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Climate Change Worse Than We Thought, Likely To Be ‘Catastrophic Rather Than Simply Dangerous’

“Climate change may be far worse than scientists thought, causing global temperatures to rise by at least 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, or about 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Nature, takes a fresh look at clouds’ effect on the planet, according to a report by The Guardian. The research found that as the planet heats, fewer sunlight-reflecting clouds form, causing temperatures to rise further in an upward spiral.

That number is double what many governments agree is the threshold for dangerous warming. Aside from dramatic environmental shifts like melting sea ice, many of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, war and disease — are likely to get worse as the planet warms.

“4C would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous,” lead researcher Steven Sherwood told the Guardian. “For example, it would make life difficult, if not impossible, in much of the tropics, and would guarantee the eventual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheet.”

Another report released earlier this month said the abrupt changes caused by rapid warming should be cause for concern, as many of climate change’s biggest threats are those we aren’t ready for.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/climate-change-worse_n_4523828.html

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The complicated truth about sea level rise

November 17, 2010 – Original Source: CICERO, by Eilif Ursin Reed

Just like the swimming polar bears have become symbols for disappearing sea ice in the Arctic, the remote atolls of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean have become emblematic for the consequences of sea level rise.

It makes plain sense that on islands where the highest elevation is sometimes less than two meters, the IPCC’s predicted sea level rise of up to 58 cm by 2100 will cause devastation.

Or does it? Things that seem obvious at first glance, usually turn out to be more complicated if you look closer. So too with climate change.

In spite of the attention devoted to tropical islands over the last few years, with stories about “climate refugees” and whole nations being forced to move off their islands because of sea level rise, research on the subject has been scarce.

There is little doubt that climate change is happening. It is highly probable that we will experience sea level rise this century and with it an increase in severe flooding events. However, how and to what extent this will affect the islanders of the world is a different story. Not necessarily a happier one, but it could at least be one about capabilities, adaptation, knowledge and resilience; rather than the one-sided doomsday narratives we have come to know too well.

New information for old assumptions

The Many Strong Voices (MSV) project is a constellation of researchers and organizations aiming to communicate the complexities of climate change, and to gather information that makes islanders capable of making knowledge-based decisions.

Earlier this year, Arthur P. Webb from MSV partner, the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission ( SOPAC), and Paul S. Kench from the University of Auckland contributed to shedding new light on one of the most persistent narratives of them all, that of “the sinking islands”. This has been a popular story among activists, journalists and politicians.

One year ago, leading up to the climate change conference in Copenhagen, Maldives president Mohammed Nasheed arranged a cabinet meeting under the rolling waves of the Indian Ocean. The aim of the publicity stunt was to communicate that sea level rise due to climate change threatens to submerge the Maldives and other islands. Already then, Paul S. Kench told Associated Press that the outlook for the Maldives is “not all doom and gloom”.

“The islands won’t be the same, but they will still be there”, he said, pointing out that his studies of the Maldives showed that the islands can adjust their shape in response to environmental changes.

But there is still much uncertainty to how islands react to rising sea levels. Even though considerable scientific effort has been put towards reconstructing the past and present sea level behaviour, research on atoll island change has been scarce. While there is a good system for gathering data on sea level trends on a global scale, there is no systematic monitoring programme to document reef island change. The researchers note that this “seems a gross oversight given the international concern over small island stability and pressing concerns of island communities to manage island landscapes”.

Webb and Kench decided to study island change on a relatively short time scale. By meticulously examining satellite and aerial photos (shot over the last 19-61 years) of 27 atoll islands in the Central Pacific, where local sea levels have risen 120 millimetres (4.8 inches) over the past 60 years, the researchers found that 86% of the islands they selected (which didn’t include the Maldives) either had grown in size or remained stable. Even severe flooding events, such as the tsunami in 2004, had added to some of the islands’ size.

Encouraging the discouraged

This was welcome news to those already skeptical about climate change. The Washington Times said that this was yet another piece of news that exposed “Al Gore’s fairy tales”, while the British magazine Spectator urged the Maldivian president to sell his snorkel.

The researchers involved in the study later told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine that they found this polarization unfortunate, as they take global warming very seriously. They were after all not saying that islands are unaffected by climate change, just that in the case of sea level rise things are more complicated than many people seem to think. It is also important to remember that their article solely dealt with sea level rise, which is only one of many effects of climate change, and selected islands in the Pacific.

So how does climate change affect the islands of the world? To this question there are as many answers as there are islands. There are 52 small island developing states (SIDS) recognized by the UN. These face similar challenges concerning freshwater supply, limited land-based resources, remoteness and vulnerability to disasters, including climate change.

Yet there are great differences between them: some have a few thousand inhabitants, such as Tuvalu, while others, such as Papua New Guinea, have millions (including the storm surge- battered Carterets). An island state like The Maldives are mainly coral islands, while Montserrat is volcanic; Tokelau is low lying while Cape Verde is mountainous; some are stable democracies while others are struggling with internal conflict. Some of the small island developing states, like Belize and Guyana, aren’t even islands, but they are coastal states sharing many of the characteristics and challenges as island states.

Also, you need more than just firm ground under your feet to live on an island. Though some islands are growing, the shorelines may be growing faster than the island’s interior. This could leave both arable land and important fresh water supplies below sea level, rendering them susceptible to contamination by salt water.

Know the whole story

It is apparent that many circumstances need to be factored in when assessing an island’s vulnerability to climate change. The consequences of climate change on small island states can be compared to those of an earthquake. An earthquake of the same magnitude and depth may cause different degrees of damage, depending on where it strikes, as we saw in Haiti and Chile. One killed hundreds, the other hundreds of thousands.

Population density, governance structures and whether the infrastructure is built to withstand earthquakes help to decide the severity of the disaster.

As with earthquakes, a lot can be done to minimize the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels. And as with earthquakes, how well prepared a community is for an event determines the severity of the outcome. Consider a situation where a flooding event damages important infrastructure. Is it fair to blame climate change if the damages could have been avoided with proper funding for adaptation?

Adaptation can be physical measures such as constructing flood barriers, moving habitation inland or to higher ground. But it can also be to provide education and training to fishermen and farmers that could help them reduce their vulnerability to climate change. Poor sanitation is another example that leads to shortages in limited fresh water supplies. Knowledge on how to manage fresh water supplies can thus reduce a community’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change.

Which measures are most suitable depend on the specific challenges posed to the different islands. They also depend on what local knowledge already exists on the island in question. Consequently, finding suitable measures requires a combination of local traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge. As in Samoa, where the government spoke to and consulted local villages and people when designing and implementing coastal management plans.

In Tuvalu on the other hand, researchers found that local inhabitants are sceptical of climate change and are not involved in discussions concerning potential adaptation options. The Tuvalu example points to a need to strengthen information efforts in order to increase local knowledge on climate change and to involve Tuvalu’s inhabitants in their own future.
Understanding how climate change affects small island states is a laborious affair, that involves a plethora of voices, needs and solutions. Listening to one message is more convenient than relating to a cacophony of voices telling different stories. Yet, in the case of climate change, and how it affects the lives of people all over the world, we don’t have a choice. All voices must be heard.

Global warming: a rise in river flows raises alarm

October 5, 2010 – Original Source: Los Angeles Times, by Margot Roosevelt

The volume of fresh water pouring from the world’s rivers has risen rapidly since 1994, in what  researchers say is further evidence of global warming. The study, led by a team at UC Irvine, is the first to estimate global fresh-water flow into the world’s oceans using observations from new satellite technology rather than through computer or hydrological models.

Published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study found that annual fresh-water flow increased 18% from 1994 to 2006, suggesting an acceleration in the global water cycle of evaporation and rainfall, which influences the intensity of storms, floods and droughts.

UC Irvine Earth System Science professor Jay Famiglietti, the principal investigator, said that the data have major implications for California, where warmer temperatures are already triggering earlier snow melt. Rising sea levels are expected to significantly alter the state’s long coastline.


Professor Jay Famiglietti. Credit: Daniel A. Anderson / UC Irvine

“Until now, we have had no continuous record of global-scale river discharge,” said Famiglietti. He noted that the time period of the study was short, but added, “If these trends persist, they will be a smoking gun that the water cycle intensification, predicted by climate scientists, is already upon us.”

Globally, river flows are often a politically-fraught subject. Countries measure the quantity of water locally, and inconsistently, with mechanical or electronic guages, but they often refuse to share the data, according to hydrologist Peter Gleick, editor of the biannual “World’s Water” survey and director of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute think tank. Pakistan and India are in conflict over flows from the Indus. Israelis, Palestinians and Lebanese all depend on the Jordan River. Ten countries are sharing water along the Nile.

The UC Irvine study “is additional clear evidence that the hydrological cycle is accelerating,” Gleick said. “This is exactly what climate modelers have said would happen from climate change, and now we see it happening. How much more evidence do we need before we take action against climate change?”

In the hydrological cycle, as grade-schoolers learn, fresh water evaporates from the oceans, rains onto the land and flows into rivers which then empty into the oceans. The increase in fresh-water flow, documented in the paper, was the missing element that complemented existing evaporation, rainfall and sea level rise data, proving that the cycle is speeding up, Famiglietti said.

“If the water cycle intensifies, then we will see more frequent, more intense floods, and more persistent drought,” he said. He noted that because of atmospheric circulation patterns, the impact will be uneven, with stronger rainfall and more severe storms in the tropics and the Arctic, and more drought in temperate regions such as California.

UC Irvine last year opened the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling, directed by Famiglietti, which will do more specific climate-related studies on California, such as the implications of groundwater depletion in the Central Valley.

The study found that the 13-year increase in fresh-water discharge of 540 cubic kilometers was mostly due to rapid evaporation from the oceans, which led to more rainfall on land. Only 10% of the increase in discharge could be attributed to melting ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic, although those sources are expected to be a growing proportion as earth’s temperatures rise, Famiglietti said.

Other causes for the rise in river flows include melting glaciers and permafrost on land, and practices such as groundwater pumping for irrigation.

“Given the importance of water and the impact of climate change, we need a comprehensive global monitoring network that can measure water stocks and fluxes,” Famiglietti said. “We need ground-based measurements of snow, ice, permafrost, lake levels, river flows, soil moisture and groundwater levels. We need dedicated satellite missions. The technology is all there. We just need to make the investment in the ground, and in remote observations, and in the predictive models to synthesize them.”

The lead author on the paper, which was funded by NASA, is Tajdarul Syed of the Indian School of Mines, who did most of the research as a graduate student and postdoctoral associate under Famiglietti. Other authors are Don Chambers of the University of South Florida, Joshua Willis of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and Kyle Hilburn of Remote Sensing Systems in Santa Rosa, CA.

Two metre sea levels predicted by coastal geologist

September 24, 2010 – Original Source: ABC, Australia

An American coastal geologist describes rising sea levels is going to be the first major negative impact of global warming.

Described as America’s most outspoken coastal geologist Professor Orrin Pilkey assumes sea levels will rise by 2 metres by 2100.

This is far beyond the predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who claim levels will rise to half a metre.

He says more needs to be done to prepare coastal communities from climate change threats.

“If you’re going to have development and its close to the beach, make sure the buildings movable.”

He also recommends a planned retreat.

“It means you recognise there’s rising sea levels and you move things back as required, or you demolish the buildings.”

With threats of rising sea levels and more extreme weather events to thrash our coastline, there is a high probability of litigation and claims of compensation, brought on by property owners for damage to their properties.

Professor Jan McDonald, director of the Griffith University Climate Change Response Program says currently there’s no policy position in respect of liability for past decisions, and this needs to change.

It’s going to cost a lot of the next 50 to 100 years to either fortify and protect existing properties, repair properties that have been damaged or in some case retreat and relocate whole communities.

Rather than focusing on litigation and individual property owners that may want to sue, I would like to see a national conversation on a proper funding mechanism for dealing with these coastal impacts.”

She says currently COAG is putting together national planning principles for sea level rise and other coastal impacts, but liability funding mechanisms aren’t being discussed.”

Climate Change report sets out impact on British seas

July 15, 2010 – Original Source: Telegraph, UK

The UK’s seas are experiencing warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, changes in fish stocks and declines in breeding seabirds as a result of climate change, a report showed today.

According to the annual report for the Government by almost 100 scientists from 40 leading UK organisations, some fish moved northwards by between 50km to 400km (30-250 miles) over the past 30 years, with coldwater species such as monkfish moving furthest.

The study said global warming contributed to a 9% decline in the number of seabirds breeding in the UK between 2000 and 2008 and a drop in breeding success.

UK sea levels rose in line with global rises of an average 1.8mm a year since 1955.

The rate of increase escalated in recent years, with sea levels rising by 3mm a year on average since 1992, the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership said.

The oceans are becoming more acidic, at a rate faster than anything experienced in the past 55 million years, with concerns for ecosystems and species that could be affected by the changes.

And sea temperatures are generally rising, although there are fluctuations between years and UK coastal sea surface temperatures were lower in 2008 than the 2003 to 2007 average.

The report said warmer temperatures in the seas had an impact on coldwater species such as cod, threatening the survival of larvae and the growth of the fish, while salmon and eels were shown to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

The shifting distribution of fish, partly as a result of climate change, was having an impact on the effectiveness of closing fishery areas to manage stocks sustainably.

But elsewhere there were boosts for fisheries, with seabass off the coast of the South West and South Wales quadrupling since 1985 and squid becoming more abundant in the northern North Sea.

The report card, which also looked at regional impacts of climate change on the seas, warned there was erosion of saltmarshes, which provide important habitat for species and can help limit flooding, on the coasts of the English Channel.

It also said red seaweed, introduced from Asia, was now present in Kent, Devon and Cornwall, while the increased temperatures in the seas were leading to increased disease outbreaks in pink sea fan.

In Scotland, birds including Arctic skuas, black-legged kittiwakes and shags have declined due to a drop in food availability.

The report outlines potential impacts of climate change on the UK’s seas, including rises in sea levels which could top half a metre by the end of the century.

Sea levels could increase by between 21cm and 68cm in Cardiff and by 7cm to 55cm in Belfast, while increased algal blooms could lead to fish-kills.

Changes in winter wave heights in the Irish Sea and northern Channel could hit built structures, while storm surges could further erode saltmarshes in the eastern English Channel.

Marine environment minister Richard Benyon said: ”For hundreds of years our seas have supported our fishing industry that provides us with food and coastal communities a way of life, as well as the vital marine ecosystem that is home to half the world species and habitats.

”But the seas and oceans are changing and we are only just starting to understand what this means.

”Scientific studies through partnerships such as this provide the research and knowledge that we need to take to understand how climate change is affecting the world’s waters and what action we need to take.”

Sea Levels Rising in Parts of Indian Ocean; Greenhouse Gases Play Role, Study Finds

July 13, 2010 – Original Source: Science Daily

Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean, including the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java, appear to be at least partly a result of human-induced increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases, says a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The study, which combined sea surface measurements going back to the 1960s and satellite observations, indicates anthropogenic climate warming likely is amplifying regional sea rise changes in parts of the Indian Ocean, threatening inhabitants of some coastal areas and islands, said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Weiqing Han, lead study author. The sea level rise — which may aggravate monsoon flooding in Bangladesh and India — could have far-reaching impacts on both future regional and global climate.

The key player in the process is the Indo-Pacific warm pool, an enormous, bathtub-shaped area of the tropical oceans stretching from the east coast of Africa west to the International Date Line in the Pacific. The warm pool has heated by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, or 0.5 degrees Celsius, in the past 50 years, primarily caused by human-generated increases of greenhouse gases, said Han.

Our results from this study imply that if future anthropogenic warming effects in the Indo-Pacific warm pool dominate natural variability, mid-ocean islands such as the Mascarenhas Archipelago, coasts of Indonesia, Sumatra and the north Indian Ocean may experience significantly more sea level rise than the global average,” said Han of CU-Boulder’s atmospheric and oceanic sciences department.

A paper on the subject was published in Nature Geoscience. Co-authors included Balaji Rajagopalan, Xiao-Wei Quan, Jih-wang Wang and Laurie Trenary of CU-Boulder, Gerald Meehl, John Fasullo, Aixue Hu, William Large and Stephen Yeager of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Jialin Lin of Ohio State University, and Alan Walcraft and Toshiaki Shinoda of the Naval Research Laboratory in Mississippi.

While a number of areas in the Indian Ocean region are showing sea level rise, the study also indicated the Seychelles Islands and Zanzibar off Tanzania’s coastline show the largest sea level drop. Global sea level patterns are not geographically uniform, and sea rise in some areas correlate with sea level fall in other areas, said NCAR’s Meehl.

The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest ocean and makes up about 20 percent of the water on Earth’s surface. The ocean is bounded on the west by East Africa, on the north by India, on the east by Indochina and Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica.

The patterns of sea level change are driven by the combined enhancement of two primary atmospheric wind patterns known as the Hadley circulation and the Walker circulation. The Hadley circulation in the Indian Ocean is dominated by air currents rising above strongly heated tropical waters near the equator and flowing poleward, then sinking to the ocean in the subtropics and causing surface air to flow back toward the equator.

The Indian Ocean’s Walker circulation causes air to rise and flow westward at upper levels, sink to the surface and then flow eastward back toward the Indo-Pacific warm pool. “The combined enhancement of the Hadley and Walker circulation form a distinct surface wind pattern that drives specific sea level patterns,” said Han.

The international research team used several different sophisticated ocean and climate models for the study, including the Parallel Ocean Program — the ocean component of NCAR’s widely used Community Climate System Model. In addition, the team used a wind-driven, linear ocean model for the study.

“Our new results show that human-caused changes of atmospheric and oceanic circulation over the Indian Ocean region — which have not been studied previously — are the major cause for the regional variability of sea level change,” wrote the authors in Nature Geoscience.

Han said that based on all-season data records, there is no significant sea level rise around the Maldives. But when the team looked at winter season data only, the Maldives show significant sea level rise, a cause for concern. The smallest Asian country, the Maldives is made up of more than 1,000 islands — about 200 of which are inhabited by about 300,000 people — and are on average only about five feet above sea level.

The complex circulation patterns in the Indian Ocean may also affect precipitation by forcing even more atmospheric air down to the surface in Indian Ocean subtropical regions than normal, Han speculated. “This may favor a weakening of atmospheric convection in the subtropics, which may increase rainfall in the eastern tropical regions of the Indian Ocean and increase drought in the western equatorial Indian Ocean region, including east Africa,” Han said.

The new study indicates that in order to document sea level change on a global scale, researchers also need to know the specifics of regional sea level changes that will be important for coastal and island regions, said NCAR’s Hu. Along the coasts of the northern Indian Ocean, seas have risen by an average of about 0.5 inches, or 13 millimeters, per decade.

“It is important for us to understand the regional changes of the sea level, which will have effects on coastal and island regions,” said Hu.

The study was funded by a number of organizations, including NCAR, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


Journal Reference:

 

  1. Weiqing Han, Gerald A. Meehl, Balaji Rajagopalan, John T. Fasullo, Aixue Hu, Jialin Lin, William G. Large, Jih-wang Wang, Xiao-Wei Quan, Laurie L. Trenary, Alan Wallcraft, Toshiaki Shinoda & Stephen Yeager. Patterns of Indian Ocean sea-level change in a warming climate. Nature Geoscience, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo901

Sea Levels Rising in Parts of Indian Ocean; Greenhouse Gases Play Role, Study Finds

July 13, 2010 – Original Source: ScienceDaily

Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean, including the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java, appear to be at least partly a result of human-induced increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases, says a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The study, which combined sea surface measurements going back to the 1960s and satellite observations, indicates anthropogenic climate warming likely is amplifying regional sea rise changes in parts of the Indian Ocean, threatening inhabitants of some coastal areas and islands, said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Weiqing Han, lead study author. The sea level rise — which may aggravate monsoon flooding in Bangladesh and India — could have far-reaching impacts on both future regional and global climate.

The key player in the process is the Indo-Pacific warm pool, an enormous, bathtub-shaped area of the tropical oceans stretching from the east coast of Africa west to the International Date Line in the Pacific. The warm pool has heated by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, or 0.5 degrees Celsius, in the past 50 years, primarily caused by human-generated increases of greenhouse gases, said Han.

“Our results from this study imply that if future anthropogenic warming effects in the Indo-Pacific warm pool dominate natural variability, mid-ocean islands such as the Mascarenhas Archipelago, coasts of Indonesia, Sumatra and the north Indian Ocean may experience significantly more sea level rise than the global average,” said Han of CU-Boulder’s atmospheric and oceanic sciences department.

A paper on the subject was published in Nature Geoscience. Co-authors included Balaji Rajagopalan, Xiao-Wei Quan, Jih-wang Wang and Laurie Trenary of CU-Boulder, Gerald Meehl, John Fasullo, Aixue Hu, William Large and Stephen Yeager of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Jialin Lin of Ohio State University, and Alan Walcraft and Toshiaki Shinoda of the Naval Research Laboratory in Mississippi.

While a number of areas in the Indian Ocean region are showing sea level rise, the study also indicated the Seychelles Islands and Zanzibar off Tanzania’s coastline show the largest sea level drop. Global sea level patterns are not geographically uniform, and sea rise in some areas correlate with sea level fall in other areas, said NCAR’s Meehl.

The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest ocean and makes up about 20 percent of the water on Earth’s surface. The ocean is bounded on the west by East Africa, on the north by India, on the east by Indochina and Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica.

The patterns of sea level change are driven by the combined enhancement of two primary atmospheric wind patterns known as the Hadley circulation and the Walker circulation. The Hadley circulation in the Indian Ocean is dominated by air currents rising above strongly heated tropical waters near the equator and flowing poleward, then sinking to the ocean in the subtropics and causing surface air to flow back toward the equator.

The Indian Ocean’s Walker circulation causes air to rise and flow westward at upper levels, sink to the surface and then flow eastward back toward the Indo-Pacific warm pool. “The combined enhancement of the Hadley and Walker circulation form a distinct surface wind pattern that drives specific sea level patterns,” said Han.

The international research team used several different sophisticated ocean and climate models for the study, including the Parallel Ocean Program — the ocean component of NCAR’s widely used Community Climate System Model. In addition, the team used a wind-driven, linear ocean model for the study.

“Our new results show that human-caused changes of atmospheric and oceanic circulation over the Indian Ocean region — which have not been studied previously — are the major cause for the regional variability of sea level change,” wrote the authors in Nature Geoscience.

Han said that based on all-season data records, there is no significant sea level rise around the Maldives. But when the team looked at winter season data only, the Maldives show significant sea level rise, a cause for concern. The smallest Asian country, the Maldives is made up of more than 1,000 islands — about 200 of which are inhabited by about 300,000 people — and are on average only about five feet above sea level.

The complex circulation patterns in the Indian Ocean may also affect precipitation by forcing even more atmospheric air down to the surface in Indian Ocean subtropical regions than normal, Han speculated. “This may favor a weakening of atmospheric convection in the subtropics, which may increase rainfall in the eastern tropical regions of the Indian Ocean and increase drought in the western equatorial Indian Ocean region, including east Africa,” Han said.

The new study indicates that in order to document sea level change on a global scale, researchers also need to know the specifics of regional sea level changes that will be important for coastal and island regions, said NCAR’s Hu. Along the coasts of the northern Indian Ocean, seas have risen by an average of about 0.5 inches, or 13 millimeters, per decade.

“It is important for us to understand the regional changes of the sea level, which will have effects on coastal and island regions,” said Hu.

The study was funded by a number of organizations, including NCAR, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


Journal Reference:

 

  1. Weiqing Han, Gerald A. Meehl, Balaji Rajagopalan, John T. Fasullo, Aixue Hu, Jialin Lin, William G. Large, Jih-wang Wang, Xiao-Wei Quan, Laurie L. Trenary, Alan Wallcraft, Toshiaki Shinoda & Stephen Yeager. Patterns of Indian Ocean sea-level change in a warming climate. Nature Geoscience, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo901

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