Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sea levels rising ... and falling

A complex phenomenon:
Climate change is expected to cause sea levels to rise -- at least in some parts of the world. Elsewhere, the level of the ocean will actually fall. Scientists are trying to get a better picture of the complex phenomenon, which also depends on a host of natural factors.

... "In reality, the water in the oceans wobbles all over the place," says oceanographer Detlef Stammer. He isn't talking about waves, but large-scale bulges and bumps in the sea level.

... the simple message of rising waters is greatly oversimplified. The process behind it is highly complex, and one that will produce winners and losers. Scientists are only gradually beginning to understand [just as for climate in general] ...

... If the Greenland ice sheet  ... were to melt completely, sea levels would rise by 7 meters on average. It would take many centuries .... But people living near Germany's North Sea coast would hardly even notice, because the sea level there would remain virtually unchanged. The water would even subside off the coast of Norway. "And, purely theoretically, the sea level would actually fall by several meters off the coast of Greenland," Stammer explains. ...
... Because the massive weight of the Ice Age glaciers is no longer pushing down on Scandinavia, the land there is rising. Farther south -- just like on the opposite end of a child's seesaw -- the land is sinking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

jeez, the moon wouldn't have anything to do with that or the fact that we are revolving at a great rate of speed around the sun. holy moly it must be co2. nah, couldn't be.