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2015-08-26. NASA Science Zeros in on Ocean Rise: How Much? How Soon?

posted Aug 30, 2015, 7:59 AM by Alan Gould
NASA Release 15-174. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: Seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches since 1992, with some locations rising more than 9 inches due to natural variation, according to the latest satellite measurements from NASA and its partners. An intensive research effort now underway, aided by NASA observations and analysis, points to an unavoidable rise of several feet in the future. ...“Given what we know now about how the ocean expands as it warms and how ice sheets and glaciers are adding water to the seas, it’s pretty certain we are locked into at least 3 feet of sea level rise, and probably more,” said Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lead of the Sea Level Change Team. “But we don't know whether it will happen within a century or somewhat longer.” ...“Sea level along the west coast of the United States has actually fallen over the past 20 years because long-term natural cycles there are hiding the impact of global warming,” said Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “However, there are signs this pattern is changing. We can expect accelerated rates of sea level rise along this coast over the next decade as the region recovers from its temporary sea level ‘deficit.’” Scientists estimate that about one-third of sea level rise is caused by expansion of warmer ocean water, one-third is due to ice loss from the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and the remaining third results from melting mountain glaciers. But, the fate of the polar ice sheets could change that ratio and produce more rapid increases in the coming decades. Images and video supporting the media teleconference today are available at: http://go.nasa.gov/risingseasbriefing ...Learn more about NASA's research into sea level change at: http://www.nasa.gov/risingseas ...Full release at http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-science-zeros-in-on-ocean-rise-how-much-how-soon