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Submission + - Temperature Driven Sea Level Rise Is Accelerating, Not Constant, Study Finds (cnn.com)

dryriver writes: A research team studying climate change driven sea level rise has found that unlike previously assumed by some, sea level rise is not constant year on year, but rather accelerating as the earth warms. This means that rather than sea levels rising about 30 centimeters by 2100 as some projections based on constant rise rates had forecast, the real sea level rise by the end of the century may be 60 centimeters or even higher, causing major problems for coastal cities and coastal areas around the world. Extreme water levels, such as high tides and surges from strong storms, would be made exponentially worse. The chief reason previous projections appear to have underestimated how quickly sea levels would rise is that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and mountain glaciers are disappearing much faster than had been projected before. Currently, over half of the observed rise is the result of "thermal expansion": As ocean water warms, it expands, and sea levels rise. The rest of the rise is the result of melted ice in Greenland and Antarctica and mountain glaciers flowing into the oceans. This is a troubling finding when considering the recent rapid ice loss in the ice sheets. "Sixty-five centimeters is probably on the low end for 2100," researcher Steve Nerem said, "since it assumes the rate and acceleration we have seen over the last 25 years continues for the next 82 years." We are already seeing signs of ice sheet instability in Greenland and Antarctica, so if they experience rapid changes, then we would likely see more than 65 centimeters of sea level rise by 2100." "We are already seeing signs of ice sheet instability in Greenland and Antarctica, so if they experience rapid changes, then we would likely see more than 65 centimeters of sea level rise by 2100." Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, who was not involved with the study, said "it confirms what we have long feared: that the sooner-than-expected ice loss from the west Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is leading to acceleration in sea level rise sooner than was projected."
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Temperature Driven Sea Level Rise Is Accelerating, Not Constant, Study Finds

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