A new study has found that the rise in sea level has accelerated faster than earlier thought in the past two decades, signaling the threat of climate change on the sea coasts from Florida to Bangladesh.
The report, which reassessed the records from over 600 tidal gauges, discovered that the readings had over-estimated the increase in sea levels between 1901 and 1990. Based on the revised figures for 1901-90, the acceleration was found greater than so far assumed.
According to the report, the previous readings were not completed or skewed by various local factors like subsidence.
Study lead author Carling Hay, from Harvard University, said, “The new analysis suggests that the acceleration in the past two decades is 25 percent higher than earlier thought.”
The rise in sea level, which was caused by factors like a thaw of glaciers, averaged nearly 1.2 millimeters (0.05 inch) a year between 1901 and 1990. The figures were less than previous estimates.
The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has in 2014 estimated the 1901-90 rate at 1.5 mm a year, deciphering less of a leap to the latest rate nearly 3 mm.
The study’s findings might affect the projections of the future pace of rise in sea level, mainly those based on the historical trends.
The new results have confirmed that “sea level is rising and … the rise has accelerated, with the most recent rates being the highest on record,” Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said.
The findings of study were published in the journal Nature.