How to identify heat-stressed corals

Researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, according to a Rutgers-led ...

Greenland 'knickpoints' could stall spread of glacial thinning

The jagged terrain of Greenland's mountains is protecting some of the island's outlet glaciers from warm coastal waters, according to a team of researchers that included scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and ...

Satellite to track rising seas as climate warms

An Earth-observation satellite developed by European and US space agencies set to lift off Saturday will measure sea level rise, tracking changes threatening to disrupt tens of millions of lives within a generation.

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Current sea level rise

Current sea level rise has occurred at a mean rate of 1.8 mm per year for the past century, and more recently at rates estimated near 2.8 ± 0.4 to 3.1 ± 0.7 mm per year (1993-2003). Current sea level rise is due partly to human-induced global warming, which will increase sea level over the coming century and longer periods. Increasing temperatures result in sea level rise by the thermal expansion of water and through the addition of water to the oceans from the melting of continental ice sheets. Thermal expansion, which is well-quantified, is currently the primary contributor to sea level rise and is expected to be the primary contributor over the course of the next century. Glacial contributions to sea-level rise are less important, and are more difficult to predict and quantify. Values for predicted sea level rise over the course of the next century typically range from 90 to 880 mm, with a central value of 480 mm. Based on an analog to the deglaciation of North America at 9,000 years before present, some scientists predict sea level rise of 1.3 meters in the next century. However, models of glacial flow in the smaller present-day ice sheets show that a probable maximum value for sea level rise in the next century is 80 centimeters, based on limitations on how quickly ice can flow below the equilibrium line altitude and to the sea.

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