24 Jun 2011

Fastest sea-level rise in 2000 years

Author: Hugh Bollinger  /  Categories: Uncategorized  /  Rate this article:
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The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The purpose of the NAS is stated in its original charter: "The Academy shall, whenever called upon by any department of the Government, investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art, the actual expense of such investigations, examinations, experiments, and reports to be paid from appropriations which may be made for the purpose, but the Academy shall receive no compensation whatever for any services to the Government of the United States." [caption id="attachment_4917" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Albert Einstein memorial at the National Academy of Sciences source: file photo "][/caption] Anyone who serves as a consultant on a NAS panel receives no fees besides travel expenses to Washington where the Academy is headquartered. I was invited to serve on two Academy committees and was very honored to do so. The un-biased reports produced by the NAS are provided to Congress, government agencies, and the general public who may not be directly familiar with the latest scientific and technological developments in many fields. The Academy also publishes a purely scientific journal, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), where researchers present their latest findings across the entire arc of science. PNAS has now published the results of sea level investigations along the East Coast of the USA covering the past two millennia. The researchers conclude that since the end of the 19th century-- barely one tenth of the time-line in their analysis --sea levels have risen by more than 2 millimeters per year, the steepest rate in more than 2,100 years. Co-author Benjamin Horton states: "Sea-level rise is a potentially disastrous outcome of climate change as rising temperatures melt land-based ice and warm ocean waters." The rise in world sea levels will accelerate in all climate change models of atmospheric CO2 increases in the 21st century. The abstract for the article was posted by PNAS where the entire paper can also be viewed by downloading a file. If I lived on the eastern shore, I might consider selling the house or moving it up onto stilts as sea levels proceed to march inland and frequency of severe storms increase. Denial is not an option as the Academy informs us. WHB
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