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Recent Sea Level Rise is Truly Unnatural: Study

Oct 14, 2014 03:58 PM EDT
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A new study has revealed more evidence that the sea level rise the world has already experienced in recent years is not characteristic of the natural fluctuations the planet has seen over the past millennia, indicating that it is at least in-part a consequence of unnatural human influence.
(Photo : Pixabay)

A new study has revealed more evidence that the sea level rise the world has already experienced in recent years is not characteristic of the natural fluctuations the planet has seen over the past millennia, indicating that it is at least in-part a consequence of unnatural human influence.

The study, recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesdetails how the 20-centimeter sea level rise seen over past century is 10 times what is observed on average over the past 6,000 years.

Interestingly, the fluctuations in sea level seen over the past 6,000 years fall perfectly in line with many historical natural sea models. In fact, some fluctuations have proven smaller than what experts have thought the Earth should have went through. However, the consistent rise in the last 100 years seems utterly uncharacteristic of this and is practically "anomalous," hinting at unnatural influence.

Study author Kurt Lambeck, at the Australian National University, recently told ABC Science that what makes this work of particular importance is that it takes into account the complex ways in which the Earth responds to melting ice.

"When the ice sheet melts all sorts of physical things happen and the sea level response to that is quite complex. It will go up in some parts and go down in other parts of the planet," he explained.

Even the gravitational attraction between ice and water can alter.

"When an ice sheet builds up," Lambeck explained, "it pulls the water towards it so that within a certain distance of the ice sheet, sea levels actually go up, whereas much further away they have to go down."

Lambeck and his colleagues also accounted for the relative positions of water to land, where ice sheets are normally pressing down on floating land masses with their significant weight. When they begin to melt, the sea level rises, but so does the land, as it suddenly finds itself unburdened. This can make it seem as if the sea has barely risen when in reality it's gained significant volume in an unusually short amount of time.

Nature World News recently reported how another team of experts have similarly accounted for little-considered factors to determine that by the end of this century we can expect the sea level to rise no more than 1.8 meters in a worse-case scenario.

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