Do climate models reproduce complexity of observed sea level changes?

Becker, M.; Karpytchev, M.; Marcos, M.; Jevrejeva, S. ORCID:; Lennartz-Sassinek, S.. 2016 Do climate models reproduce complexity of observed sea level changes? Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (10). 5176-5184.

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AGU Publisher statement: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. © 2016 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted doi:10.1002/2016GL068971
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The ability of Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) to capture the statistical behavior of sea level (SL) fluctuations has been assessed at the local scale. To do so, we have compared scaling behavior of the SL fluctuations simulated in the historical runs of 36 CMIP5 AOGCMs to that in the longest (>100 years) SL records from 23 tides gauges around the globe. The observed SL fluctuations are known to manifest a power law scaling. We have checked if the SL changes simulated in the AOGCM exhibit the same scaling properties and the long-term correlations as observed in the tide gauge records. We find that the majority of AOGCMs overestimates the scaling of SL fluctuations, particularly in the North Atlantic. Consequently, AOGCMs, routinely used to project regional SL rise, may underestimate the part of the externally driven SL rise, in particular the anthropogenic footprint, in the projections for the 21st century.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00948276
Additional Keywords: CMIP5; AOGCM skill; sea level; long-term correlation; tide gauge
Date made live: 04 Aug 2016 10:47 +0 (UTC)

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