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Sea levels are rising at an “unprecedented” rate. The vulnerable coasts of Louisiana and Texas at risk

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The consequences of climate change are not only stronger storms or more intense droughts, but also rising sea and ocean levels. According to the analysis of American researchers, this trend is most disturbing in the case of the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern waters of the USA.

In the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern US coast, sea levels are rising three times faster than the global average. Scientists explain this by a combination of the effects of human activities and causal phenomena from the last few years.

Experts from Tulane University of Louisiana have warned about the alarmingly rapid rate of sea level rise in this part of the world. Their research was published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

“The current rapid changes are unprecedented in the 20th century and were three times faster than the global average for the same time period,” Prof. Soenke Dangendorf, author of the publication.

The Gulf of Mexico as seen from the International Space StationNASA/Mark Garcia

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Over 100 years of data

His team analyzed the results of ground and satellite measurements dating back to 1900, looking at the various factors of rising water levels.

“We looked at various causes of the changes, such as vertical land movements, loss of glacier mass, but none of the factors could well explain the current state,” said Noah Hendricks of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, who collaborated with the researchers. “Instead, we found that the signs of acceleration are widespread, extending from the Gulf of Mexico to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina,” the researcher added.

Scientists explain that several factors are working at the same time. The first is global warming due to human activity – and it’s not just the melting of glaciers, but also the fact that warmer water expands and takes up more space. In addition, there are weather phenomena, including the activity of wind gusts.

Climate changeAdam Ziemienowicz/PAP

What the models say

Fortunately, according to the scientists, the increase in the water level in this area should reach a more moderate rate in a few decades, in line with the predictions of climate models.

However, there is not enough reason to stop worrying completely. Torbjoern Toernqvist, co-author of the discovery. “The accelerated rate of sea level rise means a stronger impact on vulnerable coasts, especially in Louisiana and Texas, where land is sinking rapidly.”

Consequences of climate change in EuropeMaƂgorzata Latos, Adam Ziemienowicz/PAP

Main photo source: NASA/Mark Garcia

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