Potential for resumption of East Pacific sea level rise after 30-year hiatus

Authors


Abstract

Over the course of the past century the global rate of sea level rise has increased threefold, jumping from 1 millimeter per year in the early 1900s to 3 millimeters per year in the late twentieth century. This seemingly small increase in the global average can have serious consequences when regional influences come into play, as can be the case for low-lying islands and coastal regions with shallow shores. One locale has so far managed to escape any impact from the global trend, but that security may soon be coming to an end. Since the 1980s the sea level height off the North American West Coast has barely budged. This finding, recorded in both satellite altimetry and tidal gauge records, suggests to Bromirski et al. that something has been suppressing the local rate of sea level rise.