Thursday, June 30, 2011

Analysis: N.C. marshes shows sea-level on the rise

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 11:03 AM

click to enlarge Photo credit: Julie G.
  • Photo credit: Julie G.

Shocking science: Climate change and rising seas coincide with the Industrial Revolution and is "not part of a natural cycle."

But we already knew that, didn't we?

From Science News:

Sea levels began rising precipitously in the late 19th century and have since tripled the rate of climb seen at any time in at least two millennia, a detailed analysis of North Carolina marsh sediments shows.

“This clearly shows the recent trend is not part of a natural cycle,” says Ken Miller of Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, who was not associated with the analysis.

Andrew Kemp of the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues spent five years plumbing salt marsh sediments that had remained largely undisturbed for millennia.

The cores show that sea level at the North Carolina sites was largely unchanging from 100 B.C. until A.D. 950. Then sea level underwent a four-century rise averaging 0.6 millimeters per year. Sea level didn’t rise again until after 1865. Since then, it’s been climbing an average of 2.1 millimeters annually. And at least for the last 80 years, Horton says, “the fit with North Carolina tide gauge data is one to one: It’s perfect.”

Read the entire article, by Janet Raloff, here.

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