Sea levels ‘could be rising a centimetre a year’ by 2100

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Earth’s sea level could be rising by a centimetre per year by the end of the century, scientists believe.

The rate of the oceans’ rise is increasing by about 0.08mm every year – not remaining constant at the 3mm per year previously observed by satellites, researchers said after analysing 25 years-worth of satellite data.

“And this is almost certainly a conservative estimate. Our extrapolation assumes that sea level continues to change in the future as it has over the last 25 years. Given the large changes we are seeing in the ice sheets today, that’s not likely.”

It means the total rise between 1993 and 2100 could be 65cm, according to Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado. At the turn of the next century the rate of rise could be 10mm a year or more, the university said.

This can impact on sea levels either by warmer water expanding, or through the flow of melting land ice into the oceans.

Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere raise the temperature of air and water.

 

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