How fast are seas rising?

The NASA post NASA Uses 30-Year Satellite Record to Track and Project Rising Seas (3/17/2023) has this to say (with calculus language):

Since satellites began observing sea surface height in 1993 with the U.S.-French TOPEX/Poseidon mission, the average global sea level has increased by 3.6 inches (9.1 centimeters), according to NASA’s Sea Level Change science team. The annual rate of rise – or how quickly sea level rise is happening – that researchers expect to see has also increased from 0.08 inches (0.20 centimeters) per year in 1993 to 0.17 inches (0.44 centimeters) per year in 2022. Based on the long-term satellite measurements, the projected rate of sea level rise will hit 0.26 inches (0.66 centimeters) per year by 2050.

Interesting fact in the article:

The 2022 increase was less than the expected annual rate because of a mild La Niña. During years with an especially strong La Niña climate pattern, average global sea level can even temporarily drop because weather patterns shift in a way that leads to more rainfall over land instead of the ocean.

NASA Sea Level page with data.


About Thomas J. Pfaff

Thomas J. Pfaff is a Professor of Mathematics at Ithaca College. He created this website because he believes that sustainability, ranging from climate change to social justice, should be included in all courses whenever possible.

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