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A new article in Geophysical Research Letters says that global mean sea level rise accelerated three times faster during 2005-2015 than during 1993–2014.

According to research led by Shuang Yi of Hokkaido University, the acceleration comes from three factors: melting land ice, thermal expansion of the seawater, and declining land water storage, with the latter two accounting for 85% of the total change. While the authors acknowledge that observations across such short periods can lead to imprecise conclusions due to fluctuations in natural variables, they believe the findings “shed light on the underlying mechanisms of sea level acceleration and reflect its susceptibility to the global warming.”

The researchers “demonstrate that current advances in satellite gravimetry, and marine in situ measurements enable us to detect the acceleration in global sea level rise from 2005 to 2015, 11 years in total. An important factor is that we could precisely quantify different components that contribute to sea level change. Above all, we could substantially reduce the influence of climate variability in terms of the land water storage changes. This work lets us accurately understand the susceptibility of current sea level rise to global warming.”

Yi, S., Heki, K., & Qian, A. (2017). Acceleration in the global mean sea level rise: 2005–2015. Geophysical Research Letters, 44. doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076129

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