Global sea levels have risen by an average of three inches since 1992, the result of warming ocean temperatures and melting ice sheets and glaciers, according to new data released by a NASA panel yesterday. And the data suggest that we can look forward to a lot more sea level rise down the line.
In 2013, a United Nations panel predicted sea levels would rise from 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 0.9 meters) by the end of the century. The new research shows that sea level rise most likely will be at the high end of that range, said University of Colorado geophysicist Steve Nerem.
Sea levels are rising faster than they did 50 years ago and “it’s very likely to get worse in the future,” Nerem said.
The changes are not uniform. Some areas showed sea levels rising more than 9 inches (25 cm) and other regions, such as along the U.S. West Coast, actually falling, according to an analysis of 23 years of satellite data.
Scientists believe ocean currents and natural cycles are temporarily offsetting a sea level rise in the Pacific and the U.S. West Coast could see a significant hike in sea levels in the next 20 years.
This is a stark reminder that climate change don’t give a fuck whether you believe in it or not, and the seas will continue to rise while we humans squabble about the causes.
“People need to understand that the planet is not only changing, it’s changed,” said NASA scientist Tom Wagner.
Scary! Grab your canoe and turn up the volume, folks. Carole King’s got a message for us all.
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