The Hot Zone

Groundwater depletion adding to sea level rise

The melting of the polar ice caps gets a lot of attention for global sea level rise. But another contributing factor to higher tides is groundwater depletion. More than 6 percent of the sea level rise in the last century is from the movement of land-locked water to the oceans. That’s according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in the most recent edition of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Groundwater depletion for human consumption and agricultural and industrial... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on September 30, 2011 No Comments »
Category : The Oceans, The man made climate

Scientists simulate climate’s worst case scenario

What happens if the human population continues to grow and nothing much changes in the way we curb fossil fuel use? Climate models these days have largely focused on scenarios that assume some level of restraint on greenhouse emissions, with particular emphasis on the political goal of keeping global temperatures no higher than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.  But scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on September 15, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists

Oceans levels have always varied, despite today’s rising tide

The IPCC assumes sea levels have barely changed over the past two millennia, setting today’s rate of 2 to 3 millimeters per year in stark contrast. But some scientists are questioning that simplification. Ocean levels, it seems, have never been stagnant. Glaciers and ice sheets have come and gone. Land masses have moved course. The Earth’s crust has rebounded following glacial melt from the last Ice Age, and that’s changed the volume of water in the oceans too. Understanding... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on August 31, 2011 No Comments »
Category : The Oceans

Atlantic waters rising at fastest rate in 2,000 years

Photo: Milan Boers on Flickr. The sea level rise off the U.S. Atlantic shoreline is rising faster than any time in the past 2,000 years, according to a new study published this week. Since the 19th century, sea level has shot up more than 2 millimeters per year on average, far faster than other periods of global temperature change. Yale University-led scientists came to that conclusion by reconstructing the first continuous sea-level rise rates for the past two millennia and then comparing it to... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on June 20, 2011 No Comments »
Category : The Oceans, The man made climate


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