NASA reported a significant increase in the global average sea level, rising by about 0.76 centimeters from 2022 to 2023. This jump, nearly four times higher than the previous year, was attributed to a strong El Nino and a warming climate.

The analysis, led by NASA and based on over 30 years of satellite observations, revealed that sea levels have risen by approximately 10 centimeters since 1993. The rate of increase has also accelerated, from 0.18 centimeters per year in 1993 to the current rate of 0.43 centimeters per year.

Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer, director for the NASA sea level change team, warned that at this rate, another 20 centimeters of global mean sea level could be added by 2050, double the amount of change compared to the previous century.

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This acceleration suggests a future with more frequent and catastrophic flooding. While the immediate cause of the spike is the El Nino weather effect, which leads to warmer-than-average ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, there is also a clear human influence evident in the underlying trend of acceleration.

Long-term datasets, such as the 30-year satellite record, allow scientists to differentiate between short-term effects like El Nino and long-term trends in sea level rise.