Aug 11, 2014

Detection and attribution of global mean thermosteric sea level change

Aimée B. A. Slangen, John A. Church, Xuebin Zhang, Didier Monselesan
Geophysical Research Letters
  • States that changes in sea level are driven by a range of natural and anthropogenic forcings
  • Compares three observational data sets to experiments of 28 climate models with up to five different forcing scenarios for 1957–2005 to better understand the response of global mean thermosteric sea level change to these forcings
  • Uses the preindustrial control runs to determine the internal climate variability
  • The analysis shows that anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol forcing are required to explain the magnitude of the observed sea level changes for 1957-2005, while natural forcing drives most of the externally forced variability
  • Finds that the experiments that include anthropogenic and natural forcings capture the observed increased trend toward the end of the twentieth century best
  • Finds the observed changes can be explained by scaling the natural‐only experiment by 0.70 ± 0.30 and the anthropogenic‐only experiment (including opposing forcing from greenhouse gases and aerosols) by 1.08 ± 0.13(±2σ)