Despite skeptic assertions to the contrary, multiple measurements - using both satellites and tide gauges - show a rise in global sea levels. On average, since 1993, the sea has been rising by 3.18 mm per year, primarily as a consequence of thermal expansion due to warming, and to the melting of ice sheets.
However, this rise contains marked spatial and temporal variations. Regionally and locally, changes may be greater or lower, affected not only by thermal expansion but factors ranging from local wind patterns to the mining of groundwater aquifers. In late 2010 and early 2011, sea levels underwent a sharp fall, a fact that was gleefully leaped upon by skeptics; but NASA researchers pointed out that 2010 saw a transition from a strong El Niño to "one of the strongest La Niñas in recent memory."
This sudden shift in the Pacific "changed rainfall patterns all across the globe, bringing massive floods to places like Australia and the Amazon basin." The water to power that rainfall came from the ocean, the level of which consequently dipped. Since then, sea level has resumed rising at an accelerated clip of approximately 10 mm a year. Researchers believe that, even as the overall trend will remain clearly upward, it may increasingly manifest in rapid short-term divergences - deeper potholes, such as that of 2010-11, and steeper speed bumps, such as the one we are witnessing now.