Sea-level rise in the 20th century was the fastest in 2,000 years

The rate of sea-level rise in the 20th century along much of the U.S. Atlantic coast was the fastest in 2,000 years, and southern New Jersey had the fastest rates, according to a Rutgers-led study.

 

The global rise in sea-level from melting ice and warming oceans from 1900 to 2000 led to a rate that’s more than twice the average for the years 0 to 1800—the most significant change, according to the study in the journal Nature Communications.

 

The study for the first time looked at the phenomena that contributed to sea-level change over 2,000 years at six sites along the coast (in Connecticut, New York City, New Jersey and North Carolina), using a sea-level budget. A budget enhances understanding of the processes driving sea-level change. The processes are global, regional (including geological, such as land subsidence) and local, such as groundwater withdrawal.

 

“Having a thorough understanding of sea-level change at sites over the long-term is imperative for regional and local planning and responding to future sea-level rise,” said lead author Jennifer S. Walker, a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “By learning how different processes vary over time and contribute to sea-level change, we can more accurately estimate future contributions at specific sites.”

 

Sea-level rise stemming from climate change threatens to permanently inundate low-lying islands, cities and lands. It also heightens their vulnerability to flooding and damage from coastal and other storms.

Read the full article at: phys.org