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The beaches of Rio

24 Jun 2020 | Science Notes

Kenneth Richard of NoTricksZone alerts us to a new paper reviewing evidence on sea levels in Sepetiba Bay, just south of Rio di Janeiro. Where the global warming memo evidently hasn’t arrived, because sea levels are declining, continuing a trend that started 5,000 years ago. Based on analysis of sediment layers in the area, the authors conclude that sea levels rose after the end of the last ice age and peaked five millennia back, then began trending downwards. By now sea levels along the south-east Brazilian coast are about 2 to 3 meters below where they used to be.

The new study provides a detailed description of the process of extracting the sediment cores and analysing them for indicators of nearby wave- and sea-level height. The new results line up well with other previous studies from the same area, all of which find a similar pattern, namely that today’s sea levels in Southeastern Brazil are nowhere close to the maximum over the current interglacial period, and are below even where they were in the Little Ice Age. So the girls and boys from Ipanema can keep walking along the sandy shores of Rio which are showing no signs of being submerged due to global-warming-induced sea level rise.

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