The acceleration in the rise of global sea levels began earlier than previously thought, scientists have discovered.
Using new techniques, researchers have found the rate of rising sea levels has increased year-on-year since the 1960s. It was previously believed to have begun accelerating in the 1990s.
Sönke Dangendorf and his colleagues at the University of Siegen, Germany used statistical techniques to combine satellite measurements and tide-gauge records, mapping global and regional sea levels from 1900 to 2015.
They found rises in sea-levels began speeding up around 1968 and have continued accelerating since.
Using satellite observations that began in 1993, scientists saw the Earth’s average sea level rise has quickened since those observations began.
In the paper, published in the journal Nature, the authors suggest sea levels probably began to rise in the 1960s, when parts of the world’s oceans began to expand as seawater absorbed more heat.
With ever-increasing ice loss in Greenland and Antarctica and continued temperature-driven expansion of seawater as the climate warms up, the acceleration is likely to increase over the next few decades.