‘Faster than expected’ sea level rise in Dublin

Researchers studying Dublin Bay have said recent sea level rise there has happened at “approximately double the rate of global sea level rise”.

The study examined sea level trends over eight decades and confirmed elevated rates in recent years.

Researchers at the Hamilton Institute and ICARUS Climate Research Center at Maynooth University found that the Dublin sea level rose by an estimated 1.1mm per year between 1953 and 2016.

Researchers said the overall sea level rise is “in line with expected trends”, but large variability across many decades has led to higher rates in recent years.

The research published in Ocean Science identified a rate of 7mm per year between 1997 and 2016.

“This recent sea level rise is faster than expected at approximately double the rate of global sea level rise.” said Amin Shoari Nejad, lead author of the research and a PhD student at the Hamilton Institute at Maynooth University.

Fluctuations in the sea level change were also identified between 1982 to 1988 and 1989 to 1996.

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Dr Gerard McCarthy, from ICARUS Climate Research Center and the Department of Geography at Maynooth University, said looking at short timeframes can impact estimates of trends.

“But this research has taken a longer view and what we are most confident about from looking at the stretch of years is the overall rise,” he said.

The researchers at Maynooth, in collaboration with colleagues at UCC and DCU, are continuing to explore the reasons behind such fluctuations.

The researchers compared sea level records for Dublin Port, gauges at Arklow and Howth Harbour, and international datasets from the UK and France for their data quality checks.

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