Sea Level Rise

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The Irish coast is under threat from global sea level rise- or is it? Discuss the mechanisms of sea level rise and why it is important to speak in terms of relative sea level rise of regional scales when it comes to planning Ireland’s future.
Sea level rise is an important factor to look at in today’s society as it is clear that it is happening all around us. The increase in sea level rise is due to many different factors such as the burning of fossil fuels, climate change etc. these factors have caused temperatures to increase. Due to the temperatures increasing it can cause glaciers and polar ice caps to melt which can then lead to thermal expansions. E.g. Peru’s Quelccaya ice cap is melting at such a fast rate it is said to be gone by the
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We can see that some of the main cause of this is due to mass input and ocean warming. It is also mainly associated with the ice age. It is clear that the end of the ice age has caused polar caps and ice sheets to melt resulting in the rise of sea level all over the world. We are also aware that due to human influences global warming plays a huge part too. When looking at global sea level rise we are introduced to global records. These records allow us to look at modern day sea level change. These records also allow us to look at how much sea level has risen over the past couple of years and it gives us indicators as to how much sea level might rise over the next few years on a global scale. An important mechanism to look at when it comes to global sea level rise is the gravity recovery and climate experiment (GRACE). This allows us to look at the loss of ice mass. The gravity has become slightly reduced over the ice sheet resulting in the gravity to increase over the ocean. Due to this happening it allows us to measure the change in sea level. This helps us to understand sea level rise on a global scale as this method has proven to be effective in places such as Greenland, Antarctica and glaciers in Alaska. However as this is in an important factor to be assessed it might not always be enough as relative sea level…show more content…
E., 2012). It is clear that when we are assessing relative sea level rise we are looking at specific areas along coastlines. A good example of this would be the Shannon estuary. This estuary is located on Irelands Atlantic coast. It comes in contact with many different areas throughout Ireland such as the river Shannon and the river Fergus. It also reaches places such as limerick and loop head. Its hinterlands consist of areas that touch Kerry, Limerick and Clare. Many lowland areas surrounding the estuary are prone to flooding due to heavy rainfall. It is suggested that the main coastal changes in Ireland are due to flooding and land erosion as it has been a constant factor throughout the past year. It is also suggested that 30-40km of Irelands coastlines have been submerged due to glaciation in the last 14,000 years. We have seen that the tide gauge data from Malin head to Donegal allows us to see that relative sea level rise was falling as land levels were rising this has been occurring on the north coasts of Ireland. In comparison to the south coast where levels have been seen to be sinking gradually this has produced a higher relative sea level rise. Therefore we can see that relative sea level rise in the south is rising faster than coasts throughout the rest of Ireland. Overall it is
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