Human activity blamed for rising sea level in western tropical Pacific Ocean

George C By George C, 8th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3q4_67k8/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Environmental Science

A study conducted by Old Dominion University and the University of Colorado Boulder reveals that sea levels in the tropical Pacific Ocean are set to continue ascending due to human activity.

Human activity blamed for rising sea level in western tropical Pacific Ocean

A study conducted by Old Dominion University and the University of Colorado Boulder reveals that sea levels in the tropical Pacific Ocean are set to continue ascending due to human activity. The conclusion is based on comparisons made between historical and present data collected using satellite altimeters and traditional tide gauges just off the coasts of the Philippines and northeastern Australia. The study was aimed at revealing the impact of Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO on sea levels in the Pacific.

The PDO climatic phenomenon represents temperature patterns likened to El Nino in the Pacific Ocean. The patterns typically last up to 20 to 30 years and are linked to regional and global sea levels. The study involved reconstruction of sea levels recorded since the 1950s. Researchers merged satellite altimeter and tide gauge data to derive better understanding about the influence of PDO on the Pacific as well as global trends.

The sea levels in parts of the Pacific showed no significant changes when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation phenomenon was subtracted from the equation. NASA climate models played a crucial role in the assessment. The models also showed impact of warming effects in the Indian Ocean. Estimations carried out near the Philippines and northeast Australia show an annual rise of about 1 centimeter due to anthropogenic warming. The rises ultimately contribute to the intensity of severe weather.

Some sections of the scientific community estimate that global sea levels may go up by about 1 meter by the end of the 21st century. This is largely attributed to the continued increase in greenhouse emissions. Scientists expect sea levels on the western coast of North America to climb when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation shifts from warm to cool phase. They link the phenomenon to a decade long stagnation occurring in that area.

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