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Sea Level Change and its Influence on the Coast under Warm Climate Conditions

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Citation:
Wei, W. , Lohmann, G. , Barbi, D. , Grosfeld, K. and Thoma, M. (2012): Sea Level Change and its Influence on the Coast under Warm Climate Conditions , International Polar Year, Montreal, Canada .
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Abstract:

One of the strongest climate impacts on human societies has and will come from the sea level change. In this study, the sea level change under warm climate conditions, e.g. the Eemain, the mid-Holocene and the future, are examined using the coupled Earth system models including the atmosphere, the ocean, sea ice, land surface cover, a dynamic-thermodynamic ice sheet model, as well as a geophysical model of surface deformation and the Earth’s gravitational field. The latter is an integral of mass changes, providing a convenient way to assess spatial variability of imbalances. These can counteract or enhance sea level change impacts along shores significantly, especially in the North Hemisphere. The chosen model approach enables studying the integration of the climate components in their full complexity with respect to climate boundary conditions, orography and ice extent. With the coupled Earth system model we will simulate the evolution of the ice sheets, the ocean overturning and atmospheric circulation for past and future climate scenarios, part of which will be severed as input to the next IPCC report (A5). As one particular aspect, the impact of self-gravitational impacts on the dynamical flow regime in respect to sea-level and ice mass changes will be investigated. As a consequence of changes in the ice-ocean mass balance, masses within the Earth are redistributed and therefore deviations from the Earth’s equilibrium figure resulting from glacial isostatic adjustment and contemporary melting are still observable today. According to our knowledge, it is the first time that a climate model will be coupled to a geophysical model in order to investigate the full range of impacts on global sea level changes.

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