GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Model projections of rapid sea-level rise on the northeast coast of the United States

Key Findings

  • The first results to show that the northeast coast of the U.S. is likely to face the fastest sea level rise (SLR) during this century.
  • A rapid, dynamic SLR induced by the weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and associated strong currents in the upper ocean will be imposed on the global mean SLR.
  • Boston, New York City and Washington D.C. will experience an additional SLR of 0.15-0.20 m in addition to the global mean rise.

Yin, J, M Schlesinger, and Ronald J Stouffer. Nature Geoscience – 2(4), doi:10.1038/NGEO462.

The responses of global sea level and ocean circulation to human-induced climate change are very important issues and have been studies extensively. Our results show, for the first time, that the northeast coast of the U.S., where both the political and the economic centers of importance are located, is likely to face the fastest sea level rise (SLR) during this century. A rapid dynamic SLR is projected to occur at this region and will be imposed on the global mean SLR. The rapid SLR is mainly induced by the weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and associated strongĀ  currents in the upper ocean. As a result, Boston, New York City and Washington D.C. will experience an additional SLR of 0.15-0.20 m in addition to the global mean rise.

Reference

Yin, J, M Schlesinger, and Ronald J Stouffer, April 2009: Model projections of rapid sea-level rise on the northeast coast of the United States. Nature Geoscience, 2(4), doi:10.1038/NGEO462.

 

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