Jan 23, 2014

Rapid changes in the seasonal sea level cycle along the US Gulf coast from the late 20th century

Wahl, Thomas, Calafat, Francisco M., Luther, Mark E.
Geophysical Research Letters
  • Investigates temporal variations of the seasonal sea level harmonics throughout the 20th and early 21st century along the United States Gulf coast
  • Finds significant amplification of the annual sea level cycle from the 1990s onward, with both lower winter and higher summer sea levels in the eastern Gulf
  • Explores the mechanisms driving the decadal variability and recent increase in the annual cycle
  • Results suggest that changes in the air surface temperature toward warmer summers and colder winters and changes in mean sea level pressure explain most of the amplitude increase
  • Finds that changes in the seasonal sea level cycle are shown to have almost doubled the risk of hurricane induced flooding associated with sea level rise since the 1990s for the eastern and north-eastern Gulf of Mexico coastlines