Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sea level has been rising a long time

The sea level has been a lot higher and a lot lower than it is today, but it’s rising now and will continue to do so for a long time, the experts say. The current sea level bottomed out about 3,000 to 5,000 years ago and has been rising ever since – and at a more rapid rate lately.
Says who? So say experts on sea level rise and potential coastal change at the annual meeting of the N.C. Beach, Inlet and Waterway Association down at Carolina Beach, where I spent the last couple of days absorbing what they had to say. Their meetings are always interesting because our coast is the part of the state that’s physically changing so rapidly.
I’ll write more on this later, but if you’ve seen that satellite poster view of Eastern North Carolina, you’ve no doubt noticed one of the significant earlier coastlines, the Suffolk Scarp that runs right down through Pamlico County to about where the Minnesott Beach-Cherry Branch Ferry docks. That’s about 125,000 years old – a “stranded shoreline,” in geological parlance, and represents what a sea level rise of about 20 feet from where it is now would look like, says Dr. Dave Mallinson of East Carolina University.
His colleague, Dr. Stan Riggs, notes that the sea level was down about 425 feet from where it is now just 18,000 years ago.
He also had some data on how sea level has been rising since the century before the birth of Christ. He notes, “You’re not going to have to run out of the way of sea level rise.”
But it has sped up. From 100 B.C. to 1800 A.D., he says, sea level rise averaged 3.3 inches every century. From 1800 to 1900, it rose 12 inches. From 1900 to 2000, it rose 19.7 inches.
And for perspective, he notes, when the first colonists came to Roanoke Island in 1585, sea level was approximately four feet lower than it is today. That’s one reason those old maps look strange: so did our coastline.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But it has sped up. From 100 B.C. to 1800 A.D., he says, sea level rise averaged 3.3 inches every century. From 1800 to 1900, it rose 12 inches. From 1900 to 2000, it rose 19.7 inches.
And for perspective, he notes, when the first colonists came to Roanoke Island in 1585, sea level was approximately four feet lower than it is today."

So was manmade global warming responsible for the change in sea level?

Bill Caster said...

Bill Caster, Chairman, New Hanover County Commissioners

Thanks for covering NCBIWA annual meeting. It was great to talk to you. Sorry I missed the sea level rising presentations, but it was great to talk to you.

Mr. Tee said...

Global warming has very little to do with man. The studies that show otherwise are just playing to the popular belief in hopes of more funding for themselves..for the most part.

Anonymous said...

It is strange that we hear just the opposite from other scientist. Man has contributed to the very very small climate change, however I feel, based on the research of many scientist, that the change is part of a cyclical pattern. The temperatures of the oceans have varied over the past hundreds of thousands of years. The world has been a ball of ice, a virtual hell of heat and after things finally settled down the temperatures have varied enough for the Vikings to settle in Greenland in the 15th century but were forced to leave after a hundred or so years due to the freezing temperatures. The slight increase that is forecast for the next fifty years is nothing compared to the extreme changes in the past. Yes man is contributing but are they also contributing to the temperature rises on Mercury, Mars, and Venus? If so, we need to do something about that also.

Anonymous said...

This is a stupid, is not a cycle is a damm crisis

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