‘Mind boggling’: meteorologist shows how rising sea levels will affect coasts

19th February, 2022.      //   Climate Change  // 

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As humans continue to pour greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, oceans have tempered the effect. The world’s seas have absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat from these gases, but it’s taking a toll on our oceans: 2018 set a new record for ocean heating.

Many people think of global warming and climate changeas synonyms, but scientists prefer to use “climate change” when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems.

Rising seas is one of those climate change effects. Average sea levels have swelled over 8 inches (about 23 cm) since 1880 , with about three of those inches gained in the last 25 years.Every year, the sea rises another .13 inches (3.2 mm ).

The change in sea levels is linked to three primary factors, all induced by ongoing global climate change:

Thermal expansion: When water heats up, it expands. About half of the sea-level rise over the past 25 years is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space. Melting glaciers: Large ice formations such as mountain glaciers naturally melt a bit each summer. In the winter, snows, primarily from evaporated seawater, are generally sufficient to balance out the melting. Recently, though, persistently higher temperatures caused by global warming have led to greater-than-average summer melting as well as diminished snowfall due to later winters and earlier springs. That creates an imbalance between runoff and ocean evaporation, causing sea levels to rise. Loss of Greenland and Antarctica’s ice sheets: As with mountain glaciers,…

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