Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Satellite Data Shows Sea Level Rise
Satellite Data Shows Sea Level Rise Sea-levels are rising unevenly around the world, with Pacific countries in particular suffering significant increases over the past two decades, according to accurate new satellite data.
On average, global sea-levels have been rising at about three millimeters (mm) a year, however, this masks large differences between regions of the world.
While some regions have seen sea-level rises of 12 mm a year, others have actually seen decreases of about 12 mm a year.
The results are based on radar readings from the European Space Agency (ESA) over an 18-year period from October 1992 to March 2010.
ESA used its satellites to send radar pulses to the sea surface below, recording the time delay in its return and creating a precise measurement of their height above the surface.
Special report: Sea-level rises
Scientists say sea-level rises are the result of the expansion of water due to rising temperatures, melting of glaciers and the melting of polar ice sheets.
The worst hit regions over the past two decades, according to the ESA data, have been the Pacific countries of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and vulnerable Pacific islands like the Solomon Islands.
The Philippines for one is already frequently subjected to flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain, with seasonal monsoon rains in August killing at least 11 people
Scientists suggest regions that have seen high sea level rises over the past 20 years will not necessarily continue to see higher than average sea-level rises in the future.
"We suspect that the bigger the differences get, the more they will tend to level out in the future," says Robert Meisner, a spokesperson for ESA.
However, a recent study of coastal cities still predicted the Philippines' capital Manila would see its vulnerability to flooding double by the end of the century, due to sea-level rises.
In some regions of the world, the increasingly accurate sea level data is being used by planners to mitigate against the risk of flooding.
In Venice, where the sea-level data was released, engineers are constructing a new set of tidal barriers to protect the historic city.
The city, which attracts millions of tourists every year, is seeing sea-level rises of around 2 mm per year, together with slow, mostly natural, subsidence of about another 2 mm every year.
We fiddle while the world burns and drowns. We concern ourselves with petty celebrity gossip and political backbiting that in the scheme of things means nothing. We consume more than we learn. We relish war over humanity yet also think humans are here to be overloads of this planet with no responsibility to care for her and its other occupants knowing it hurts all in this web of life. Does humanity have a psychosis it refuses to deal with? Is our species inherently psychotic and self destructing? We talk about anthropogenic climate change deniers who are anti-science or simply denying the Reality due to their bank account balance. However, I think this goes even deeper to a psychological problem we have as humanity with understanding our true place in the world and our part in all this.
What else can be surmised based on the current state of our world and our on the whole global lackadasical attitude to the changes occurring right in front of us? A report was issued yesterday as well stating that in the past 27 years half of the Great Barrier Reef has disappeared due to cylones, nitrogen fertilizer runoff and native invasive starfish that more then likely are occurring in greater frequency as is coral bleaching due to warming ocean waters. The Great Barrier Reef is called Great for a reason. Its diversity and beauty is unsurpassed and yet even there we see the effects or our gluttony and apathy. Another alarm bell sounding showing us ourselves and we stick our fingers in our ears.
And now regarding the satellite data on sea level rise we see that the hydrologic cycle is indeed being affected by human behavior interacting with natural processes to exacerbate this crisis and reshape this world to one that if business continues as usual will be unrecognizable to our children and theirs. And yes, we do have the power to do that and are already doing that. And yes, this is important, much more important than celebrity gossip or political soundbites that give little more than lip service to this humanity changing event.
The difference between sea level rises globally due to glacial melt and thermal expansion combined with subsidence in part due to oil and natural gas extraction- also combining with the evaporation rates of water out of the oceans and soil due to increased warming- combined with the changing jet stream patterns due to astonishing Arctic ice melt influencing them and our weather- as well as melting from Greenland and West Antarctica (and may I insert here that deniers love to use the phrase that Antarctica is gaining ice without mentioning it is East Antarctica that does see increases due to its higher latitudes) will see a world where both rises in sea level and subsidence will make a world of hunger, disease and conflict. This due to resource grabs, lack of potable water and arable land and climate refugees, particularly in the areas mentioned in the article above. There is no other way to phrase it. It is not Alarmist it is Realistic and we have to deal with it! WE, again, WE are doing this NOW.
The future we now face if we continue to ignore this crisis is literally sink or swim.
Love One Another... It's that simple.
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