(OMMON DREAMS) Deirdre Fulton, February 24, 2016 — When it comes to swelling oceans that threaten coastal communities around the world, it’s bad, and it’s going to get worse.
Sea levels are rising faster than they have in the last three millennia, and that rate continues to accelerate due to the burning of fossil fuels, according to new research published Monday. “Our study is for sea level what the now well-confirmed famous ‘hockey stick’ diagram was for global temperature.”—Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam University
One study appearing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states that “almost certainly, more than half of the 20th century rise has been caused by human activity, possibly even all of it.”
Employing a database of geological sea-level indicators from marshes, coral atolls, and archaeological sites around the world, the paper shows that global sea levels stayed fairly steady for about 3,000 years. Then, from 1900 to 2000, the seas rose 5.5 inches—a significant increase, especially for low-lying coastal areas. And since 1993, the rate has soared to a foot per century.