The average sea level in the world has risen three centimeters per decade. since satellite measurements began in the 1990s, the European Space Agency (ESA) reported Thursday.
Something more than a third of this increase is due to thermal expansion, that is, the expansion experienced by seawater as it heats up.
The remaining nearly two-thirds of the increase is due to freshwater being added to the ocean by melting glaciers and the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.
Another cause of the increase is water being added to the ocean from land as a result of the depletion of groundwater storage, according to the ESA.
Scientists look at individual contributions to ocean mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from glaciers around the world, as well as changes in terrestrial water storage.
are also measured small changes in the Earth’s gravitational pull involving changes in the masses of ice or water.
ESA’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) generates continuous spatial records of several variables related to sea level.
The research, led by the Dresden University of Technology and published by Earth System Science Datashows that the sum of the contributions evaluated each month coincides with the total change in sea level collected.
“Establishing this consistent picture of sea level and ocean mass budgets not only required advanced satellite Earth observation and modeling data sets, but also required experts from various disciplines to come up with a common framework.” , assured the main author of the study, Martin Horwath, in statements collected by Efe.
The results are in line with previous studies and gain more confidence through advances in data analysis, but also require new improvements in understanding of satellite measurements and physical processes.
For example, slow deformations of the solid Earth under the ocean affect satellite observations, and these effects need to be separated from changes within the ocean, ESA explains.
However, “the results obtained from the satellites changed a bit when we improved the way we take into account the mass displacements (of water) on the solid Earth,” warned Benjamin Gutknecht of the University of Dresden, Germany.
Hugo Morán: “It is essential to adapt the coast”
On the other hand, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, has stressed that “It is essential to adapt the coast and its uses to the rise in the average sea level” and recalled Spain’s commitment to the conservation of marine biodiversity in order to protect at least 30% of the marine surface by 2030.
Morán has made this reflection in the One Ocean Summit International Conference, which is held in Brest (France), organized by the French Government and which brings together the world’s leading experts and several heads of government to jointly identify practical solutions that can be promoted and launched to preserve and restore marine ecosystems.
Morán has made reference to the report of Working Group I of the IPPCC, in which it is explained how sea level rise is “a scientifically incontestable fact”.
“In Spain we have just completed an ambitious program to assess the impacts of climate change on the Spanish coastwhich includes the rise in sea level, which will allow us to have a vision of the dangers of maritime growth in the medium and long term under different climate scenarios”, Morán declared.
According to Morán, another measure that has been taken is to prominently include the effects of climate change on coasts and the marine environment and coastal areas in the recently approved Second National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change.
The Secretary of State has reported that one of Spain’s highest priorities is the preparation of the National Strategic Plan for the Protection of the Coast, considering the effects of climate change.
This plan, funded by the European Union Structural Reform Support Programme, It will be available expectedly in October this year and it must be the seed of the reconsideration of the general regime of our coasts with a view to its adaptation to the effects of climate change, as well as the basis for the preparation of regional planning instruments for actions on the coast, concluded Morán.