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Posted on 26 November by Rob Painting Because the coral atoll of Funafati, Tuvalu is densely populated and generally less than 3 metres above sea level, this small island nation in the Pacific is often the subject of intense media speculation about the impact of rising seas.
The atoll is likely to begin to be overtopped by the sea sometime between mid to late 21st centuryhowever Tuvaluans have often featured in the mainstream media claiming to be already experiencing the detrimental effects of sea level rise. Scientific studies to support these claims has been have been hard to find, but now a recently published study vindicates what many Tuvaluans have insisted all along - sea level has risen rapidly around Tuvalu.
Becker has examined sea level rise in the western tropical Pacific Ocean using a combination of tide gauges, satellite-based measurements, ocean modelling and GPS, and found that the region is experiencing sea level rise much larger than the global average.
At Funafati Island, the study authors found that between 'total' sea level, which also accounts for the rate of island subsidence or sinking, rose at 5. Figure 1- Sea level curves at tide gauge sites since Time series of reconstructed sea level blacktide-gauge red and altimetry satellite in blue continue and in dash line when tide gauge records were supplemented using altimetry data.
Image cropped from original. Sea level rise is not level Of the many things about global warming misunderstood by the public at large, the irregular or lumpy distribution of sea level rise must surely be near the top of the list.
In a few regions sea level is actually falling, while at others it is rising at a rate much larger than the global average. So even though the total volume of seawater from melting land ice, and thermal expansion from ocean warming are increasing, this isn't being evenly spread around the oceans.
See figure 2 below. Figure 2 -Location map of the 91 tide gauges stars used in the global sea level reconstruction. The background map shows the sea level trends over — from DRAKKAR-based an ocean model reconstruction of sea level uniform trend of 1.
It just so happens that the western Pacific and Tuvalu in particular, are one such region where there is a large rise in sea level, much greater than the global average.
Figure 3 - Map of the Pacific Island region interannual sea level trend linear variation with time from the reconstruction Locations of the 27 tide gauges black circles and stars used in the study are superimposed.
Stars relate to the 7 tide gauges used in the global reconstruction. Dark areas relate to non-significant trends. Mapping sea level rise in the western Pacific Measuring ongoing sea global level rise, which results from the global warming-induced melting of land ice and thermal expansion, is a complicated business.
This comparitively small long-term rise is often obscured because sea level can undergo large up-and-down fluctuations over seasonal, annual, and even decade-long time scales. Quite obviously these fluctuations have to accounted for in order to see the underlying long-term trend.
Overcoming problematic data The tide gauge and satellite altimetry data both have their own shortcomings, for example the tide gauges have long records, but some are plagued by data gaps, and monitoring equipment that has been updated over time.
Also, tide gauges are fixed to the seafloor, which can either be sinking or rising dependant on the location hence the use of co-located GPS equipment at some sitesso that has to be factored in to observations too. Satellite altimetry is a vast improvement over the tide gauge network in that it covers the entire oceans, and not just the coastal regions.
It can therefore provide a more detailed picture of sea level variations from region to region. Figure 4 - Satellite altimtery-based sea level trend patterns in the tropical western Pacific overon which are superimposed the 27 tide gauges used in the study.
Stars correspond to the 7 tide gauges used in the global reconstruction. From Becker But the downside of satellite observations is they have only been in operation for a short time.
In other words, the rapid rate shown in the satellite data may not be indicative of the long-term rate of sea level rise in the region. Combining a selection of 91 good quality tide gauge records from with gridded fields in the ocean circulation model they were able to unravel how sea level evolved in both time and space.
To test how well their reconstruction matched observed sea level at a global scale, the authors removed a single tide gauge record from the reconstruction and compared the remaining reconstruction with that at the tide gauge site they removed. This exercise was repeated for each individual tide gauge.
Finding good agreement, the authors then compared their reconstruction with the satellite altimetry over the period in the western Pacific. Figure 5 - Reconstructed sea level trend patterns in the tropical western Pacific fromon which are superimposed the 27 tide gauges used in the study.
See figure 1 for a comparison of the global reconstruction against the tide gauges for the western Pacific not used in the global reconstruction, and against the satellite altimetry.
So what's going on? This is largely due to the tilting of the thermocline in the tropical Pacific.Editors’ note: The following is a basic primer on what’s happening in Libya. It was updated continuously from February through the beginning of April.
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Can you help me identify it and offer treatment tips? View full size in a new window × View full size in a new window. Minnesota fruits and vegetables gardening horticulture. 1 Response. How frustrating. Edit Article How to Identify Hickory Trees.
In this Article: Article Summary Hickory or Not? Identifying the Type of Hickory Community Q&A. Hickory - belonging to a section of the walnut family - is a canopy tree that is prevalent in eastern North America, although other species of hickory have been known to exist in Europe, Africa and Asia.
What's Happening To Tuvalu Sea Level?
Posted on 26 November by Rob Painting. Because the coral atoll of Funafati, Tuvalu is densely populated and generally less than 3 metres above sea level, this small island nation in the Pacific is often the subject of intense media speculation about the impact of rising seas.
The atoll is likely to begin to be overtopped by the sea sometime between. What Are Hurricanes?, from NASA Knows!, provides helpful background information on hurricanes, how they work, and what they do. This lesson is the first of a two-part series on the science of hurricanes and the kinds of technology being used to identify and track them.
In Hurricanes 1: The Science. Learn about DESITIN®, the diaper rash treatment trusted most by pediatricians and moms, creating a barrier to relieve the discomfort of diaper rash.