A recent study of the amount of rise of the sea level in the 20th century suggests that the previously calculated values were wrong. According to research led by scientists at Harvard and Rutgers Universities, the rise in ocean water in the 20th century was not 6 inches, but 5 inches.
The seemingly small adjustment in the level could make a huge difference in scientific understanding. The one inch difference accounts for a difference of approximately two quadrillion gallons of water.
The conclusion and finding of the research were announced on Wednesday, and it proves the previous research results wrong. If these findings hold true after critical scrutiny by other researchers, they could lead to potential new understanding in climate research. The results could help explain a longstanding conundrum on the topic. For long, researchers from across the world have been trying to measure the water melted from ice or due to other factors that have caused a rise in the sea level. But the numbers were not at par with the records obtained from harbors across the globe. However, the figures from the new study match up the measurements obtained from the harbors.
The mismatch in previous measurements had caused unrest among scientists who were having a difficult time in figuring out a possible explanation of the two quadrillion of extra water from their calculations. Reasons including melting of glaciers, land ice and even heated up water to have expanded, were tried to fit in to explain the difference. But most scientists were not convinced with this explanation.
Scientists are now willing to review the new findings before accepting the claims. Oregon State University’s geologist, Peter U. Clark, and Australia’s national scientific organization’s scientist John A. Church, both acknowledged the importance of the findings, if they were discovered to be true.
The research has already boosted efforts for new forecasts, and their results are due in the following months.