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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sea Level and the Environment: "Antarctica’s Weight-Loss"

From Ocean News and Technology, "New Understanding of Antarctica’s Weight-Loss":
Houseboat of San Francisco Bay
The rate of global sea level change is reasonably well-established but understanding the different sources of this rise is more challenging. Using re-calibrated scales that are able to ‘weigh’ ice sheets from space to a greater degree of accuracy than ever before, the international team led by Newcastle University has discovered that Antarctica overall is contributing much less to the substantial sea-level rise than originally thought.

Instead, the large amount of water flowing away from West Antarctica through ice-melt has been partly cancelled out by the volume of water falling onto the continent in the form of snow, suggesting some past studies have overestimated Antarctica’s contribution to fast-rising sea levels.
Oh, what exactly are the rates of sea level change? NOAA knows and reports here, from whence comes this graphic (which should enlarge if clicked upon):

You might note that rates of increase are measured in mm per year and feet per century.

The houseboat? A rising tide lifts all houses within the sea rise limits . . .

UPDATE: Changed image to a more user-friendly version


  1. When did you get your degree in climate science?