Jun 29, 2017

The increasing rate of global mean sea-level rise during 1993–2014

Xianyao Chen, Xuebin Zhang, John A. Church, Christopher S. Watson, Matt A. King, Didier Monselesan, Benoit Legresy, Christopher Harig
Nature Climate Change
  • States that global mean sea level (GMSL) has been rising at a faster rate during the satellite altimetry period (1993–2014) than previous decades, and is expected to accelerate further over the coming century
  • States that however, the accelerations observed over century and longer periods have not been clearly detected in altimeter data spanning the past two decades
  • Shows that the rise, from the sum of all observed contributions to GMSL, increases from 2.2 ± 0.3 mm yr−1 in 1993 to 3.3 ± 0.3 mm yr−1 in 2014
  • This result is in approximate agreement with observed increase in GMSL rise, 2.4 ± 0.2 mm yr−1(1993) to 2.9 ± 0.3 mm yr−1(2014), from satellite observations that have been adjusted for small systematic drift
  • Finds that the mass contributions to GMSL increase from about 50% in 1993 to 70% in 2014
  • Finds that the largest, and statistically significant, increase comes from the contribution from the Greenland ice sheet, which is less than 5% of the GMSL rate during 1993 but more than 25% during 2014