Sea Levels Rising 60% Faster Than Expected

US Fish and Wildlife Service/CC BY 2.0

New research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research shows that global sea level rise is happening 60% faster than IPCC projections, even though temperatures are rising much as expected.

Potsdam's Stefan Rahmstorf:

It contrast to the physics of global warming itself, sea level rise is much more complex. To improve future projections it is very important to keep track of how well past projections match observational data. The new findings highlight that the IPCC is far from being alarmist, and in fact in some cases rather underestimates possible risks.

So how fast are sea levels actually rising?

This latest research, based off satellite data so as to get more accurate readings and greater global coverage, shows that sea levels are rising on average 3.2mm each year—and not because of any temporary event like ice discharges from the ice sheets of Greenland or Antarctica, or because of internal variability in the climate system.

The IPCC has projected that sea level rise is happening at the rate of 2mm per year.

Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects | Global Warming Science