Global warming accelerating sea level rise, new research shows

NASA's GRACE mission used satellites to measure changes in ice mass. This image shows areas of Antarctica that gained or lost ice between 2002 and 2016

Because of this, the researchers say their findings are a "conservative" estimate. "It also demonstrates the importance of climate models in interpreting satellite records, such as in our work where they allow us to estimate the background effects of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo on global sea level".

Sea-levels are rising at an accelerating speed all around the world as ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland melt.

Twenty-five years of satellite data reveal that sea-level rise is increasing rapidly and by the end of the century could be twice as high as some climate models project, a new study finds. The report read: "It is very likely that in the 21st century and beyond, sea level change will have a strong regional pattern, with some places experiencing significant deviations of local and regional sea level change from the global mean change".

It reported a seven centimetre rise in sea levels since 1993, which confirms scientists' computer simulations and is in line with predictions from the United Nations, which releases regular climate change reports.

About the results study co-author Dr Gary Mitchum, associate dean and professor at the University of South Florida, said: 'I think this is a game-changer as far as the climate change discussion goes. Though these numbers sound small, tiny increases across the globe over several decades can result in devastating consequences from sea level rise on coastal cities alone.

This new research shows that, rising sea waters could be climbing up around half an inch a year by 2100. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere rise the temperature in air and water.

"In addition, we'll certainly be watching our data to see if there are any rapid changes in the ice sheets that might be detected".

The research, based on 25 years of satellite data, shows that pace is quickening every year, mainly from the melting of massive ice sheets.

Scientists looked 25 years of satellite data to calculate the levels of Earth's seas.

The researchers used tide gauge data to identify potential errors in the altimeter estimate. "They provide the only assessments of the satellite instruments from the ground".

In order to quantify this change, Nerem and his colleagues used data from satellite altimeter measurements starting in 1992, including the U.S./European TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2, and Jason-3 satellite missions.

In 2018, NASA will launch two new satellite missions that will be critical to improving future sea level projections: the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, a partnership with GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) in Germany, will continue measurements of the mass of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets; while the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will make highly accurate observations of the elevation of ice sheets and glaciers.

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