The sea level around South Korea has risen about 10 centimeters in the last 40 years, a clear sign of global warming impacting the environment, the country’s hydrographic administration said Wednesday.
According to the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration, which has kept tabs on mean sea levels over the years, the rise is linked to the melting polar ice caps, blamed on the warming of water temperatures. The organization added that natural erosion by waves and wind and the development of shorelines contributed to the changes, too.
The agency, which has kept detailed records since 2009, said that in 2015 the sea level in Korea rose an average of 2.48 millimeters. This is up from the 2.44 mm reported for 2014.
It said that sea levels rose the most along the southern coast, where gains reached 2.89 mm, followed by a 2.69 mm increase on the country’s eastern shore. Gains in the shallow Yellow Sea reached 1.31 mm.
By specific region, the sea level rose the most in Pohang, where numbers reached 5.82 mm for this year, and the least at Heuksan Island in the Yellow Sea, where the water level edged up just 0.15 mm this year.
The KHOA said that the rise is slightly higher than the average increase reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the world as a whole. The agency said that global sea levels moved up by 2 mm.
The administration said that it plans to strengthen its monitoring network so that it can provide relevant data and make predictions, as well as provide analysis about how best to respond to changes down the road.