The Guardian reports: Sea level rise sped up over the last two decades rather than slowing down as previously thought, according to new research.
Records from tide gauges and satellites have shown sea level rise slowing slightly over the past 20 years. But as the ice sheets of West Antarctica and Greenland shed ever more water into the ocean, climate models show it should be doing the opposite.
“The thing that was really puzzling us was that the last decade of sea level rise was marginally slower, ever so subtly slower, than the decade before it,” said Dr Christopher Watson from the University of Tasmania who led the new study.
Watson’s team found that the record of sea level rise during the early 1990s was too high. The error gave the illusion of the rate of sea level rise decreasing by 0.058 mm/year 2 between 1993 and 2014 , when in reality it accelerated by between 0.041 and 0.058 mm/year 2 . This brings the records into line with the modelling of the UN’s climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). [Continue reading…]