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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rising Sea levels doom the coastlines of America


Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries - The New York Times
The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday.
Those emissions, largely from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling.
The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach, Charleston, S.C., and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days.
Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing salt water, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of fresh water and sometimes stranding entire island communities for hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland.
Sea level is now rising at fastest rate in nearly 3,000 years
The first major report published Monday shows that human-caused climate change has prompted the fastest rate of sea level rise than any in at least the past 2,800 years. Even greater water rises are slated for the future as mountain glaciers and polar ice caps melt and ocean waters continue to heat up and expand.
The study confirms (again) the relationship between temperature and sea level, showing that the two are highly correlated, as are temperature and carbon dioxide levels.
Published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study used a global collection of sea level rise records that scientists have inferred from so-called "proxy" sources, like sediment drilling cores, coral records and other sources, that can help researchers detect historical sea level variations, but do not have the pinpoint accuracy of modern tide gauges. (The researchers relied on tide gauges for data for the post-1800 period.)
Sea levels rising at fastest rate in nearly 3,000 years | News | DW.COM | 22.02.2016
Studies published Monday in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" said that by 2100 the world's oceans could rise between 28 to 131 centimeters (11 to 52 inches), depending on how much heat-trapping gas is expelled by industry and vehicles.
An international team of scientists dug into two dozen locations around the world to chart rising and falling seas over centuries and millennia.
Until the 1880s when industrialization began, the limit of the rise was about 3 to 4 centimeters (1 to 1.5 inches) a century. But in the 20th century the world's seas rose by 14 centimeters, and since 1993 the rate has risen to 30 centimeters per century.

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