A new method for revealing how sea levels might rise around the world throughout the 21st century has been developed by scientists. This method might address the controversial topic of whether or not the rate of sea level rise is currently increasing.
The international team of researchers, led by the University of Southampton and including scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, the University of Western Australia, the University of South Florida, the Australian National University and the University of Seigen in Germany, analysed data from 10 long-term sea level monitoring stations located around the world.
They looked into the future to identify the timing at which sea level accelerations might first be recognised in a significant manner.
"As cities, including London, continue to plan for long-term solutions to sea level rise, we will be in a position to better predict the long-term situation for the UK capital and other coastal areas across the planet. Scientists should continue to update the analysis every 5 to 10 years, creating more certainty in long-term planning - and helping develop solutions for a changing planet," he said.
The study found that the most important approach to the earliest possible detection of a significant sea level acceleration lies in improved understanding (and subsequent removal) of interannual (occurring between years, or from one year to the next) to multidecadal (involving multiple decades) variability in sea level records.