Sea level extremes at the coasts of China

Feng, Xianbo; Tsimplis, Michael N.. 2014 Sea level extremes at the coasts of China. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119 (3). 1593-1608.

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Hourly sea level records from 1954 to 2012 at twenty tide gauges at and adjacent to the Chinese coasts are used to analyse extremes in sea level and in tidal residual. Tides and tropical cyclones determine the spatial distribution of sea level maxima. Tidal residual maxima are predominantly determined by tropical cyclones. The 50-year return level is found to be sensitive to the number of extreme events used in the estimation. This is caused by the small number of tropical cyclone events happening each year which lead to other local storm events included thus significantly affecting the estimates. Significant increase in sea level extremes is found with trends in the range between 2.0-14.1 mm yr-1. The trends are primarily driven by changes in median sea level but also linked with increases in tidal amplitudes at three stations. Tropical cyclones cause significant interannual variations in the extremes. The interannual variability in the sea level extremes is also influenced by the changes in median sea level at the north and by the 18.6-year nodal cycle at the South China Sea. Neither of PDO and ENSO is found to be an indicator of changes in the size of extremes, but ENSO appears to regulate the number of tropical cyclones that reach the Chinese coasts. Global mean atmospheric temperature appears to be a good descriptor of the interannual variability of tidal residual extremes induced by tropical cyclones but the trend in global temperature is inconsistent with the lack of trend in the residuals.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 2169-9291
Additional Keywords: sea level extremes; tropical cyclones; ENSO
Date made live: 24 Feb 2014 14:04 +0 (UTC)

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