Strange But True: Sea Levels Dropped Due to More Rainfall

Monday, October 15, 2012

Research scientist explains how it rained more yet the global average sea level fell for eighteen months up to mid-2011.

Current perception of climate change leads us to believe that sea levels, measured by bouncing microwaves off of the ocean at many points around the globe, are constantly rising due to thermal expansion and melting ice caps. However, from the beginning of 2010 until mid-2011, the average level of the world's oceans dropped by 0.2 inches, reports ENN (Environmental News Network).

According to a recent study by Carmen Boening, a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, this sea level decline was due to an increase in the amount of rainfall in Australia, northern South America and Southeast Asia.

This increase in rainfall led to La Niña conditions, a period marked by lower sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Central Pacific Ocean which consequently affects global weather patterns. While much of the globe's rainfall happens over the ocean and evaporated seawater returns from where it came from, during La Niña, much of that rain fell over land instead.

The temporary fall in sea levels challenged climatologists and other scientists to question whether or not sea level rise may be of concern. However, this study found that the drop in sea level was only temporary, and levels are already rising at the same average rate as before.

Source: ENN – Environmental News Network


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