New research suggests that ocean temperature and associated sea level increases between 1961 and 2003 were 50 percent larger than estimated in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
The results are reported in the June 19 edition of the journal Nature. An international team of researchers, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory climate scientist Peter Gleckler, compared climate models with improved observations that show sea levels rose by 1.5 millimeters per year in the period from 1961-2003. That equates to an approximately 2½-inch increase in ocean levels in a 42-year span.
The ocean warming and thermal expansion rates are more than 50 percent larger than previous estimates for the upper 300 meters of oceans.