As Earth warms, melting glaciers and ice sheets pour water into the oceans, raising sea levels around the world. At the same time, the weight of all that extra water is pushing down the sea bottom. Researchers recently investigated how melted ice flowing from land may have affected the shape of the ocean floor between 1993 and the end of 2014.
They discovered that global ocean basins deformed an average of 0.004 inches (0.1 millimeter) per year, with a total deformation of 0.08 inches (2 mm) over two decades. As satellite measurements of changes in sea level don’t account for a lower ocean bottom, these findings suggest that prior studies’ data could be underestimating sea level rise by approximately 8 percent, the scientists reported.
A mineral that had never been seen before in nature recently emerged in a tiny diamond excavated in South Africa’s Cullinan mine. Though measuring only 0.1 inches (3 millimeters) in length, the diamond holds a wealth of information for geologists about this rare mineral, known as calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3).