"We can say with 95 per cent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries," said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several US and global universities. Kopp said it's not that seas rose faster before that - they probably didn't - but the ability to say that with the same level confidence declines.
The study was published on yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Seas rose about 14cm from 1900 to 2000, the new study suggests, or about 1.4mm a year. The current rate, according to NASA, is 3.4mm a year, suggesting that sea level rise is still accelerating.