A new report in Nature finds that the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report actually under estimated sea level rise and increases in ocean temperatures.
The results are reported in the June 19 edition of the journal Nature. An international team of researchers, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory climate scientist Peter Gleckler, compared climate models with improved observations that show sea levels rose by 1.5 millimeters per year in the period from 1961-2003. That equates to an approximately 2_-inch increase in ocean levels in a 42-year span.
The ocean warming and thermal expansion rates are more than 50 percent larger than previous estimates for the upper 300 meters of oceans.
The research corrected for small but systematic biases recently discovered in the global ocean observing system, and uses statistical techniques that "infill" information in data-sparse regions. The results increase scientists' confidence in ocean observations and further demonstrate that climate models simulate ocean temperature variability more realistically than previously thought.