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Quantifying recent acceleration in sea level unrelated to internal climate variability

Quantifying recent acceleration in sea level unrelated to internal climate variability
Quantifying recent acceleration in sea level unrelated to internal climate variability
Sea level observations suggest that the rate of sea level rise has accelerated during the last 20?years. However, the presence of considerable decadal-scale variability, especially on a regional scale, makes it difficult to assess whether the observed changes are due to natural or anthropogenic causes. Here we use a regression model with atmospheric pressure, wind, and climate indices as independent variables to quantify the contribution of internal climate variability to the sea level at nine tide gauges from around the world for the period 1920–2011. Removing this contribution reveals a statistically significant acceleration (0.022?±?0.015?mm/yr2) between 1952 and 2011, which is unique over the whole period. Furthermore, we have found that the acceleration is increasing over time. This acceleration appears to be the result of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, along with changes in volcanic forcing and tropospheric aerosol loading.
sea level, acceleration, tide gauge, internal climate variability, external forcing
0094-8276
3661-3666
Calafat, F.M.
7c43d62a-c376-446c-93b4-87d4c1bd9d05
Chambers, D.P.
a27129a4-fcbb-4b56-96d4-a285ac7a23f6
Calafat, F.M.
7c43d62a-c376-446c-93b4-87d4c1bd9d05
Chambers, D.P.
a27129a4-fcbb-4b56-96d4-a285ac7a23f6

Calafat, F.M. and Chambers, D.P. (2013) Quantifying recent acceleration in sea level unrelated to internal climate variability. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (14), 3661-3666. (doi:10.1002/grl.50731).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Sea level observations suggest that the rate of sea level rise has accelerated during the last 20?years. However, the presence of considerable decadal-scale variability, especially on a regional scale, makes it difficult to assess whether the observed changes are due to natural or anthropogenic causes. Here we use a regression model with atmospheric pressure, wind, and climate indices as independent variables to quantify the contribution of internal climate variability to the sea level at nine tide gauges from around the world for the period 1920–2011. Removing this contribution reveals a statistically significant acceleration (0.022?±?0.015?mm/yr2) between 1952 and 2011, which is unique over the whole period. Furthermore, we have found that the acceleration is increasing over time. This acceleration appears to be the result of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, along with changes in volcanic forcing and tropospheric aerosol loading.

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More information

Published date: 28 July 2013
Keywords: sea level, acceleration, tide gauge, internal climate variability, external forcing
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358829
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358829
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: 65716f5a-565b-481c-8b78-ddda41ad3072

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Oct 2013 15:30
Last modified: 18 Jul 2019 14:47

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