NASA has released a terrifying animation that showcases just how much global sea levels have risen over the past 30 years. The visualization is captured perfectly by showcasing the rise in water levels as if you’re looking through a window on a boat, with the waves sloshing against it.
The animation starts with the water roughly halfway up the height of the window. By the time 30 years have passed, though, the water level has risen quite a bit. The data they used for the animation was taken from Integrated Multi-Mission Ocean Altimeter Data for Climate Research. NASA claims that the data is as accurate as those measurements taken by this mission. The level is driven by a 60-day floating average.
— Zack Labe (@ZLabe) June 19, 2023
Global sea levels have risen by roughly eight centimeters over the past 30 years. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, when we’re talking about sea levels, every centimeter that the water rises puts communities along the shore at risk. While this animation may seem mundane, it is actually quite frightening, particularly if you think of yourself in a boat sinking into the sea.
The ongoing climate change crisis is believed to be at the heart of the rising sea levels, most prominently caused by the melting of ancient ice shelves that have remained frozen for billions of years. What’s even more terrifying about seeing the sea level rise in this animation, though, is thinking about how it might look if sea levels rise the projected 1. 6 feet they are expected to if some of the ice shelves melt.
While three decades may seem like an eternity, it’s actually only two-thirds of the time companies such as ExxonMobil knew how harmful burning fossil fuels was for our planet. NASA’s animation of sea level rises is a stark reminder that we are running out of the time to stop climate change.
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