94 research outputs found

    Unraveling regional patterns of sea level acceleration over the China Seas

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    Accelerated sea level rise is placing coastal communities in a vulnerable position; however, the processes underlying sea level acceleration in China remain uncertain. In this study, we examine the sea level acceleration and its contributors over the China Seas. We calculate acceleration along the Chinese coast using satellite altimetry and tide gauge records. During the satellite altimetry era, sea level acceleration from tide gauge records varies across all stations, reaching up to 0.30 ± 0.20 mm/yr2, while satellite altimetry could underestimate/overestimate the sea level acceleration in most locations. Acceleration near the coast, except in the Bohai Sea, is mainly driven by changes in the mass component. In contrast, for the open ocean, changes in steric sea level are the main contributor to sea level acceleration. The evolution of spatial acceleration patterns over the China Seas reveals that the ENSO and PDO variabilities dominate the changing patterns of sea level acceleration in the open ocean, including the Philippine Sea through steric sea level, and changes in most coastal locations are due to the non-steric component

    Future sea level rise dominates changes in worst case extreme sea levels along the global coastline by 2100

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    We provide the magnitude of a worst case scenario for extreme sea levels (ESLs) along the global coastline by 2100. This worst case scenario for ESLs is calculated as a combination of sea surface height associated with storm surge and wave (100 year return period, the 95th percentile), high tide (the 95th percentile) and a low probability sea level rise scenario (the 95th percentile). Under these conditions, end-of-21st century ESLs have a 5% chance of exceeding 4.2 m (global coastal average), compared to 2.6 m during the baseline period (1980–2014). By 2100 almost 45% of the global coastline would experience ESLs above the global mean of 4.2 m, with up to 9–10 m for the East China Sea, Japan and North European coastal areas. Up to 86% of coastal locations would face ESLs above 3 m (100 year return period) by 2100, compared to 33% currently. Up to 90% of increases in magnitude of ESLs are driven by future sea level rise, compare to 10% associated with changes in storm surges and waves. By 2030–2040 the present-day 100 year return period for ESLs would be experienced at least once a year in tropical areas. This 100-fold increase in frequency will take place on all global coastlines by 2100

    Dynamic sea-level changes and potential implications for storm surges in the UK: a storylines perspective

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    Global sea-level rise caused by a warming climate increases flood risk from storm surge events for those who live in coastal and low-lying areas. Estimates of global thermosteric sea-level rises are well constrained by model projections, but local variability in dynamic sea-level arising from seasonal and interannual changes is less well characterised. In this paper we use satellite altimetry observations coupled with CMIP6 model projections to understand drivers of change in dynamic sea-level over the UK shelf seas. We find a northward shift in the atmospheric jet stream and a weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to be the key drivers of local dynamic sea-level variability. Using a storyline approach to constrain climate system responses to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, we find that dynamic sea-level is predicted to rise between 15-39 cm by 2080-2099 along the east coast of England (ECE). Under a worst-case scenario, assuming maximum variability as seen in the CMIP6 projections, ECE dynamic sea-level rise could reach 58 cm by 2100. We illustrate the impact of this dynamic sea-level rise in addition to non-dynamic components on the risks posed by storm surge events in ECE using an idealised example. If a storm surge event of the magnitude of the one experienced in ECE on the 5th of December 2013 was to occur in 2100, an additional 1414 km2 of land would potentially be affected in our worst-case idealised example, 22.4 % of which can be attributed to dynamic sea-level rise

    Are near-coastal sea levels accelerating faster than global during the satellite altimetry era?

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    Impact and risk assessments in coastal areas are informed by current and future sea level rise and acceleration, which demands a better understanding of drivers for regional sea level acceleration. In our study, we analyze the near-coastal sea level acceleration compared with global values during satellite altimetry (1993–2020) and discuss the potential drivers of regional sea level acceleration. We estimate regional sea level acceleration using high-resolution satellite altimetry sea surface height anomalies. Our study reveals a wide range of regional acceleration estimates, varying from −1.2 to 1.2 mm·yr−2, which can be up to 20 times larger or smaller than the global mean sea level acceleration of 0.07 mm·yr−2. Notably, sea level acceleration near the global coastline is calculated at 0.10 ± 0.03 mm·yr−2, exceeding the global mean sea level acceleration by 40%. Regional patterns of sea level acceleration are in good agreement with acceleration patterns calculated from the steric sea level. However, the magnitude of acceleration is only partially explained by the changes in steric sea level, with increasing contributions from the non-steric component

    Socio-oceanography: an opportunity to integrate marine social and natural sciences

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    Marine natural sciences have been instrumental in helping society understand how ocean systems operate and the threats they face. However, there is a growing realisation that the societal challenges related to the marine environment can only be addressed through more effective integration with all aspects of social sciences. Nevertheless, to date, social sciences remain insufficiently integrated into marine research. Recognising historical weaknesses and drawing on the authors’ own experience of interdisciplinary research, albeit writing primarily from a natural marine science perspective, we propose a series of steps to promote integrated marine research inclusive of strong social science. We suggest that changing the perspectives and attitudes of natural scientists is key. The inherent interconnectivity between the ocean and society ensures that nearly everything we do in the marine natural sciences has the potential to influence and, perhaps address, ongoing and future societal challenges. Consequently, a key challenge for natural scientists is to recognise and communicate this in an accessible manner outside their own disciplines. To attempt to address these issues, we introduce the concept of “Socio-oceanography” which we define as an area of research that takes a “whole system” approach to the marine environment. It focuses on the challenges which require advancement of both natural and social science components, especially on those where the feedbacks between social and natural components are beginning to emerge. Here, we discuss its scope, challenges to its effective application and key steps to catalyse interdisciplinary approaches using this concept

    Global Oceans

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    The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) and heat transport (MHT) have been observed (Fig. 3.21) at several trans-basin and western boundary moored arrays (e.g., Frajka-Williams et al. 2019; Berx et al. 2021; Hummels et al. 2022), as well as by synthesizing in situ and satellite altimetry measurements at several latitudes (Hobbs and Willis 2012; Sanchez-Franks et al. 2021; Dong et al. 2021; Kersalé et al. 2021). Here we provide updates on the MOC and MHT estimates from the Rapid Climate Change/MOC and Heatflux Array/Western Boundary Time Series (RAPID-MOCHA-WBTS) moored array at 26.5°N and from the synthetic approach at 41°N and at several latitudes in the South Atlantic. While updates for the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program and the South Atlantic MOC Basin-wide Array at 34.5°S are pending, we report on recent advances in observing the variability of flows comprising the lower limb of the North Atlantic MOC, including the Meridional Overturning Variability Experiment (MOVE, 16°N)

    Dynamic sea-level changes and potential implications for storm surges in the UK: a storylines perspective

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    Global sea-level rise caused by a warming climate increases flood risk from storm surge events for those who live in coastal and low-lying areas. Estimates of global thermosteric sea-level rises are well constrained by model projections, but local variability in dynamic sea-level arising from seasonal and interannual changes is less well characterised. In this paper we use satellite altimetry observations coupled with CMIP6 model projections to understand drivers of change in dynamic sea-level over the UK shelf seas. We find a northward shift in the atmospheric jet stream and a weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation to be the key drivers of local dynamic sea-level variability. Using a storyline approach to constrain climate system responses to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, we find that dynamic sea-level is predicted to rise between 15–39 cm by 2080–2099 along the east coast of England (ECE). Under a worst-case scenario, assuming maximum variability as seen in the CMIP6 projections, ECE dynamic sea-level rise could reach 58 cm by 2100. We illustrate the impact of this dynamic sea-level rise in addition to non-dynamic components on the risks posed by storm surge events in ECE using an idealised example. If a storm surge event of the magnitude of the one experienced in ECE on the 5th of December 2013 was to occur in 2100, an additional 1414 km2 of land would potentially be affected in our worst-case idealised example, 22.4% of which can be attributed to dynamic sea-level rise

    State of the UK Climate 2022

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    This report provides a summary of the UK's weather and climate through the calendar year 2022, alongside the historical context for a number of essential climate variables. This is the ninth in a series of annual ‘State of the UK Climate’ publications and an update to the 2021 report (Kendon et al., 2022). It provides an accessible, authoritative and up-to-date assessment of UK climate trends, variations and extremes based on the most up-to-date observational datasets of climate quality

    Thermosteric and dynamic sea level under solar geoengineering

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    Abstract The IPCC sixth assessment report forecasts sea level rise (SLR) of up to 2 m along coasts by 2100 relative to 1995–2014 following business as usual (SSP585) scenarios. Geoengineering may reduce this threat. We use five Earth System Models simulations of two different solar geoengineering methods (solar dimming and stratospheric sulfate aerosol injection), that offset radiative forcing differences between SSP585 “no-mitigation” and the modest mitigation SSP245 greenhouse gas scenarios, to analyze the impact on global mean thermosteric and dynamic regional sea levels. By 2080–2099, both forms of geoengineering reduce global mean thermosteric sea level by 36–41% (11.2–12.6 cm) relative to SSP585, bringing the global mean SLR under SSP585 in line with that under SSP245, but do not perfectly restore regional SLR patterns. Some of the largest reductions (∼18 cm) are on densely populated coasts of eastern Northern America and Japan and along vulnerable Arctic coastal permafrost
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