Obama parts the waters, sea level dropsby Jonathan DuHamel on Sep. 22, 2011, under Climate change
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama pompously declared that his presidency will be “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” (see statement on You-tube, link H/T to Marc Morano)
And lo! It has come to pass. The seas have receded from upon the land.
The European Space Agency’s Envisat monitoring, global sea level revealed a “two year long decline [in sea level] was continuing, at a rate of 5mm per year.”
NASA concurs. “While the rise of the global ocean has been remarkably steady for most of this time, every once in a while, sea level rise hits a speed bump. This past year, it’s been more like a pothole: between last summer and this one, global sea level actually fell by about a quarter of an inch, or half a centimeter.” But NASA blames it on La Niña rather than Obama power. There goes another Nobel prize.
The explanation from NASA:
Willis said that while 2010 began with a sizable El Niño, by year’s end, it was replaced by one of the strongest La Niñas in recent memory. This sudden shift in the Pacific changed rainfall patterns all across the globe, bringing massive floods to places like Australia and the Amazon basin, and drought to the southern United States.
Data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) spacecraft provide a clear picture of how this extra rain piled onto the continents in the early parts of 2011. “By detecting where water is on the continents, Grace shows us how water moves around the planet,” says Steve Nerem, a sea level scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
So where does all that extra water in Brazil and Australia come from? You guessed it–the ocean. Each year, huge amounts of water are evaporated from the ocean. While most of it falls right back into the ocean as rain, some of it falls over land. “This year, the continents got an extra dose of rain, so much so that global sea levels actually fell over most of the last year,” says Carmen Boening, a JPL oceanographer and climate scientist.