Sea level rise: what has happened so far

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:05 PM GMT on June 10, 2009

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Sea level has been rising globally since the late 1700s. This rise has accelerated in recent decades, thanks to increased melting of glaciers and ice sheets due to a warmer climate, plus the fact that warmer oceans are less dense and expand, further increasing sea level. Though sea level rise appears to have slowed over the past five years, it will significantly accelerate if the climate warms the 2 - 3°C it is expected to this century. If these forecasts of a warmer world prove accurate, higher sea levels will be a formidable challenge for millions of people world-wide during the last half of this century. Sea level rise represents one of my personal top two climate change concerns (drought is the other). I'll present a series of blog posts over the coming months focusing on at-risk areas in the U.S., Caribbean, and world-wide. Today, I focus on the observed sea level rise since the Ice Age.

What's at stake
Higher sea levels mean increased storm surge inundation, coastal erosion, loss of low-lying land areas, and salt water contamination of underground drinking water supplies. About 44% of the Earth's 6.7 billion people live within 150 km (93 miles) of the coast, and 600 million people live at an elevation less than ten meters (33 feet). Eight of the ten largest cities in the world are sited on the ocean coast. In the U.S., the coastal population has doubled over the past 50 years. Fourteen of the twenty largest urban centers are located within 100 km of the coast, and are less than ten meters above sea level (McGranahan et al., 2007). The population of many vulnerable coastal regions are expected to double by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sea level rise since the Ice Age
Before the most recent Ice Age, sea level was about 4 - 6 meters (13 - 20 feet) higher than at present. Then, during the Ice Age, sea level dropped 120 meters (395 ft) as water evaporated from the oceans precipitated out onto the great land-based ice sheets. The former ocean water remained frozen in those ice sheets during the Ice Age, but began being released 12,000 - 15,000 years ago as the Ice Age ended and the climate warmed. Sea level increased about 115 meters over a several thousand year period, rising 40 mm/year (1.6"/yr) during one 500-year pulse of melting 14,600 years ago. The rate of sea level rise slowed to 11 mm/year (0.43"/yr) during the period 7,000 - 14,000 years ago (Bard et al., 1996), then further slowed to 0.5 mm/yr 6,000 - 3,000 years ago. About 2,000 - 3,000 years ago, the sea level stopped rising, and remained fairly steady until the late 1700s (IPCC 2007). One exception to this occurred during the Medieval Warm Period of 1100 - 1200 A.D., when warm conditions similar to today's climate caused the sea level to rise 5 - 8" (12 - 21 cm) higher than present (Grinsted et al., 2008). This was probably the highest the sea has been since the beginning of the Ice Age, 110,000 years ago. There is a fair bit of uncertainty in all these estimates, since we don't have direct measurements of the sea level.


Figure 1. Global sea level from 200 A.D. to 2000, as reconstructed from proxy records of sea level by Moberg et al. 2005. The thick black line is reconstructed sea level using tide gauges (Jevrejeva, 2006). The lightest gray shading shows the 5 - 95% uncertainty in the estimates, and the medium gray shading denotes the one standard deviation error estimate. The highest global sea level of the past 110,000 years likely occurred during the Medieval Warm Period of 1100 - 1200 A.D., when warm conditions similar to today's climate caused the sea level to rise 5 - 8" (12 - 21 cm) higher than present. Image credit: Grinsted, A., J.C. Moore, and S. Jevrejeva, 2009, "Reconstructing sea level from paleo and projected temperatures 200 to 2100 AD", Climate Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s00382-008-0507-2, 06 January 2009.

Sea level rise over the past 300 years
Direct measurements of sea level using tide gauges began in Amsterdam in 1700. Additional tide gauges began recording data in Liverpool, England in 1768 and in Stockholm, Sweden in 1774. These gauges suggest that a steady acceleration of sea rise of 0.01 mm per year squared began in the late 1700s, resulting in a rise in sea level of 2.4" (6 cm, 0.6 mm/yr) during the 19th century and 7.5" (19 cm, 1.9 mm/yr) during the 20th century (Jevrejeva et al., 2008). There is considerable uncertainty in just how much sea level rise has occurred over the past few centuries, though. Measuring global average sea level rise is a very tricky business. For starters, one must account for the tides, which depend on the positions of the Earth and Moon on a cycle that repeats itself once every 18.6 years. Tide gauges are scattered, with varying lengths of record. The data must be corrected since land is sinking in some regions, due to pumping of ground water, oil and gas extraction, and natural compaction of sediments. Also, the land is rising in other regions, such as Northern Europe, where it is rebounding from the lost weight of the melted glaciers that covered the region during the last Ice Age. Ocean currents, precipitation, and evaporation can cause a 20 inch (50 cm) difference in sea level in different portions of the ocean. As a result of all this uncertainty, the 1996 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report gave a range of 4 - 10" (10 - 25 cm) for the observed sea level rise of the 20th century. The 2007 IPCC report narrowed this range a bit, to 5 - 9" (12 - 22 cm), or 1.2 - 2.2 mm/year. Rates of sea level rise are much higher in many regions. In the U.S., the highest rates of sea-level rise are along the Mississippi Delta region--over 10 mm/yr, or 1 inch/2.5 years (USGS, 2006). This large relative rise is due, in large part, to the fact that the land is sinking.


Figure 2. Absolute sea level rise between 1955 and 2003 as computed from tide gauges and satellite imagery data. The data has been corrected for the rising or sinking of land due to crustal motions or subsidence of the land, so the relative sea level rise along the coast will be different than this. The total rise (in inches) for the 48-year period is given in the top scale, and the rate in mm/year is given in the bottom scale. The regional sea level variations shown here resulted not only from the input of additional water from melting of glaciers and ice caps, but also from changes in ocean temperature and density, as well as changes in precipitation, ocean currents, and river discharge. Image credit: IPCC, 2007

Sea level rise over the past 15 years
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report, sea level accelerated from the 1.2 - 2.2 mm/yr observed during the 20th century to 3.1 mm/year during the period 1993 - 2003. These estimates come from high resolution measurements from satellite radar altimeters, which began in 1992. Tide gauges showed a similar level of sea level rise during that ten-year period. The IPCC attributed more than half of this rise (1.6 mm/yr) to the fact that the ocean expanded in size due to increased temperatures. Another 1.2 mm/yr rise came from melting of Greenland, West Antarctica, and other land-based ice, and about 10% of the rise was unaccounted for. However, during the period 2003 - 2008, sea level rise slowed to 2.5 mm/year, according to measurements of Earth's gravity from the GRACE satellites (Cazenave et al., 2008). This reduction in sea level rise probably occurred because ocean sea surface temperatures have not warmed since 2003 (Figure 3). The authors concluded that sea level rise due to ocean warming decreased more than a factor of five from 2003 - 2008, compared to 1993 - 2003, contributing only 0.3 mm/yr vs. the 1.6 mm/yr previously.


Figure 3. Global average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) from 1990-2008. SSTs have not increased in the past seven years. Image credit: NASA/GISS.

For more information
The best source of information I found while compiling my sea level pages was the Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region report by the U.S. Climate Science Program. It has a huge number of references to all the latest science being done on sea level rise.

References
Bard, E., et al., 1996, "Sea level record from Tahiti corals and the timing of deglacial meltwater discharge", Nature 382, pp241-244, doi:10.1038/382241a0.

Cazenave et al., 2008, "Sea level budget over 2003-2008: A reevaluation from satellite altimetry and Argo", Global and Planetary Change, 2008; DOI:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2008.10.004

Grinsted, A., J.C. Moore, and S. Jevrejeva, 2009, "Reconstructing sea level from paleo and projected temperatures 200 to 2100 AD", Climate Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s00382-008-0507-2, 06 January 2009.

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor, and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, 996 pp.

Jevrejeva, S., J.C. Moore, A. Grinsted,, and P.L. Woodworth, 2008, "Recent global sea level acceleration started over 200 years ago?", Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L08715, doi:10.1029/2008GL033611, 2008.

McGranahan, G., D. Balk, and B. Anderson, 2007, "The rising tide: assessing the risks of climate change and human settlements in low elevation coastal zones", Environment & Urbanization, 19(1), 17-37.

Moberg, A., et al., 2005, "Highly variable northern hemisphere temperature reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data", Nature 433, pp613-617, doi:10.1038/nature03265.

United States Geological Survey (USGS), 2006, National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: Preliminary Results for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-179.

Tropical update
The tropical Atlantic is quiet, and the only region worth watching is the Western Caribbean, which could see formation of a tropical disturbance with heavy thunderstorm activity this weekend.

Jeff Masters

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Ahhh...Back to Blobs and Models for the time being...Lol.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9402
The feature shown on that run looks like it comes up from the Central Caribbean and passes over the general area of the Windward passage.

It would not appear to have anything to do with the SW Caribbean
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T-39 Hours and counting to the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour.
My Blog
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Actually I'm not sure what's showing up on the latest GFS is even from the SW Caribbean. It is showing an area of high vorticity @ 850mb that moves up from the SSE @ about 48 hours and passes into the Bahamas. This actually could be related to the tropical wave making its way through the central Atlantic right now.


Take a look.
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Quoting kmanislander:


The models have not really handled the SW Caribbean well if you look at the last 7 days of runs. In particular, shear values have remained stubbornly high, thus preventing any development regardless of what the models have shown.

Shear has been on the rise for the past 24 hours in that area so we are at least 2 days or more away from any chance of something developing.


i think this season we may see the gulf a little more protected due to high pressure systems
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Quoting SavannahStorm:
New GFS continues to pull a broad, ill-defined area of moisture NNW from the SW Caribbean. The system then just parks over Cuba and rains itself out by 78 hours. Ridging at that point over Florida and the GOMEX is well established.

Check out the cute "Twin Highs" in the GOMEX.


The models have not really handled the SW Caribbean well if you look at the last 7 days of runs. In particular, shear values have remained stubbornly high, thus preventing any development regardless of what the models have shown.

Shear has been on the rise for the past 24 hours in that area so we are at least 2 days or more away from any chance of something developing.
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Looks like possible small rotation east of the bahamas. imo
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New GFS continues to pull a broad, ill-defined area of moisture NNW from the SW Caribbean. The system then just parks over Cuba and rains itself out by 78 hours. Ridging at that point over Florida and the GOMEX is well established.

Check out the cute "Twin Highs" in the GOMEX.
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Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
wow, just on fox news that fema is offering all the people living in fema trailers that they can buy them for $1.00



That is just what we need here in my area. A few streets over, we have a couple rows of mobile homes that were damaged by Ike. Everyone that was damaged, had a FEMA mobile stuffed in the "driveway" beside the damaged one.(their is about 20 of them with about three or four feet between each one.) I should mention it is a narrow road with open ditches so parking is a real nightmare in the area now.

I imagine the homeowners association in my neighborhood just put their heads in their laps and started to cry, especially since about half the folks had moved back into their normal home and are begging FEMA to come pick up the trailer.....

Man if I could jsut get one for the hunting camp....
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post 66 - AGW caused this I'm sure, or there will be a study saying so anyway...
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29. that cracks me up :)
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12Z GFS @ 66hrs
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I should have taken bets about the Columbian low at the end of the last blog... *sigh*
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looks like a wet weekend setting up for most of FL,IMO....
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Quoting IKE:
Interesting WV loop. Notice the huge blob of moisture near Panama. Appears headed west.

Also an area of lower shear, dropping south, toward south Florida and then Cuba....

Link


Good Morning Ike

Remember there is a perennial low over that high terrain in Colombia that tends to create these big blow ups of convection. The thunderstorm mass then moves out over the open water but more often than not they do not develop into anything in the SW Caribbean. Typically they move off into the EPAC or dissipate.

I do not believe that what you are seeing there is the precursor of the potential low the NHC has on the forecast maps.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Tadpole downpour stumps Japanese meteorologists
Wednesday June 10, 2009

The rainy season has just started in Tokyo, but residents in a small coastal town have reported a different phenomenon: tadpoles dropping out of the sky.

An office clerk in Nanao first noticed the anomaly when he heard a dull thud in a parking lot last week, news reports said.

Looking around, he saw about 100 dead tadpoles splattered on car windscreens and on the ground.

More reports followed from bewildered residents in Nanao.

"People speculate that a waterspout picked them up and dropped them from the air," an official at a local weather observatory said.

"But from a meteorological point of view, I have to say it is most unlikely.

"We have checked the weather conditions of last week, thinking gusts of wind might have hit the area but confirmed no damage.

"To be honest, I don't think it was anything caused by a weather condition."

Similar events have been reported around the world, with whirlwinds passing over water bodies and picking up frogs, jellyfish or other unfortunate animals before dumping them back to earth.

© ABC 2009


Local angler using dynamite at the nearest fishing hole?
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Tadpole downpour stumps Japanese meteorologists
Wednesday June 10, 2009

The rainy season has just started in Tokyo, but residents in a small coastal town have reported a different phenomenon: tadpoles dropping out of the sky.

An office clerk in Nanao first noticed the anomaly when he heard a dull thud in a parking lot last week, news reports said.

Looking around, he saw about 100 dead tadpoles splattered on car windscreens and on the ground.

More reports followed from bewildered residents in Nanao.

"People speculate that a waterspout picked them up and dropped them from the air," an official at a local weather observatory said.

"But from a meteorological point of view, I have to say it is most unlikely.

"We have checked the weather conditions of last week, thinking gusts of wind might have hit the area but confirmed no damage.

"To be honest, I don't think it was anything caused by a weather condition."

Similar events have been reported around the world, with whirlwinds passing over water bodies and picking up frogs, jellyfish or other unfortunate animals before dumping them back to earth.

© ABC 2009
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Quoting 69Viking:


Look at the blob of convection just off the NW coast of South America, it's very close to the area where the early post showed a surface low in the SW Carribean! One more blob to watch!
no surface low
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IKE:outflow/Lower level divergence,the opposite of anything related to TC formation is what your seeing,the prevailing surface flow is out of the ESE over the western carib....
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63. IKE
Interesting WV loop. Notice the huge blob of moisture near Panama. Appears headed west.

Also an area of lower shear, dropping south, toward south Florida and then Cuba....

Link
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Quoting 69Viking:


Look at the blob of convection just off the NW coast of South America, it's very close to the area where the early post showed a surface low in the SW Carribean! One more blob to watch!
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Quoting Patrap:
A Buck,a Trailer, ...and a Levee....




Name 3 things that America Makes that aint worth a Dollar.



LMAO!!!!
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Quoting IKE:


I still see a spin...now SW of Jamaica. I see clouds just south of the Caymans, going west. I see clouds SSW of Jamaica going east.


Look at the blob of convection just off the NW coast of South America, it's very close to the area where the early post showed a surface low in the SW Carribean! One more blob to watch!
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Quoting IKE:


I still see a spin...now SW of Jamaica. I see clouds just south of the Caymans, going west. I see clouds SSW of Jamaica going east.


ULL formation???
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A Buck,a Trailer, ...and a Levee....




Name 3 things that America Makes that aint worth a Dollar.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
57. IKE
Quoting Weather456:
Vorticity continues to increase in SW Caribbean. It would be interesting to see what comes about. A likely scenario is explained on my blog


I still see a spin...now SW of Jamaica. I see clouds just south of the Caymans, going west. I see clouds SSW of Jamaica going east.

Huge problem...near 50 knots of shear in the area.

I know...it's suppose to drop, but it hasn't, yet.
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Quoting Patrap:
One thing about the FEMA trailers,and it aint in the article.

If you purchase the trailer and become the owner,you waive all rights to Making a claim against the Gov,and Manufacturer to any and all Formaldehyde issues.

Ouch. I didn't notice that.

Did anyone just feel a sharp, stabbing pain in their back? :\
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Vorticity continues to increase in SW Caribbean. It would be interesting to see what comes about. A likely scenario is explained on my blog
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
One thing about the FEMA trailers,and it aint in the article.

If you purchase the trailer and become the owner,you waive all rights to Making a claim against the Gov,and Manufacturer to any and all Formaldehyde issues.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
Quoting leftovers:
i got a great idea call it "world bucket day" everyone grab a bucket fill it with ocean water dump it a mile inland. if the feds do this it would cost billions.


Wouldn't do much. Even if every person on earth used a 5 gallon bucket, that's only 30 billion gallons of water. The oceans hold ~ 326 million trillion gallons of water!

Not to mention all that water dumped inland would runoff back into the ocean.
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The thing that I find interesting in your post is that sea levels were higher before the last ice age than they are at present. Doesn't this mean that there is a larger likely hood of earth going back to this warm time period and higher sea levels, and man won't be able to change things to cool the earth and keep this from happening?
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Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
either way its better than nothing. i think a lot of people will jump on it.


most of those people have lost alot, getting a break on a trailer is probably not a bad thing,IMO
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Quoting CycloneOz: Water vapor content in the atmosphere, not the burning of fossil fuels by man, is the biggest factor in warmer / colder climate changes.


Oh, one other thing has a big impact on whether the climate warms or cools...and that is the sun's "11-year" seasons.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


I'm ready for Florida to be under the gun.

I have a couple of predictions of my own for where some storms might come ashore this year, but don't hold me to it.

WPB, FL
SE TX / SW LA
Biloxi, MS
Corpus Christi, TX

I'm hopeful that not one of these is right.

I really don't want to see SETX get hit again by a storm. Ike was rough, and the area *still* hasn't recovered (look at my blog if you want a few examples). WPB hasn't been hit by a hurricane in a while (correct me if I'm wrong there), and I won't wish anything ill on Biloxi.. As for Corpus Christi... the last storm they had of any consequence was Bret, and that wasn't much since he was so small. They were also bracketed last year by Dolly and Ike.
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HURRICANE RECOVERY
Residents can buy FEMA trailers for as little as $1
Federal government drops deadline for evicting Katrina and Rita victims.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Friday, June 05, 2009


This is well and fine,but it dont mean squat if the Local Govs,City or Parish,.have a Deadline for having trailers out their respective City or Parish Limits.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
for the U.S.,I believe the east coast of FL is most at risk this yr,probably more than 1 landfall,imo....how large and how strong is the question!!!
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either way its better than nothing. i think a lot of people will jump on it.
Member Since: June 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1136
Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
wow, just on fox news that fema is offering all the people living in fema trailers that they can buy them for $1.00



just the ones from katrina I believe...
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Quoting stillwaiting:
whats up oz-man???....its going to be a active season for my state,I have a feeling,simular to 04'....you might be making more than 1 trip to FL this yr,IMO.....


I'm ready for Florida to be under the gun.

I have a couple of predictions of my own for where some storms might come ashore this year, but don't hold me to it.

WPB, FL
SE TX / SW LA
Biloxi, MS
Corpus Christi, TX

I'm hopeful that not one of these is right.
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After Living 27 mths in a FEMA Trailer post K.
I can tell ya easily..Save that dollar and send it to Portlight.

Send the Trailer to the Scrap heap.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
good study oz!!!
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wow, just on fox news that fema is offering all the people living in fema trailers that they can buy them for $1.00

Member Since: June 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1136
39. IKE
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whats up oz-man???....its going to be a active season for my state,I have a feeling,simular to 04'....you might be making more than 1 trip to FL this yr,IMO.....
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Water from tropical storms might impact warming
Study suggests vapor could be a significant factor in greenhouse effect


Global warming can change storm patterns. In turn, storms might help fuel global warming.

A new study suggests that tropical cyclones shoot water high into the atmosphere. The result may be a small but significant contribution to the greenhouse effect.

"The bottom line is that tropical cyclones can't be counted out" as players in global climate change, said lead author David Romps, of Harvard University. "It's not something to lose sleep over. But there's a possibility for some type of feedback."

For decades, scientists have been puzzled by two atmospheric mysteries: There is less water vapor in the upper atmosphere than there theoretically should be, said Columbia University atmospheric scientist Timothy Hall. Yet, there is more than there used to be.

Both phenomena are related to the way temperature changes from one level of the atmosphere to the next. In the troposphere, which goes from the ground up to about nine miles, air gets colder as you go higher.

In the stratosphere, which begins where the troposphere ends, the opposite happens: Air gets warmer with rising altitude. The boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere, called the tropopause, is where temperatures are coldest.

Clouds and the water they contain -- which are colder and heavier than the surrounding air -- tend to stay in the troposphere because the relatively warm and light air in the stratosphere pushes them downwards.

What's more, the tropopause is so cold that any water vapor that gets there falls out as ice before it can reach the stratosphere. Both of these effects keep the stratosphere dry.

Still, the stratosphere is even drier than experts suspect it should be. At the same time, scientists have measured a 50 percent rise in water vapor in the stratosphere over the last 50 years.

To explain the trend, some researchers have speculated that powerful tropical cyclones might be increasingly punching through the tropopause and spewing water vapor high into the atmosphere. The stratosphere is warm enough to trap the moisture, according to some theories. Circulation patterns would then carry the vapor from the tropics to the poles.

"There's all this evidence that a changing climate could change the intensity or frequency of tropical cyclones," Romps said. "We were thinking about what impact tropical cyclones could have on climate."

To test the theory, Romps and colleague Zhiming Kuang looked at 23 years worth of satellite data to measure cloud temperature in cyclones and other storms. Temperature readings told them how high the clouds were.

The maps they produced, published in Geophysical Research Levels, showed that tropical cyclones account for 15 percent of the water vapor that shoots into the stratosphere and 30 percent of water vapor that shoots the highest -- about 1.5 kilometers (nearly a mile) above the troposphere.

"This is not just academic," Hall said. "Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. So, changing water vapor does have global warming potential, and it is significant."

Still, Hall said, increases in stratospheric water vapor make a much smaller contribution to warming than do carbon dioxide emissions. In that sense, the new work adds a small piece of the puzzle to our understanding of the forces behind climate change.



I really do not like the terms "global warming" and "climate change".

A) The climate is changing all the time. It had better be or else our planet is loosing its dynamics.

B) The Earth has to have a "green house" effect going on or else the oceans would freeze over.

Water vapor content in the atmosphere, not the burning of fossil fuels by man, is the biggest factor in warmer / colder climate changes.

Period.

Now...I challenge anyone or any government to do something about the water vapor content in the atmosphere. Go ahead...give it a try.
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I'll be watching the area south of jamaica starting in approx 72-96hrs,w/a disturbance moving NNW towards NW cuba,after that????
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Quoting sporteguy03:
Dr.Masters,
Do you have any big vacations coming up? Then the tropics will heat up!

He hasn't mentioned anything about it, but then again... if a vacation is taken without much notice, maybe the tropics won't notice until the vacation is over...
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Tropical update
The tropical Atlantic is quiet, and the only region worth watching is the Western Caribbean, which could see formation of a tropical disturbance with heavy thunderstorm activity this weekend.

Jeff Masters I take heed in what he says.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Dr.Masters,
Do you have any big vacations coming up? Then the tropics will heat up!
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29.

At a risk of starting a flame war, let me ask a simple, yet somewhat profound question...

Would you rather take a chance of being wrong, and become a responsible steward of the environment, or keep on trucking on your merry way, heedless of the *possible* impacts down the road?

Dr. Masters alluded to AGW in his post, but he did not mention it specifically. His apparent larger concern was not *why* sea levels are rising, but rather the danger posed by them, regardless of cause. As someone who lives near the coast (granted, 180 ft above MSL), sea level rise will directly impact me. Beyond that, since I work in the maritime industry, it impacts me more than most (if my company can't call a port because its flooded, bad things happen to my customers).

I'm not going to get into a debate whether AGW is real or not. I don't have a scientific degree of any relevant kind, so I can't decree with good faith either way. What I can say is that over the past several hundred years, mankind as a whole has been horrible stewards of the land. We have been taking a heck of a lot more than we have been giving back, and since every action has an equal and opposite reaction... I have a feeling it will come back to bite us somehow. Whether that will be in the form of GW, or something else, I don't know. But we definitely can't keep on our attitude that we can take from the earth as we please.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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