Print Friendly and PDF
Storm surge climate impacts
Image by Jerry Coli from Pixabay

How do you measure sea level rise? A look at the science at the center of climate change

1 min read

Joseph Ostapiuk reports for the Staten Island Advance about how scientists are combining two sources of data to gain a comprehensive picture of sea level rise -- a consequence of climate change with profound consequences for human and ecosystem health.

In a nutshell:

Rising ocean temperatures cause water to expand, elevating sea levels gradually. This perilous trend, exacerbated by melting ice caps and warming seas, triggers disruptions to ecosystems and exacerbates extreme weather events, as illustrated by Hurricane Sandy's devastating impact. Scientists use tidal gauges and satellite-derived data to monitor sea level changes, revealing an accelerating rise that could transform coastlines and flood-vulnerable areas like Staten Island. The new data underscores the need for proactive adaptation and preparation to mitigate its far-reaching consequences.

Key quote:

“It’s no longer that linear number. That rate is increasing,” said Dr. William Sweet, an NOAA oceanographer. “That’s of concern because that’s what all the climate models suggest: With continued warming, the future of sea level rise is going to accelerate.”

The big picture:

The combustion of fossil fuels has grave health implications, with a significant link to rising sea levels. Emissions of harmful pollutants like particulate matter and nitrogen oxides from burning fossil fuels contribute to respiratory diseases, heart problems, and premature deaths. As these emissions warm the planet and lead to sea level rise, coastal communities are increasingly vulnerable to flooding, eroding infrastructure, and exposure to waterborne diseases, posing myriad threats to public health.

You can find out more here.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

Become a donor
Today's top news
From our newsroom

Tracking down a poison: Getting the lead out of spices in Bangladesh and Georgia

Many low- and middle-income countries lack the resources to tackle lead poisoning. Here’s how two countries did it.

Tracking down a poison: Inside the fight for global action on lead

Lead poisoning is a devastating and overlooked global health crisis. Revealing its prevalence and sources is the first step to change that.

Burgers and fries with a side of PFAS

New testing finds evidence of “forever chemicals” in fast-food packaging from popular spots like McDonald’s, Starbucks and KFC.

LISTEN: How Western media could better cover climate change in the Middle East

“The whole media of the Western countries don’t do justice to some of the works being done here.”

Everyone is likely overexposed to BPA

If you're using plastic, you're likely above acceptable health safety levels.