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Title: Spatial Patterns of Sea Level Variability Associated with Natural Internal Climate Modes

Sea level rise (SLR) can exert significant stress on highly populated coastal societies and low-lying island countries around the world. Because of this, there is huge societal demand for improved decadal predictions and future projections of SLR, particularly on a local scale along coastlines. Regionally, sea level variations can deviate considerably from the global mean due to various geophysical processes. These include changes of ocean circulations, which partially can be attributed to natural, internal modes of variability in the complex Earth’s climate system. Anthropogenic influence may also contribute to regional sea level variations. Separating the effects of natural climate modes and anthropogenic forcing, however, remains a challenge and requires identification of the imprint of specific climate modes in observed sea level change patterns. In this article, we review our current state of knowledge about spatial patterns of sea level variability associated with natural climate modes on interannual-to-multidecadal timescales, with particular focus on decadal-to-multidecadal variability. Relevant climate modes and our current state of understanding their associated sea level patterns and driving mechanisms are elaborated separately for the Pacific, the Indian, the Atlantic, and the Arctic and Southern Oceans. We also discuss the issues, challenges and future outlooks for understanding the regionalmore » sea level patterns associated with climate modes. Effects of these internal modes have to be taken into account in order to achieve more reliable near-term predictions and future projections of regional SLR.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States). Climate and Global Division
  3. Univ. of Hamburg (Germany). Inst. of Oceanography and Oceanography, Remote Sensing of the Earth System and Coupled Climate Assimilation
  4. Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk, VA (United States). Dept. of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Science
  5. Spatial Geophysics and Oceanography Studies Lab. (LEGOS), The Observatory Midi-Pyrénées (OMP), National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), Toulouse (France)
  6. Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States). Sea Level Center
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FC02-97ER62402; 1446480; 1558736; NNX13AR74H
Published Article
Journal Name:
Surveys in Geophysics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 38; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0169-3298
Research Org:
Univ. Corp. for Atmospheric Research (UCAR); National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); Univ. of Hamburg (Germany); National Science Foundation (NSF); German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); European Commission (EC); German Research Foundation (DFG); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); National Centre for Space Studies (CNES); International Space Science Inst. (ISSI)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Spatial patterns of sea level; Climate modes; Decadal sea level variability; Regional sea level change
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1427770