Accelerated Rise In Sea Levels Blamed On Global Warming

Posted on Friday, November 25 at 13:36 by Ed Deak
"Without reliable information on how sea levels had changed before we had our new measures, we couldn't be sure the current rate wasn't happening all along," said Professor Miller. "Now with solid historical data, we know it is definitely a recent phenomenon." The study was based on analysing the sediment of five core samples drilled to a depth of 500 metres off the New Jersey coast between Cape May and Sandy Hook. Analysing fossils, variations in radioactive isotopes and other chemical elements allowed scientists to make accurate estimates of sea levels at different times over the past 100 million years. This is the most reliable and comprehensive record of sea levels for this period of time, and is better than previous core samples drilled for commercial purposes, Professor Miller said. The analysis, in the journal Science, showed there was a steady rise of about one millimetre a year in sea levels from 5,000 years ago until about 200 years ago. Recent measurements from tidal gauges and satellites show that the rate of increase in sea levels has doubled since 1850, he said. "The main thing that's changed since the 19th century and the beginning of the modern observation has been the widespread increase in fossil fuel use and more greenhouse gases," the professor said. "Our record therefore provides a new and reliable baseline to use in addressing global warming."

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