Twentieth-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?

Gregory, Jonathan, White, Neil, Church, John, Bierkens, Marc, Box, Jason, van den Broeke, Michiel, Cogley, Graham, Fettweis, Xavier, Hanna, Edward, Huybrechts, Philippe, Konikow, Leonard, Leclercq, Paul, Marzeion, Ben, Oerlemans, Johannes, Tamisiea, Mark, Wada, Yoshihide, Wake, Leanne and van de Wal, Roderik (2013) Twentieth-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts? Journal of Climate, 26 (13). pp. 4476-4499. ISSN 0894-8755

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1

Abstract

Confidence in projections of global-mean sea level rise (GMSLR) depends on an ability to account for GMSLR during the twentieth century. There are contributions from ocean thermal expansion, mass loss from glaciers and ice sheets, groundwater extraction, and reservoir impoundment. Progress has been made toward solving the “enigma” of twentieth-century GMSLR, which is that the observed GMSLR has previously been found to exceed the sum of estimated contributions, especially for the earlier decades. The authors propose the following: thermal expansion simulated by climate models may previously have been underestimated because of their not including volcanic forcing in their control state; the rate of glacier mass loss was larger than previously estimated and was not smaller in the first half than in the second half of the century; the Greenland ice sheet could have made a positive contribution throughout the century; and groundwater depletion and reservoir impoundment, which are of opposite sign, may have been approximately equal in magnitude. It is possible to reconstruct the time series of GMSLR from the quantified contributions, apart from a constant residual term, which is small enough to be explained as a long-term contribution from the Antarctic ice sheet. The reconstructions account for the observation that the rate of GMSLR was not much larger during the last 50 years than during the twentieth century as a whole, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semiempirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of the authors' closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the twentieth century.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Copyright[8 November 2012] American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyrights@ametsoc.org.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sea level, in situ oceanic observations, ship observations, surface observations, climate models, land surface model
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2013 14:05
Last Modified: 12 May 2017 05:02
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/13070

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