a century or two is possible, if the ice sheets fall apart rapidly,” said Tom Wagner, the cryosphere program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“We’re seeing evidence that the ice sheets are waking up, but we need to understand them better before we can say we’re in a new era of rapid ice loss.”

“The prevailing view among specialists has been that East Antarctica is stable, but we don’t really know,” said glaciologist Eric Rignot of the University of California Irvine and JPL.

“Some of the signs we see in the satellite data right now are red flags that these glaciers might not be as stable as we once thought. There’s always a lot of attention on the changes we see now, but as scientists our priority needs to be on what the changes could be tomorrow.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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