Ocean Warming and Sea Level Rise Along the Southwest U.S. Coast

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Science  17 Jul 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5068, pp. 373-375
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5068.373


Hydrographic time-series data recorded during the past 42 years in the upper 500 meters off the coast of southern California indicate that temperatures have increased by 0.8°C uniformly in the upper 100 meters and that temperatures have risen significantly to depths of about 300 meters. The effect of warming the surface layer of the ocean and there by expanding the water column has been to raise sea level by 0.9 ± 0.2 millimeter per year. Tide gauge records along the coast are coherent with steric height and show upward trends in sea level that vary from about 1 to 3 millimeters per year.