Tides receding: good news for homes on the beach

2011-04-04 00:00

GOOD news for beachfront property owners is that sea levels seem to be receding, and not increasing as predicted, according to the latest study based on U.S. tide gauges and extensions published in the Journal of Coastal Research.

The two engineers whose data flies in the face of popular movies like An Inconvenient Truth, which shows ice caps melting to increase sea levels, suggests that sea levels are, in fact, receding.

They say they were as surprised as anyone else, as they instead expected the projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC to hold true.

Director emeritus J.R. Houston at the Engineer Research and Development Centre in the Corps of Engineers; and professor emeritus R.G. Dean in the Department of Civil and Coastal Civil Engineering at the University of Florida, expected to find the IPCC’s projections “that the sea-level should rise by 18–59 cm from 1990 and add as much as 0,20 cm to the upper limit if melting of ice sheets increases in proportion to global average surface temperature increases.”

Instead, the tides are lowering — albeit in tiny amounts.

“Our analyses do not indicate acceleration in sea level in U.S. tide gauge records during the 20th century,” wrote Houston and Dean in their study, entitled “Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide Gauges and Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses”

“For each time period we consider, the records show small decelerations that are consistent with a number of earlier studies of worldwide-gauge records.

Why this is happening the engineers do not know.

They added it is essential to find out why the predicted worldwide temperature increase has not produced acceleration of global sea level over the past 100 years, and indeed why global sea level has possibly decelerated for at least the last 80 years.”



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