Image: S. Nerem, University of Colorado (from NASA Site)
Forget a beach house in the Blue Mountains, perhaps Tim Flannery knew something when he bought his sea-level house on the Hawkesbury.
The red line in this image shows the long-term increase in global sea level since satellite altimeters began measuring it in the early 1990s. Since then, sea level has risen by a little more than an inch each decade, or about 3 millimeters per year. While most years have recorded a rise in global sea level, the recent drop of nearly a quarter of an inch, or half a centimeter, is attributable to the switch from El Niño to La Niña conditions in the Pacific. The insets show sea level changes in the Pacific Ocean caused by the recent El Niño and La Niña (see http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/elninopdo for more information on these images).