About this book
An editorial by Wanless (1982), entitled "Sea level is rising - so what?", tells the case of an executive editor of a major city newspaper, who, when confronted with evi dence for a recent sea-level rise, replied: "That just means the ocean is six inches deeper, doesn't it?". Whether his "so what?" attitude was real or put on to dike a threat of sensation, there is at present a wide and deepening interest in ongoing and future global sea-level change. This interest has grown along with the concern over global warming due to increasing levels of C02 and trace gases. A stage has been reached where investigators of climat- sea-level relationships call for long-term measurement programmes for ice-volume changes (using satellite altimetry) and changes in temperature and salinity of the oceans (ther mal expansion). This manual, however, is primarily concerned with sea level changes in the past, mainly since the end of the last glaciation. Its major objective is to help answer the ques tion: "how?", which, of course, is little else but to assist in the gathering of fuel for the burning question: "why?" Good fuel, hopefully, for the less smoke and ashes, and the more heat and light produced by that fire, the better scientists are enabled to develop a quantitative under standing of past, and hence of future, sea-level changes on different spatial and temporal scales.
global warming ocean sea level temperature