Sea Level Trends - 1993 - 2012
DetailsPermalink to Details
- Added to the Catalog
- Available for
- Water: Sea Level Rise, Human Impact
- Global Warming
- Pacific Decadal Oscillation
- Sea Level Rise
DescriptionPermalink to Description
There are many questions surrounding climate change. One big question is how the changing climate will affect the oceans. The sea level has been steadily rising since 1900 at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters per year. In fact, since 1992 new methods of satellite altimetry using the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters per year. The Fourth Assessment Report from the IPCC states that "there is strong evidence that global sea level gradually rose in the 20th century and is currently rising at an increased rate, after a period of little change between AD 0 and AD 1900. Sea level is projected to rise at an even greater rate in this century. " - Fourth Assessment Report on Sea Level Rise Sea level can rise by two different mechanisms with respect to climate change. The first is the expansion of the sea water as the oceans warm due to an increasing global temperature. The second mechanism is the melting of ice over land, which then adds water to the ocean. The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report predicts that total global-average sea level rise from 1990 - 2100 will be 7 - 15 inches (177 - 381 mm) for low emission scenarios and 10 - 23 inches (254 - 584 mm) for high emission scenarios.
This dataset for sea level trends comes from the University of Colorado Sea Level Research Group and highlights the sea level rise trends from 1993-2012. The trends have been determined for only a nineteen-year period, and reflect the impact of decadal scale climate variability on the regional distribution of sea level rise. Additionally, local sea surface height trends and variations are a result of many factors, including (but not limited to) local rise of land height due to tectonic plate activity or loss of heavy ice pressure, thermal expansion of warmer water, and even local wind patterns. Therefore you should consider these effects in interpreting the data.
Notable FeaturesPermalink to Notable Features
- Areas of the Western Pacific are seeing up to 15mm per year of sea level rise compared with the Eastern Pacific where sea level has not seen a rise at all
- Global average sea level is rising about 2.5 mm/year and about 254 mm since 1880
Data SourcePermalink to Data Source
University of Colorado Sea Level Research Group