Rising Sea Levels
Frightening Aspects of Climate Literacy
What changes are we seeing now and for the future?
"This is a significantly faster rate than the sea level rise average over the last several thousand years" - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Between 1840 and 2004, global sea level averages rose 195mm (7.7in).
- From 1950 to 2009, the annual rise in sea level has been around 1.7 mm per year.
What are the factors contributing to sea level rise?
- Thermal expansion is when warm water expands. Therefore, as the ocean temperature warms, it also expands.
- The warming temperatures in the atmosphere and in the water melt more ice, which adds to the oceans expansion.
What is the Local Mean Sea Level (LMSL)?
Defined as the height of the sea with respect to a land benchmark, averaged over a period of time.
How do the rising sea levels affect humans and wildlife now and in the future?
- Changes in shape of oceanic basins
- Loss of mass of water locked up on land
- The ocean is a temperature regulator; when its temperature rises the so does everything else in a positive feedback loop.
Nearly 100 million people live within a mile of the shore, so coastal floods are naturally of high concern.
Many animals find homes in ecosystems such as beaches or coastal areas that are quickly evaporating.