Climate Change 2001:
Working Group I: The Scientific Basis
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11. Changes in Sea Level


Executive Summary

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Factors Contributing to Sea Level Change

11.2.1 Ocean Processes Observational estimates of ocean warming and ocean thermal expansion Models of thermal expansion
11.2.2 Glaciers and Ice Caps Mass balance studies Sensitivity to temperature change Sensitivity to precipitation change Evolution of area
11.2.3 Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets Mass balance studies Direct monitoring of surface elevation changes Numerical modelling Sensitivity to climatic change
11.2.4 Interaction of Ice Sheets, Sea Level and the Solid Earth Eustasy, isostasy and glacial-interglacial cycles Earth rotation constraints on recent sea level rise
11.2.5 Surface and Ground Water Storage and Permafrost
11.2.6 Tectonic Land Movements
11.2.7 Atmospheric Pressure

11.3 Past Sea Level Changes

11.3.1 Global Average Sea Level over the Last 6,000 Years
11.3.2 Mean Sea Level Changes over the Past 100 to 200 Years Mean sea level trends Long-term mean sea level accelerations Mean sea level change from satellite altimeter observations
11.3.3 Changes in Extreme Sea Levels: Storm Surges and Waves

11.4 Can 20th Century Sea Level Changes be Explained?

11.5 Future Sea Level Changes

11.5.1 Global Average Sea Level Change 1990 to 2100 Projections for a single scenario based on a range of AOGCMs Projections for SRES scenarios
11.5.2 Regional Sea Level Change
11.5.3 Implications for Coastal Regions Mean sea level Extremes of sea level: storm-surges and waves
11.5.4 Longer Term Changes Thermal expansion Glaciers and ice caps Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets

11.6 Reducing the Uncertainties in Future Estimates of Sea Level Change

11.6.1 Observations of Current Rates of Global- averaged and Regional Sea Level Change
11.6.2 Ocean Processes
11.6.3 Glaciers and Ice Caps
11.6.4 Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets
11.6.5 Surface and Ground Water Storage
11.6.6 Summary

Appendix 11.1 : Methods for Projections of Global-average Sea Level Rise


Co-ordinating Lead Authors
J.A. Church, J.M. Gregory

Lead Authors
P. Huybrechts, M. Kuhn, K. Lambeck, M.T. Nhuan, D. Qin, P.L. Woodworth

Contributing Authors
O.A. Anisimov, F.O. Bryan, A. Cazenave, K.W. Dixon, B.B. Fitzharris, G.M. Flato, A.Ganopolski, V. Gornitz, J.A. Lowe, A. Noda, J.M. Oberhuber, S.P. O’Farrell, A. Ohmura, M. Oppenheimer, W.R. Peltier, S.C.B. Raper, C. Ritz, G.L. Russell, E. Schlosser, C.K. Shum, T.F. Stocker, R.J. Stouffer, R.S.W. van de Wal, R. Voss, E.C. Wiebe, M. Wild, D.J. Wingham, H.J. Zwally

Review Editors
B.C. Douglas, A. Ramirez

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