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Persistent acceleration in global sea-level rise since the 1960s

Dangendorf, Sönke; Hay, Carling; Mir Calafat, Francisco; Marcos, Marta; Piecuch, Christopher G.; Berk, Kevin; Jensen, Jürgen. 2019 Persistent acceleration in global sea-level rise since the 1960s. Nature Climate Change, 9 (9). 705-710. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0531-8

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Abstract/Summary

Previous studies reconstructed twentieth-century global mean sea level (GMSL) from sparse tide-gauge records to understand whether the recent high rates obtained from satellite altimetry are part of a longer-term acceleration. However, these analyses used techniques that can only accurately capture either the trend or the variability in GMSL, but not both. Here we present an improved hybrid sea-level reconstruction during 1900–2015 that combines previous techniques at time scales where they perform best. We find a persistent acceleration in GMSL since the 1960s and demonstrate that this is largely (~76%) associated with sea-level changes in the Indo-Pacific and South Atlantic. We show that the initiation of the acceleration in the 1960s is tightly linked to an intensification and a basin-scale equatorward shift of Southern Hemispheric westerlies, leading to increased ocean heat uptake, and hence greater rates of GMSL rise, through changes in the circulation of the Southern Ocean.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0531-8
ISSN: 1758-678X
Date made live: 27 Sep 2019 10:43 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/525251

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