Ocean dynamics speed sea-level rise along U.S. East Coast

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine  --  Changing Gulf Stream patterns, shifting climate and increased computing powers are helping answer why sea-level rise on the U.S. East Coast is higher than the global averages, according to a new story in EARTH Magazine.

With implications for public safety in the wake of events like Hurricane Sandy, scientists are paying even closer attention to the role ocean dynamics play. Using historical tidal gauge and satellite data, geoscientists have observed that already fast sea-level changes on the U.S. East Coast sped up during the last 20 years. Addressing this change, scientists at the University of Arizona and elsewhere plugged the data into sophisticated models to examine how ocean dynamics affect sea-level rise. The results pinpoint a northward shift in the Gulf Stream that is affecting ocean water density in a complex way.

Explore these complexities in the February issue of EARTH Magazine (link is external).