Topic III: Sea level projections

  • Separating of internal variability and anthropogenic causes of future spatial trend patterns; understand how changing oceanic conditions (circulation and sea level) affect the dynamics of outlet glaciers in ice sheets, e.g. due to advection of heat; determination of the patterns of sea level change originating from ocean circulation changes due to wind forcing, air-sea heat and freshwater fluxes; processes relating to the reaction of ocean circulation and sea level to melt water; effects of water mass changes in the deep ocean.
  • Improving estimation of mass loss from ice sheets; quantification of the key driving factors; improved description of ice sheet dynamics and the feedback between the ocean and ice sheets; tipping points for Greenland and western Antarctica ice sheets; investigation of effects of continental ice mass changes and feedbacks from solid Earth load deformations.
  • Determining limits of predictability of sea level as function of space and time scale and the role of changing climate modes for sea level predictions; provide reliable uncertainties for sea level predictions and projections, including those for ice sheets and glacier projections; understanding regional inter-model sea level spread in climate models due to change in ocean properties (temperature, salinity, circulation, mass distribution), forcing functions and ensemble size.
  • Determining sea level uncertainty information and upper bounds of sea level projections from an analysis of multi-model and multi-approach ensembles of sea level projections.


The work program will be structured in four basic topics; work within each topic is expected to be addressed by several working groups as part of the SPP.

Topic I

Origin of regional sea level changes at decadal-to-centennial time scale

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Topic II

Historic sea level estimates (paleo time scale)

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Topic III

Sea level projections

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Topic IV

Observations and calibrated reconstructions

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