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TIDES ebb and flow but mean sea levels are among the constants of climate science. Though things like the recent slowdown in the rise of average surface temperatures are puzzling, scientists can at least point to higher sea levels as clear evidence that climate change is real. The rise is caused by thermal expansion (hot water expands) and by melting ice sheets. And the facts are observable: thousands of gauges—such as that pictured above—measure tides around the world, with some records going back to the 18th century.But this evidence is not as irrefutable as it might seem. The coverage of tidal gauges is patchy. Most are in coastal waters, so the high seas are poorly measured. The majority are in the northern hemisphere. Few are near the poles. The records, says Carling Hay of Harvard University, are “very noisy [and] sparse”. It was not until the spread of satellite observations in the 1990s that measurement of sea levels became reliable and global. All sorts of adjustments are needed to make sense of earlier data and produce a complete record.Dr Hay and her colleagues have come up with a new way of doing this, reported in this week’s ...
January 7, 2015 | A new study in Geophysical Research Letters offers for the first time unequivocal evidence that large storms move significant amounts of ozone from the stratosphere down to the troposphere, the lowest part of the atmosphere. The finding has implications for global climate because tropospheric ozone is a powerful greenhouse gas as well as a pollutant that affects human health and the environment.AtmosNews Category: Organization(s): User-supplied topics: Article type: People: