Sea Level Rise in 20th Century Was Greater Than Any Previous Century on Record

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

The world's sea level has risen more in the 20th Century than it did in any single century in nearly 3,000 years.

Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the new study comes from a Rutgers University climate scientist named Robert Kopp and an international team of researchers.

According to The Washington Post, Kopp's research states with "95 percent probability" the sea level rise over the last century was the greatest in the last 2,700 years. Kopp noted that such reliable data for sea level rise more than 27 centuries ago was simply unattainable.

Between 1900 and 2000, the sea level rose 14 centimeters, and the new study pins the driving force on the globe's warming climate. The researchers also suggested the sea level would not have risen - and may have even fallen - if not for manmade climate change, The Post reported.

NASA's current sea level data (it has multiple active and planned missions addressing the issue) currently pegs the rate at which it is rising at 3.4 millimeters per year. Previous studies have also found the sea level to be rising at an accelerated pace.

"I would suggest that decision makers use these 'best-available' distributions but also consider the consequences for their decisions of 'worst-case' sea-level rise scenarios," Kopp said in a statement on his website. "If the consequences of such a worst-case scenario are unacceptable, then decision makers should adopt strategies that are robust to this possibility. Such robust strategies generally shouldn't involve treating the worst case as a certainty; rather, in many cases, they will involve 'adaptive' strategies that allow for tightening of protection should sea-level rise prove to be toward the high end of projections."

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