Sunday, January 20

Sea Levels Rising Faster than Expected, Scientists Report, and Acceleration Will Continue. See Video

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Sea levels have been rising around the world faster than scientists had predicted, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The increase has not been steady; instead, it has accelerated in recent years, and probably will continue to increase the rest of this century.

The study, based on data from NASA and European satellites over the past 25 years, shows that ice has been melting in Greenland and the Antarctic at an increasingly fast rate, and could result in the sea level rising by twice the amount scientists had predicted by 2100. Indeed, if the melting continues at the current rate, sea levels will rise by 26 inches by that time, causing enormous problems for coastal cities.

The ice is melting due to global warming, caused by greenhouse gases. Warmer water by itself helps cause a sea level increase. And things could get worse. “This is almost certainly a conservative estimate,” said the study’s lead author.

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