"Sea Level Rise Accelerating Faster Than Thought"

"If you’re still thinking about buying that beach house, think again. A new study suggests that sea levels aren’t just rising; they’re gaining ground faster than ever. That’s contrary to earlier work that suggested rising seas had slowed in recent years.

The result won’t come as a shock to most climate scientists. Long-term records from coastal tide gauges have shown that sea level rise accelerated throughout the 20th century. Models predict the trend will continue. However, previous studies based on satellite measurements—which began in 1993 and provide the most robust estimates of sea level—revealed that the rate of rise had slowed in the past decade compared with the one before.

That recent slowdown puzzled researchers, because sea level contributions from melting ice in Antarctica and Greenland are actually increasing, says Christopher Watson, a geodesist at the University of Tasmania in Australia. So he and colleagues took a closer look at the available satellite and tide gauge data, and tried to correct for other factors that might skew sea level measurements, like small changes in coastal elevation."

Julia Rosen reports for Science magazine May 11, 2015.

Source: Science News, 05/12/2015