Regional Sea Level Response to External Forcings from the Twentieth to the Twenty-First Century

Zhen Liu aDepartment of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

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Changlin Chen aDepartment of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
bSouthern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai, China

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Guihua Wang aDepartment of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
cShanghai Frontiers Science Center of Atmosphere-Ocean Interaction, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

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Shouwei Li dNOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey

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Shouhua Liu eNational Marine Data and Information Service, Tianjin, China

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Abstract

Using a range of Detection and Attribution Model Intercomparison Project (DAMIP) simulations from phase 6 of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), we study the response of dynamic sea level (DSL) to external anthropogenic climate forcing [greenhouse gases (GHGs), aerosols, and stratospheric ozone] with a focus on the differences over the twentieth and twenty-first century. In the second half of the twentieth century, the DSL nonuniformity in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) was relatively small due to a cancellation between the effects of increasing GHGs and aerosols. In contrast, the DSL signal in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) over this period was large because stratospheric ozone depletion reinforced the effects of increasing GHGs. In the twenty-first century, the DSL response has been intensified in the NH because the warming effects of diminishing aerosols have acted to reinforce the effects of increasing GHGs. Meanwhile, the distribution of SH DSL has also become uneven although stratospheric ozone recovery has partially offset the effects of rising GHGs. Using a global ocean circulation model, we decompose the changes in the twenty-first century DSL into distinct responses to surface forcings including sea surface temperature, salinity, and wind stress. Our results show that the dipole-like pattern of DSL in the North Pacific can be attributed largely to sea surface warming, while the dipole-like pattern in the North Atlantic is attributed to subpolar surface salinity freshening. The belted pattern of DSL changes in the Southern Ocean is induced by both surface warming and intensifying/poleward-shifting westerly winds.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Changlin Chen, chencl@fudan.edu.cn

Abstract

Using a range of Detection and Attribution Model Intercomparison Project (DAMIP) simulations from phase 6 of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), we study the response of dynamic sea level (DSL) to external anthropogenic climate forcing [greenhouse gases (GHGs), aerosols, and stratospheric ozone] with a focus on the differences over the twentieth and twenty-first century. In the second half of the twentieth century, the DSL nonuniformity in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) was relatively small due to a cancellation between the effects of increasing GHGs and aerosols. In contrast, the DSL signal in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) over this period was large because stratospheric ozone depletion reinforced the effects of increasing GHGs. In the twenty-first century, the DSL response has been intensified in the NH because the warming effects of diminishing aerosols have acted to reinforce the effects of increasing GHGs. Meanwhile, the distribution of SH DSL has also become uneven although stratospheric ozone recovery has partially offset the effects of rising GHGs. Using a global ocean circulation model, we decompose the changes in the twenty-first century DSL into distinct responses to surface forcings including sea surface temperature, salinity, and wind stress. Our results show that the dipole-like pattern of DSL in the North Pacific can be attributed largely to sea surface warming, while the dipole-like pattern in the North Atlantic is attributed to subpolar surface salinity freshening. The belted pattern of DSL changes in the Southern Ocean is induced by both surface warming and intensifying/poleward-shifting westerly winds.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Changlin Chen, chencl@fudan.edu.cn

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