Climate scientists at a federally-funded research institute say a massive volcanic eruption during the early 1990s “masked” the acceleration in sea level rise due to man-made global warming.

Scientists with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) say the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo “masked the acceleration that would have otherwise occurred” in sea level rise due to global warming. They also said sea level rise will get even worse as the world warms.

“This study shows that large volcanic eruptions can significantly impact the satellite record of global average sea level change,” Steve Nerem with the University of Colorado Boulder, where NCAR is located, said in a statement.

“So we must be careful to consider these effects when we look for the effects of climate change in the satellite-based sea level record,” Nerem said.

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