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WP: NASA Able To Pinpoint Sea Levels: May Help Explore Global Warming

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:40 PM
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WP: NASA Able To Pinpoint Sea Levels: May Help Explore Global Warming
NASA Able To Pinpoint Sea Levels
New Satellites May Help Explore Global Warming

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 8, 2005; Page A06

NASA scientists are able to identify for the first time how rapidly sea level is changing through a series of new satellites and observation systems, agency officials announced yesterday.

The question of rising sea levels, which is linked to global warming, could prove critical in coming years as policymakers seek to protect imperiled U.S. coastal areas and communities overseas. Waleed Abdalati, who heads the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said yesterday that more than 100 million people could be affected by a three-foot increase in sea level....


Scientists have been directly measuring sea level since the early 1900s. But until recently they lacked the ability to determine how much these shifts reflected the movement of nearby land.

Four years ago, according to Laury Miller, chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's satellite altimetry laboratory, experts could provide only a range of estimates for how much sea level has increased over the past century. They now know the sea has risen for the past 50 years at a rate of .07 of an inch each year, accelerating to an annual rate of 0.12 of an inch the past dozen years....


More than half the recent sea level rise comes from melting ice bodies, according to NASA scientists, while much of the remaining rise stems from warmer ocean temperatures. As ocean temperature rises, its water expands, they said....
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