(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers have conducted a global analysis of sea levels on the planet over the past two thousand years. The rise appeared to have started earlier than previously thought.
The results, published in Nature Communications, indicate that the rise began around the same time as the Industrial Revolution. The researchers found that the rate of this process clearly outpaced background variability by 1863.
The sea is coming
- Around this time, studies show the first signs of ocean warming and human activity melting glaciers, both contributing to sea level rise.
- Since the beginning of our era, for 1,700 years, global sea levels have fluctuated between a 0.3 millimeter drop and a 0.2 millimeter rise.
- Between 1700 and 1760, just before the Industrial Revolution and the onset of widespread burning of fossil fuels, sea levels were falling by 0.1 millimeters per year.
- But from 1940 to 2000, it increased by 1.4 millimeters per year.
At the same time, throughout the North Atlantic, signs of a significant rise in sea levels appeared earlier than in other regions of the planet.
This can be judged from a variety of instrumental and indirect data: from the results of the study of foraminifers, diatoms, archaeological evidence, and depositional geochemistry.
The fact that by the middle of the 20th century, modern rates are observed in all the studied points shows the significant impact of global sea level rise on our planet, says environmental scientist Jennifer Walker from Rutgers University.
The process is accelerating
- Previous global assessments have also identified a significant acceleration in sea level rise starting in the 19th century.
- And the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows a steady increase between 1820 and 1860.
- A new study is worrisome as it finds an unprecedented rise in sea levels in the Atlantic.
- Sea levels will rise faster than ever in the next century , and humanity needs to know what will happen to coastlines in order to mitigate the impact as much as possible.
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