Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Global warming doubles rate of ocean rise

28.11.2005


Rutgers-led team shows rising ocean levels tied to human-induced climate change

Global ocean levels are rising twice as fast today as they were 150 years ago, and human-induced warming appears to be the culprit, say scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and collaborating institutions.

While the speed at which the ocean is rising – almost two millimeters per year today compared to one millimeter annually for the past several thousand years – may not be fodder for the next disaster movie, it affirms scientific concerns of accelerated global warming.



In an article published in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Science, Rutgers professor of geological sciences Kenneth G. Miller reports on a new record of sea level change during the past 100 million years based on drilling studies along the New Jersey coast. The findings establish a steady millimeter-per-year rise from 5,000 years ago until about 200 years ago.

In contrast, sea-level measurements since 1850 from tidal gauges and more recently from satellite images, when corrected for land settling along the shoreline, reveal the current two-millimeter annual rise. "Without reliable information on how sea levels had changed before we had our new measures, we couldn’t be sure the current rate wasn’t happening all along," said Miller. "Now, with solid historical data, we know it is definitely a recent phenomenon.

"The main thing that’s changed since the 19th century and the beginning of modern observation has been the widespread increase in fossil fuel use and more greenhouse gases," he added. "Our record therefore provides a new and reliable baseline to use in addressing global warming."

The new sea level record spanning 100 million years of geologic time is the first comprehensive one scientists have produced since a commercial research endeavor in 1987, which, according to Miller, was not fully documented and verifiable.

The findings by Miller’s team argue against some widely held tenets of geological science. Miller claims, for example, that ocean heights 100 million years ago and earlier were 150 to 200 meters lower than scientists had previously thought. Changes at these levels can only be caused by the Earth’s crust shifting on the ocean floor. Miller’s findings, therefore, imply less ocean-crust production than scientists had widely assumed.

During the Late Cretaceous period (the most recent age of dinosaurs), frequent sea-level fluctuations of tens of meters suggest that the Earth was not always ice-free as previously assumed. Ice-volume changes are the only way that sea levels could change at these rates and levels, Miller claims. This suggests small- to medium-sized but short-lived ice sheets in the Antarctic region, and casts doubt whether any of the Earth’s warmer eras were fully ice-free.

Miller’s team took five 500-meter-deep core samples of sediments onshore along New Jersey’s coastline from Cape May to Sandy Hook. The scientists examined the sediment type, fossils, and variations in isotopes, or different forms of the same elements, at different levels in the cores they extracted. Miller also correlated these measurements with others from throughout the world to substantiate the global nature of their record.

The Rutgers study included participants from the New Jersey Geological Survey, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Western Michigan University, the University of Oregon and Queens College in Flushing, N.Y. The National Science Foundation provided major funding for the study.

Carl Blesch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rutgers.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Steep rise of the Bernese Alps
24.03.2017 | Universität Bern

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>