Climate alert: ocean levels have “jumped” between 2022 and 2023

The average rise in global ocean level was 0.76 centimeters between 2022 and 2023, a “significant jump“Compared to other years, due to both the El Niño phenomenon and climate change, NASA said Thursday.

Main cause of rising water levels: climate change

Ocean levels have risen an average of 9.4 cm since 1993, according to this data based on satellite observations. The main culprit is climate change, which involves the melting of ice (polar caps, glaciers) but also the expansion of the oceans as a result of the absorption of heat.

Sea level rise is occurring increasingly rapidly: its rate has more than doubled between 1993 (0.18 cm per year) and today (0.42 cm). “The current pace means we are on track to add another 20 cm to the global oceans by 2050.“Nada Sniffer, director of the team in charge of this file at NASA, stated in a press release.

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Nature takes its time…
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Nature takes its time…
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Before and After: These photos show how these landscapes have changed with warming…

A situation that risks getting worse

This will”Increase the frequency and consequences of floods around the world.“he stressed. Between 2022 and 2023, the observed increase is equivalent to pouring a quarter of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes in North America, into the oceans.

This increase represents just under four times the level observed the previous year (0.21 cm between 2021 and 2022). That year the La Niña phenomenon occurred.

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Nature takes its time…
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During La Niña, rain that normally falls on the oceans falls on land, temporarily removing water from the oceans.“explained Josy VIIIe, researcher on the subject at NASA. But “During El Niño years, much of the rain that normally falls on land ends up in the ocean, temporarily raising ocean levels.“he added.

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