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John Bratton (WHFC) is in the News

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(Modified from OCEANSP@CE Issue 177, Monday, October 11, 1999.)

Global Warming Can Make Sea Level Plunge!

On October 7, 1999, BBC Online carried news of research by John Bratton of the USGS (published in the journal Geology) on the possibility that global warming can lead to a dramatic fall in sea level. John says the process behind it could slightly offset the sea-level rise that is predicted to flood low-lying areas of the world. The BBC report is quick to point out that a fall in sea level is unlikely to happen in the near future, but points out that global warming could also explain mysterious plunges in sea level during warmer periods in the Earth's geological past. Melting of clathrates, the sea-floor crystals of ice that enclose gases such as methane, could cause the sea-level falls. When the crystals melt, the gases bubble away and other gases trapped in the ocean sediments below could also be released. More information can be found on BBC News Online. John has also been contacted by BBC-TV, the White House Office of Science and Technology, and Discover magazine. The Geology article citation is Bratton, John F., 1999, Clathrate eustasy: Methane hydrate melting as a mechanism for geologically rapid sea-level fall: Geology, vol. 27, no. 10, p. 915-918.


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Global Warming Can Make Sea Level Plunge!
BBC News Online

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