News Articles

Jason-2 tracks sea levels down to a millimetre

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DE BILT — A new satellite, the Jason 2, will be providing exact data on sea levels anywhere in the world. The UN climate agency IPCC anticipates a sea level rise of 18 to 59 centimetres during the course of the 21st century, making such data collection a crucial matter for the low lying Delta regions in the world of which the Netherlands is just one. The rise was 17 centimetres in the 20th century. The Dutch meteorological institute KNMI is assuming for now that the rise on the Dutch coast could even still more pronounced than the global average. Using IPCC data, the De Bilt-based weather agency has calculated that the rise in the North Sea could be in the range of 35 to 85 centimetres. Various underlying factors could contribute to a greater rise than foreseen by the IPCC, the KNMI warns, adding another 10 to 20 centimetres to the anticipated new sea levels. Among these factors are the volume expansion of warmer sea water, runoffs from melting glaciers and ice caps, and the shrinking ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica. The Jason-2 uses new radar technology which is able to track sea level variances down to one millimeter.