Atmospheric circulation key driver of observed regional sea level change

Seminar by Dr. Ingo Bethke from University of Bergen

14 February 2023
KST 10:30 – 11:30

The Seminar is being held in Room 1010 (Jasmin) – Integrated mechanical engineering building. Click here for the campus map.

Anthropogenic ocean warming and land ice melting is certain to cause regional sea level changes with societal impacts. Regional trends from climate models, however, poorly match the 30-year satellite record, limiting confidence in regional future projections.

In this talk, I will show that imposing realistic atmospheric circulation variability in an Earth system model greatly reduces this mismatch and reproduces leading large-scale observed sea level change features. Removing the simulated atmospheric circulation driven signal from the observations reveals robust long-term regional trends that largely agree with the forced signal of unconstrained historical climate simulations. Anthropogenic regional sea level trends are thus already detectible and measurable despite atmospheric circulation variability dominating regional sea level change on interdecadal and shorter time scales.