Sea Level Rise: Faster in 1900s Than in Previous 2,700 Years
Scientists have modeled a history of the planet’s sea levels spanning back 3,000 years, and concluded that the rate of increase last century “was extremely likely faster than during any of the 27 previous centuries.”
Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research, said in a statement on his website that he and his collaborators had determined with 95% probability that the rate of sea level increase in the 1900s was faster than during any century since at least 800 B.C.
It is not that seas rose faster before that date, he wrote — but “simply that the reconstruction quality isn’t good enough before then” to say so with the same level of confidence.
Moreover, the study found that without human-caused climate change, the global sea level would have “very likely” changed by between a 3 centimeter (1.18 inch) drop and a 7 centimeter (2.75 inch) rise over the 20th century — rather than the 14 centimeter (5.512 inch) rise that was observed.