Study Bares Sea Level Rise

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sea level has been rising significantly over the past century of global warming, according to a study that offers the most detailed look yet at the changes in ocean levels during the last 2,100 years.The researchers found that since the late 19th century - as the world became industrialized - sea level has risen more than 2 millimeters per year, on average. That's a bit less than one-tenth of an inch, but it adds up over time.It will lead to land loss, more flooding and saltwater invading bodies of fresh water, said lead researcher Benjamin Horton whose team examined sediment from North Carolina's Outer Banks. He directs the Sea Level Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania.The predicted effects he cites aren't new and are predicted by many climate scientists. But outside experts say the research verifies increasing sea level rise compared to previous centuries.Kenneth Miller, chairman of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University, called the new report significant."This is a very important contribution because it firmly establishes that the rise in sea level in the 20th century is unprecedented for the recent geologic past," said Miller, who was not part of the research team. …