Test Your Knowledge of Sea-Level Rise

Take this five-question quiz and see how much you know! [See the answers below]

1. About half of observed sea-level rise in the region is due to sinking land.
TRUE or FALSE?

2.
Most scientists expect the rate of sea-level rise to stay the same the next 100 years.
TRUE or FALSE?


3. Global sea levels have never been higher than they are today.

TRUE or FALSE?


4. Climate change is one of the causes of observed changes in sea-level rise.

TRUE or FALSE?


5. Current sea-level rise is entirely the result of natural cyclical processes.
TRUE or FALSE?





Answers:

1. TRUE; For Chesapeake Bay subsidence rate estimates, including Annapolis, see page 25. Boon, J. D., Brubaker, J. M., & Forrest, D. R. (2010). Chesapeake Bay land subsidence and sea level change: An evaluation of past and present trends and future outlook.  Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA.

2. FALSE; “Sea level is projected to rise at an even greater rate in this century," page 409. Bindoff, N. L., Willebrand, J., Artale, V. Cazenave, A., Gregory, J., Gulev, S., Hanawa, K., Le Quéré, C., Levitus, S., Nojiri, Y., Shum, C.K., Talley, L.D., & Unnikrishnan, A. (2007). Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level. In S. Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor & H.L. Miller (Eds.), Climate change 2007: The physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press.; "Results of climate model studies suggest sea-level rise in the twenty-first century will significantly exceed rates over the past century,” page 11. CCSP. (2009). Coastal sensitivity to sea-level rise: A focus on the mid-Atlantic region. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. J. G. Titus (Coordinating Lead Author), K. E. Anderson, D. R. Cahoon, D. B. Gesch, S. K. Gill, B. T. Gutierrez, E. R. Thieler, & S. J. Williams (Lead Authors). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

3. FALSE; “The last interglacial period, Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e, was characterized by global mean surface temperatures that were at least 2 _C warmer than present. Mean sea level stood 4–6m higher than modern sea level," page 38. Rohling, E. J., Grant, K., Hemleben, Ch., Siddall, M., Hoogakker, B. A. A., Bolshaw, M., & Kucera, M. (2008). High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period. Nature Geoscience 1, 38 – 42.

4. TRUE: "Sea-level rise is the combination of the increase in volume of water as a result of global warming and decrease in size of the ocean basins due to mid-ocean ridge spreading," page 4. Maryland Commission on Climate Change. (2008). Comprehensive strategy for reducing Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change, Phase I: Sea level rise and coastal storms. Report of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change Adaptation and Response Working Group. 

5. FALSE; Consensus in the climate science community is that the global climate is changing, mostly due to mankind’s increased emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, from burning of fossil fuels and land-use change (measurements show a 25 percent increase in the last century). Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, but the effects of climate change are highly variable across regions and difficult to predict with high confidence based on limited observations over time and space. Two effects of atmospheric warming on coasts, whichare relevant at regional, national, and global scales, are sea-level rise and an increase in major cyclone intensity," page 11. CCSP. (2009). Coastal sensitivity to sea-level rise: A focus on the mid-Atlantic region. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. J. G. Titus (Coordinating Lead Author), K. E. Anderson, D. R. Cahoon, D. B. Gesch, S. K. Gill, B. T. Gutierrez, E. R. Thieler, & S. J. Williams (Lead Authors). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.