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Study finds that recent global sea level acceleration started in the 1960s

A new study led by the University of Siegen (Germany) finds an acceleration in sea-level rise starting in the 1960s that can be linked to changes in Southern Hemispheric westerly winds. The study, published on August 5 in the journal Nature Climate Change, examined a global set of coastal tide gauge records in combination with spatial information from satellite altimetry to retrace the acceleration in time and space.  "Since the early 1990s, satellites have measured sea level with high precision and good spatial coverage over almost the entire ocean, and scientists have found that its global average has been accelerating over the last 25 years, mainly as a result of increased melting in Greenland and Antarctica," says Sönke Dangendorf, a scientist at the University of Siegen and lead author of the paper. "But, so far, it has been unclear when this acceleration started, in which region it was initiated, and which processes contributed the most to it. Answering these questions was hampered by the fact that before the advent of satellite altimetry in 1992, our knowledge mainly relied on a few hundred tide gauges that record sea level along the world's coastlines, and that our available approaches for reconstructing sea levels globally from these records were too imprecise."  Read more....

 

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