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Climate Change Could Double Global Sea Level Rise By 2100: NASA Study

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There has been an acceleration in the total rise of sea level on Earth in recent years rather than it rising at a steady pace, a new NASA study has reported.

The U.S. space agency based their study on 25 years of collected data.

NASA said the increased melting in Antarctica and Greenland is the main cause behind the acceleration. The dramatic acceleration has the capability to double the global increase in sea level projected by 2100 in comparison to projections assuming a steady rate of increase in sea level.

If the ocean rise rate goes on changing at this speed, then the sea level will increase 26 inches by 2100. Such a scenario can cause major problems for cities located near coastlines.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Feb. 12.

"This is almost certainly a conservative estimate," study lead author Steve Nerem said. "Our extrapolation assumes that sea level continues to change in the future as it has over the last 25 years. Given the large changes we are seeing in the ice sheets today, that's not likely."

How Do Greenhouse Gases Contribute To Sea Level Rise?

Increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere of the Earth increases water and air temperature, leading to two ways in which sea level rises. Firstly, there is an expansion of warmer water. It is this thermal expansion that has added half of the total rise of 2.8 inches in global sea level over the past 25 years. Secondly, land ice that melts and spills into the water also leads to sea level rise all over the world.

Since 1992, NASA has measured the increases in sea level with the help of satellite altimeter measurements. They have observed the rising sea level from around 0.1 inch every year during the 1990s to around 0.13 inches every year in the present scenario.

Study author Brian Beckley added that as the record of climate data approaches thirty years, the effects of Antarctic and Greenland land-based ice loss are being unveiled now in the regional and global mean estimates of sea level.

Climate Change

Climate change, according to NASA, refers to changes on the planet-like shifts in the blooming times of plants and flowers, accelerating ice melt in the Arctic, Antarctica, and Greenland, shrinking mountain glaciers, and raising sea levels. They are caused by warming mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels by humans, which releases heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the air.

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