Sea level rise:
Overview of the science
Some emphasis on the
Gary T. Mitchum
College of Marine Science
University of South Florida
Sea Level Change
Precipitation over Oceans
Runoff from Continents
Evaporation from Oceans
Precipitation over Continents
Comparison of altimeter-derived global mean sea level curves
Altimeters deal directly with the volume redistribution problem
Rate > 3 mm/yr
1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010
Observations of global sea level change
Tide gauges give a rate of 1.5 – 2 mm/yr
over the second half of the 20 th century.
Altimeters (and tide gauges) give a rate
of > 3 mm/yr over 1992 to present.
Is the recent increase in the global rate
Sea level change in our region
Two main points:
1)Land motion is large in some places!
2) Pretty close to the global rate
Projections of future sea level change
Ice is the gotcha, of course.
What can we say now, and what might
we be able to say in 5-10 years?
Antarctic mass balance?
Measuring Sea Level Changes