Contribution of climate-driven change in continental water storage to recent sea-level rise

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
By: , and 

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Abstract

Using a global model of continental water balance, forced by interannual variations in precipitation and near-surface atmospheric temperature for the period 1981-1998, we estimate the sea-level changes associated with climate-driven changes in storage of water as snowpack, soil water, and ground water; storage in ice sheets and large lakes is not considered. The 1981-1998 trend is estimated to be 0.12 mm/yr, and substantial interannual fluctuations are inferred; for 1993-1998, the trend is 0.25 mm/yr. At the decadal time scale, the terrestrial contribution to eustatic (i.e., induced by mass exchange) sea-level rise is significantly smaller than the estimated steric (i.e., induced by density changes) trend for the same period, but is not negligibly small. In the model the sea-level rise is driven mainly by a downtrend in continental precipitation during the study period, which we believe was generated by natural variability in the climate system.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Contribution of climate-driven change in continental water storage to recent sea-level rise
Series title Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DOI 10.1073/pnas.2134014100
Volume 100
Issue 23
Year Published 2003
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
First page 13158
Last page 13161