The rising sea levels have been a lot in the news over the past few years. The global sea levels are rising by around 3.4 mm per year now, compared to the 1.4 mm average rate in the last century. It would take only 80 more years for the ocean to rise by a whopping 4.3 feet than the current level.
If things continue like this, that time is not very far when we’ll be living in floating farms and cities. All those things will no longer be in the confinement of sci-fi writers’ imaginations.
An article published recently on the CNN website talked about the satellite observations which showed constantly rising sea levels and how climate change is accelerating the process.
The ocean is coming for us and it’s no longer a problem that is happening in a far-away land. Here are the top 4 facts you should be aware of in this regard.
Global sea levels have risen by 200 mm (8 inches) since 1880
A chart released by the NASA’s Earth Observatory confirmed this fact. This chart was prepared based on the data received from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Majority of it came from the tide gauge measurements, all of which is now supported by the satellite observations.
The sea levels are not just rising, the rate of their rising is also rising
If we talk about averages, the global sea levels rose by 1.4 mm from the year 1900 to the year 2000. The per year speed of this happening surpassed the 3 mm mark in 2010, and has now risen up to a concerning 3.4 mm per year.
Every inch rise in sea level brings the ocean 50 – 100 into the land
Although 1 inch might not sound like a lot of increase to lay men, it should be noted that we are talking about an inch of ocean here and not water measured through a rain gauge. The oceans of the Earth consist of around 321,000,000 mi³ of water; they’re more like bowls than beakers, and that too with sloping sides. As per a NASA report, every vertical inch rise in the sea level consumes 50 – 100 inches of the beach space.
Earth is experiencing the fastest sea level rise in the last 3000 years
If it weren’t for the constantly increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, the sea levels wouldn’t have risen beyond an inch or two over the last century; in fact, might have fallen instead. As mentioned earlier, climate change has a lot to do with these rising ocean levels. Here are 7 ways in which climate change is affecting the oceans.
At present we are witnessing the highest CO2 levels in the atmosphere at any given point in the history of mankind. Resultantly, the global sea levels rose by almost 14 cm (5.5 inches) over the past century.
As per a study published in 2016, that is the fastest increase over the past 27 centuries; and it’s not stopping.