Internal Climate Variability and Projected Future Regional Steric and Dynamic Sea Level Rise

TitleInternal Climate Variability and Projected Future Regional Steric and Dynamic Sea Level Rise
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Number1
Date Published03/2018
Abstract / Summary

Observational evidence points to a warming global climate accompanied by rising sea levels which impose significant impacts on island and coastal communities. Studies suggest that internal climate processes can modulate projected future sea level rise (SLR) regionally. It is not clear whether this modulation depends on the future climate pathways. Here, by analyzing two sets of ensemble simulations from a climate model, we investigate the potential reduction of SLR, as a result of steric and dynamic oceanographic effects alone, achieved by following a lower emission scenario instead of business-as-usual one over the twenty-first century and how it may be modulated regionally by internal climate variability. Results show almost no statistically significant difference in steric and dynamic SLR on both global and regional scales in the near-term between the two scenarios, but statistically significant SLR reduction for the global mean and many regions later in the century (2061–2080). However, there are regions where the reduction is insignificant, such as the Philippines and west of Australia, that are associated with ocean dynamics and intensified internal variability due to external forcing.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03474-8
DOI10.1038/s41467-018-03474-8
Journal: Nature Communications
Year of Publication: 2018
Volume: 9
Number: 1
Date Published: 03/2018

Observational evidence points to a warming global climate accompanied by rising sea levels which impose significant impacts on island and coastal communities. Studies suggest that internal climate processes can modulate projected future sea level rise (SLR) regionally. It is not clear whether this modulation depends on the future climate pathways. Here, by analyzing two sets of ensemble simulations from a climate model, we investigate the potential reduction of SLR, as a result of steric and dynamic oceanographic effects alone, achieved by following a lower emission scenario instead of business-as-usual one over the twenty-first century and how it may be modulated regionally by internal climate variability. Results show almost no statistically significant difference in steric and dynamic SLR on both global and regional scales in the near-term between the two scenarios, but statistically significant SLR reduction for the global mean and many regions later in the century (2061–2080). However, there are regions where the reduction is insignificant, such as the Philippines and west of Australia, that are associated with ocean dynamics and intensified internal variability due to external forcing.

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03474-8
Citation:
Hu, A, and S Bates.  2018.  "Internal Climate Variability and Projected Future Regional Steric and Dynamic Sea Level Rise."  Nature Communications 9(1).  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03474-8.