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Is the definition of sea level changing to reflect when the water line moves due to climate change?

The current ocean water level varies but it is purportedly getting higher due to climate change. Does the term "sea level" used for relative measurements, also change or is it a static concept?

The point of my question is, if the sea moved up 10 inches over time, would the point that is considered "100 feet above sea level" also move accordingly, or would the line stay drawn in the sand even though the ocean level has moved 10 inches closer to it from the ground? Depending on how gradient the land is, that move could be a significant shift when you calculate what volume of land is above/below 100 feet above "sea level".

Also, is the "sea level" definition different in specific areas where the ocean is higher/lower or is it a uniform distance based on an acceptable range or average? That uniform distance, would it be somehwat spherical or flatter in some areas because the earth is not a perfect circle and the oceans are shifting due to the earths movements and temperature gradients?

NOTE: I am not looking for guesses or what you think the answers should be. This isn't a poll, it's a legitimate question. I would like scientific responses, and if possible, sources cited.

2 Answers

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  • Grace
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%B6hennormal

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-sea-level.htm

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/ear...

    Sea level is not always measured the same way. It is an average measured over long periods of time. So, the definition of sea level is not changing. The actual sea level is changing. It is relative to the land. I hope the links above help. I like the third one best.

    Source(s): Yahoo Search
  • 9 years ago

    Sea level refers to the level where the sea reaches the land, not some particular height or other. And the figure is only an approximation, seeing as the actual sea level is constantly changing due to tides either coming in or going out. "100 feet above sea level" is a good enough approximation for what might actually be 100 foot and ten inches at high tide. It's not meant to be precise.

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