Sea level rise Overview of the science

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Sea level rise: Overview of the science - Florida Sea Grant

Sea level rise:

Overview of the science

Some emphasis on the

southeastern US

Gary T. Mitchum

Physical Oceanographer

College of Marine Science

University of South Florida


Sea Level Change

Heat flux

Precipitation over Oceans

Runoff from Continents

Volume

redistribution

Grounded ice

melting

-

Evaporation from Oceans

Precipitation over Continents


Comparison of altimeter-derived global mean sea level curves

Altimeters deal directly with the volume redistribution problem

30

20

10

NOAA

GSFC

AVISO

CSR

CCAR

MSL (mm)

0

-10

-20

-30

Rate > 3 mm/yr

1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010

Year


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

historically anomalous?


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

LASER

ALTIMETER

GRAVITY

ARGO

Uplift/Subsidence

GPS

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