"JPL’s new climate website: Yes, sea level rise has accelerated"
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a very good new website on global climate change. It offers a nice summary of the relevant science in a variety of areas: key indicators, evidence, causes, effects, uncertainties, solutions. The website is a good place to send people who are uninformed on global warming, but looking for basic information.
JPL has a very nice front-page banner with pulldown menus providing data on “Vital Signs of the Planet,” including Arctic sea ice, carbon dioxide, sea level rise, global temperature, and the ozone hole. Here is the expanded chart showing the recent 70% jump in sea level rise:
“The chart [above] shows historical sea level data derived from 23 tide-gauge measurements. The chart on the right shows the average sea level since 1993 derived from global satellite measurements, updated here monthly. Sea level rise is associated with the thermal expansion of sea water due to climate warming and widespread melting of land ice.”
If you go to Key Indicators page, you can run your mouse over the final data point, which shows that the trend continues. JPL gets their data from the University of Colorado, which has extended their plot through the end of 2008:
[Note to UC: Your website seems messed up on IE, but not Firefox.]
So sea levels are now rising about 1.3 inches a decade. This is not yet worrisome, but if current emissions trends continues and the rate of sea level rise merely continues the same relationship to global temperature rise that it has in recent decades, then we could see a total rise of up to 5 feet by 2100, at which point the rate of sea level rise would exceed 6 inches a decade, as explained in a 2007 Science article, “A Semi-Empirical Approach to Projecting Future Sea-Level Rise.”
Kudos to JPL.
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- Sea levels may rise 5 feet by 2100
- Debunking Bj¸rn Lomborg — Part II, Misrepresenting Sea Level Rise
- The Independent blows the sea level rise story
- Yet Another Must Read by James Hansen