GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) – Over the past few decades, the scientific community has been warning the world about climate change and how human activities are the root cause. The main piece of evidence linking humans and global warming has been the increase in greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution. Burning fossil fuels to power machinery has released the greenhouse gases that have warmed our climate by nearly 2°F since 1880. However, new research by an international team of scientists, including researchers from Rutgers, relate current sea level rise to the same time period.

By studying global sea level records, the team was able to map global mean sea level going back 2,000 years. The line begins to rise steeply around the year 1800. The results show a 66% probability that the observed sea level was above the “norm” previously observed in 1825. In 1863, this probability increased to 90% and it reached 95% in 1873. This period corresponds to the release of greenhouse gases caused by man, the melting of the ice and the rise in the temperature of the oceans.

a. Sixty-year average rates during the Common Era, where Pre-Industrial is from 0 to 1700 CE. b. Sixty-year average rates from 1700 to 2000 CE that increase with the probability that each 60-year interval and all subsequent 60-year intervals are greater than a random 60-year interval during the pre-industrial common era. The moment of the year of emergence is given for the probabilities 0.66, 0.90 and 0.95. Model predictions are the mean with an uncertainty of 1σ.(WITH)

“The fact that modern rates are emerging at all of our study sites in the mid-20th century demonstrates the significant influence of global sea level rise on our planet over the past century… Further analysis spatial variability at the time of emergence at different locations will continue to improve society’s understanding of how regional and local processes affect rates of sea level rise.”

Mapping global sea level rise is not just another feather in the hat of human-induced climate change, it will help governments and community leaders determine when flooding will increase and rising tides. This is a problem that we are currently facing here in eastern North Carolina. According to the study, the mid-Atlantic states saw the rise happen earlier than our neighbors in Canada and Europe.

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