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Mount Pinatubo eruption helps figuring out global mean sea level

The National Science Foundation's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy funded the study.


Mount Pinatubo eruption helps figuring out global mean sea level

New Delhi: The Mount Pinatubo eruption, one of the largest volcanic eruption of the late 20th century will help in determining the global mean sea level, according to the latest research.

Satellite observation of ocean surface, which began in 1993, observed that the sea level is rising by three millimeters annually.

According to Anjuli Bamzai, program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, this research will help society prepare for the potential effects of climate change.

With the increase in the pace of warming oceans and melting glaciers and ice sheets, scientists expect to see a corresponding increase in the rate of sea level rise.

Researchers have now determined that the expected increase in sea level rise due to climate change was likely hidden because of a happenstance of timing: Pinatubo erupted in 1991, two years before the first satellite observations of the ocean began.

The eruption, which temporarily cooled the planet, caused sea levels to drop and effectively distorted calculations of sea level rise in subsequent decades. The study lends support to climate model projections that show the rate of sea level rise escalating over time as the climate warms.

The findings are published today in the open-access journal Scientific Reports, which is published by Nature Publishing Group. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist John Fasullo led the study along with co-author Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado Boulder and Benjamin Hamlington of Old Dominion University.

The National Science Foundation's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy funded the study.

(With ANI inputs)

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