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The sea level has been rising and falling over the last 2,500 years
Date:1/26/2010

"Rising and falling sea levels over relatively short periods do not indicate long-term trends. An assessment of hundreds and thousands of years shows that what seems an irregular phenomenon today is in fact nothing new," explains Dr. Dorit Sivan, who supervised the research.*

The sea level in Israel has been rising and falling over the past 2,500 years, with a one-meter difference between the highest and lowest levels, most of the time below the present-day level. This has been shown in a new study supervised by Dr. Dorit Sivan, Head of the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa. "Rises and falls in sea level over relatively short periods do not testify to a long-term trend. It is early yet to conclude from the short-term increases in sea level that this is a set course that will not take a change in direction," explains Dr. Sivan.

The rising sea level is one of the phenomena that have most influence on humankind: the rising sea not only floods the littoral regions but also causes underground water salinization, flooded effluents, accelerated coastal destruction, and other damage.

According to Dr. Sivan, the changing sea level can be attributed to three main causes: the global cause the volume of water in the ocean, which mirrors the mass of ice sheets and is related to global warming or cooling; the regional cause vertical movement of the earth's surface, which is usually related to the pressure placed on the surface by the ice; and the local cause vertical tectonic activity. Seeing as Israel is not close to former ice caps and the tectonic activity along the Mediterranean coast is negligible over these periods, it can be concluded that drastic changes in Israel's sea levels are mainly related to changes in the volume of water.

In the present study, in light of earlier studies, research student Ayelet Toker and Dr. Sivan, set out to examine Israel's sea level over the past 2,500 years, based on
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Contact: Rachel Feldman
rfeldman@univ.haifa.ac.il
972-482-88722
University of Haifa
Source:Eurekalert  

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