Sea levels are rising, this we know. However, exactly how much we know about the details of this rising tide depends on the person. Thanks to a new study, this time by a team of researchers, lead by Benjamin Horton, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Seal Level Research Laboratory, we now have more information about the rates of the oceans rise available to everyone.
According to the study sea levels have risen, on average, over about 1/10 of an inch per year since the dawn of European industrialization. This rate, according to the data collected, is rising in the last half century. The study suggests that close to 30-75 inches of rise by the end of this century is to be expected.
The study also sheds light on the general trend of sea level rise over the last 2000 years. According to the report from 100 BCE to 950 CE sea levels were almost completely constant. Then for a period of 400 years they experienced a rise. However, this rise was at a much lower rate than the current trend. After the brief rise they once again were mostly stable until the dawn of the industrial era.
What this evidence reasserts is that the current rates of rise are significantly more dangerous and serious than those in previous eras of recorded human existence. As reported yesterday, cities on the coast are in serious need of adapting and even then they are likely to be facing far greater frequencies of flooding in the coming years.
With the Obama Administration still failing to meet the challenge of climate change head on the future continues to look bleak. Hopefully the publicity these, now much more common, academic climate change studies are getting will help to influence policy so that those fortunate enough to be living in U.S. seaside property are not washed into the sea and so the poor people in less wealthy countries are not forced, by the environment, to leave the slums they have been able to claim.
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