Uncertainty in future regional sea level rise due to internal climate variability
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 40, Issue 11, pages 2768–2772, 16 June 2013
How to Cite
2013), Uncertainty in future regional sea level rise due to internal climate variability, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 2768–2772, doi:10.1002/grl.50531., and (
- Issue published online: 3 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 3 MAY 2013 07:42PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 30 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 25 MAR 2013
- sea level rise;
- internal climate variability
 Sea level rise (SLR) is an inescapable consequence of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, with potentially harmful effects on human populations in coastal and island regions. Observational evidence indicates that global sea level has risen in the 20th century, and climate models project an acceleration of this trend in the coming decades. Here we analyze rates of future SLR on regional scales in a 40-member ensemble of climate change projections with the Community Climate System Model Version 3. This unique ensemble allows us to assess uncertainty in the magnitude of 21st century SLR due to internal climate variability alone. We find that simulated regional SLR at mid-century can vary by a factor of 2 depending on location, with the North Atlantic and Pacific showing the greatest range. This uncertainty in regional SLR results primarily from internal variations in the wind-driven and buoyancy-driven ocean circulations.