Common Era sea-level budgets along the U.S. Atlantic coast
© Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images
Melting polar ice and thermal expansion of the oceans are having an accelerating impact on rising sea levels along the US east coast, a ‘sea-level budget’ analysis reveals.
Sea-level budgets are used to quantify the effects of different factors on changing sea levels over time, but they have largely been applied to global sea level changes.
A team that included scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, developed a high-resolution sea-level budget for a 700-kilometre stretch of the US Atlantic coastline over the past 2,000 years to determine what factors were contributing most to sea level change in that area.
They found that the greatest contributions to rising sea levels in the area came from melting ice and seawater expanding as it warms. In contrast, regional and local effects, such as extraction of groundwater causing local subsidence, contributed relatively small amounts to local sea level rise.
- Nature Communications 12, 1841 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22079-2