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American research scientists from Rutgers University confirmed that the rise in sea level past 120 years is due to human activity, not changes in the earth’s orbit, according to a press release from the University.
“Our team has shown that the history of glaciation of the Earth was more complex than previously thought. Although the content of carbon dioxide had a significant effect on the periods of absence of the ice, minor changes in the Earth’s orbit was the dominant factor in the extent of ice and changes in sea level — before our time” — presented in a press release quotes lead author of the study and Professor at Rutgers University Kenneth Miller.
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The sea-level rise, which has accelerated in recent decades, forever threatening to flood heavily populated coastal cities and communities, other lowlands, and expensive infrastructure by the year 2100. It also poses a serious threat to many ecosystems and economies.
The study reconstructed the history of sea level and glaciation since the end of the dinosaur era. The researchers compared estimates of average global sea level, based on deep-sea geochemical data with information about the borders of the continents.
The study showed that periods almost with the regime for the lack of ice 17-13 million years ago, occurred when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were much higher than today. However, glacial periods occurred, when previously it was believed that the Earth was free of ice, for example 48-34 million years ago.
That is, although the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had a great influence on the ice-free periods on Earth, the size of the ice and changes in sea level to human activities were mainly related to minor changes in parameters of Earth’s orbit and distance from the sun.
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The largest drop in sea level occurred about 20 thousand years ago when the water level fell by about 120 metres. Then came a rapid rise, which was slowed only 10-2 of thousands of years ago. After that — until 1900 — the height of the world ocean remained at approximately the same level. Its growth in this age began at the beginning of the impact of human activities on climate.
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