THE latest science on sea level rises has found no link to global warming and no increase in the rate of glacier melt over the past 100 years.
A paper published last month in Journal of Climate highlights one of the great uncertainties in climate change research - will ocean levels rise by more than the current 3mm a year?
The peer-reviewed article, "20th-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?" by JM Gregory, sought to explain the factors involved in sea-level rises during the last century. It found that sea-level rises had not accelerated "despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing" or human influence.
Australia's pre-eminent sea-level scientist, John Church, contributed to the paper, which said it could not link climate change and the rate of sea-level rises in the 20th century.
Australia is at the forefront of global research on sea-level rises, but must double its funding to $10 million a year to match other countries in the search for an answer.
There is no dispute that sea levels are rising and significant concerns about what the recent increased rate of melt of Arctic ice might mean. But the key question is whether the rate of sea-level rise will accelerate and, if so, when and by how much?
Australian optical space tracking technology developed to help manage remotely operated weapons systems is playing a key role in a global satellite monitoring program.
Ben Greene, a doctor of theoretical physics, said Australia was already a world leader in measuring sea levels.
"We have the precisions with what we are doing to measure sea level rises averaged over a decade," he said. "What we need to know is what the acceleration is."