A High-End Estimate of Sea Level Rise for Practitioners

van de Wal, R. S. W., Nicholls, R. J., Behar, D., McInnes, K., Stammer, D., Lowe, J. A., Church, J. A., DeConto, R., Fettweis, X., Goelzer, H., Haasnoot, M., Haigh, I. D., Hinkel, J., Horton, B. P., James, T. S., Jenkins, Adrian, LeCozannet, G., Levermann, A., Lipscomb, W. H., Marzeion, B., Pattyn, F., Payne, T., Pfeffer, T., Price, S. F., Seroussi, H., Sun, Sainan, Veatch, W. and White, K. (2022) A High-End Estimate of Sea Level Rise for Practitioners. Earth's Future, 10 (11). e2022EF002751. ISSN 2328-4277

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1029/2022ef002751


Sea-level rise (SLR) is a long-lasting consequence of climate change because global anthropogenic warming takes centuries to millennia to equilibrate for the deep ocean and ice sheets. SLR projections based on climate models support policy analysis, risk assessment and adaptation planning today, despite their large uncertainties. The central range of the SLR distribution is estimated by process-based models. However, risk-averse practitioners often require information about plausible future conditions that lie in the tails of the SLR distribution, which are poorly defined by existing models. Here, a community effort combining scientists and practitioners builds on a framework of discussing physical evidence to quantify high-end global SLR for practitioners. The approach is complementary to the IPCC AR6 report and provides further physically plausible high-end scenarios. High-end estimates for the different SLR components are developed for two climate scenarios at two timescales. For global warming of +2 ˚C in 2100 (RCP2.6/SSP1-2.6) relative to pre-industrial values our high-end global SLR estimates are up to 0.9 m in 2100 and 2.5 m in 2300. Similarly, for a (RCP8.5/SSP5-8.5) we estimate up to 1.6 m in 2100 and up to 10.4 m in 2300. The large and growing differences between the scenarios beyond 2100 emphasize the long-term benefits of mitigation. However, even a modest 2 ˚C warming may cause multi-meter SLR on centennial time scales with profound consequences for coastal areas. Earlier high-end assessments focused on instability mechanisms in Antarctica, while here we emphasize the importance of the timing of ice shelf collapse around Antarctica. This is highly uncertain due to low understanding of the driving processes. Hence both process understanding and emission scenario control high-end SLR.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work is partially supported by the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research, a joint research centre between the QNLM and the CSIRO, and Australian Research Council’s Discovery Project funding scheme (projectDP190101173). This work is alo supported by PROTECT the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 869304. IH’s time was funded through the UK Met Office Grant, Climate Resilience –High-impact story lines and scenarios for risk assessment and planning (CR20-4). AL has received funding from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union project RECEIPT (grant agreement 820712). KM involvement was supported by the Climate Systems Hub of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Programme (NESP). WHL has been supported by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is a major facility sponsored by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1852977. BMwas supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant no. MA 6966/1-2). FPT his is a contribution to the PARAMOUR project supported by the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique–FNRS under Grant number O0100718F (EOS ID 30454083). TSJ was supported by the Climate Change Geoscience Program of the Geological Survey of Canada.This is Natural Resource Canada contribution number 20210469. BPH was funded by the Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund MOE2019-T3-1-004. This work is Earth Observatory of Singapore contribution 480. J.C. was supported by the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research (CSHOR), jointly funded by the Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM, China) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Australia), and the Australian Research Council's Discovery Project funding scheme (project DP190101173 and the Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative, Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science (Project Number SR200100008). Rvd Wis financially supported by NPP. S.F.P.is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research program.This is PROTECT publication nr. x.
Subjects: F700 Ocean Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2022 10:26
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2022 09:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/50502

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