Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The recent oscillatory nature of climate cycles caused by El Niño and La Niña are causing the sea level seesaw of the Pacific Ocean to tip back and forth.
Over the last 30 years, the seesaw’s wobbles have been more extreme, causing variations in sea levels up to three times higher than those observed in the previous 30 years.
As per a new NASA/university study, the differing alignments of two separate climate cycles could be causing these intensifying swings, which occur on top of a global rise in sea level due to melting ice sheets and warming oceans.
The study also found that from 1990 to 2000, the magnitude of these sea level swings averaged about 6 inches (16 centimeters) -- five times the height of global sea level rise during the same period. Asia is currently on the high side of the sea level seesaw, while coastlines in the Americas as far north as Southern California are benefiting from a lower sea level. For communities threatened by rising seas, predicting when the seesaw will swing the other way is critical.
As per NASA, the findings may help improve forecasts of sea level variations, allowing vulnerable coastal communities to prepare for their increased risk of flooding, erosion and other damage due to higher sea levels.