Regional Sea Level Changes Projected by the NASA/GISS Atmosphere-Ocean Model


Sea level has been rising for the past century, and inhabitants of the Earth's coastal regions will want to understand and predict future sea level changes. In this study we present results from new simulations of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) global atmosphere-ocean model from 1950 to 2099. Model results are compared with observed sea level changes during the past 40 years at 17 coastal stations around the world. Using observed levels of greenhouse gases between 1950 and 1990 and a compounded 0.5% annual increase in Co2 after 1990, model projections show that global sea level measured from 1950 will rise by 61 mm in the year 2000, by 212 mm in 2050, and by 408 mm in 2089. By 2089, two thirds of the global sea level rise will be due to thermal expansion and one third will be due to ocean mass changes. The spatial distribution of sea level rise is different than that projected by rigid lid ocean models

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