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N. Pinardi, A. Bonaduce, A. Navarra, S. Dobricic, and P. Oddo

1. Introduction The global mean sea level (MSL) trend has been shown to be a useful indicator of climate change and ocean heat content variability ( Solomon et al. 2007 ). Recently, satellite altimetry analysis studies ( Cazenave and Remy 2011 ) have reevaluated the mean sea level trend from satellite altimetry and tide-gauge records and found that thermal expansion and mass changes may be equally important contributors to the global mean sea level trend. Theoretical investigations on the

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Philip R. Thompson, Mark A. Merrifield, Judith R. Wells, and Chantel M. Chang

1. Introduction Two decades of sea surface height (SSH) measurements by satellite altimeters reveal substantial spatial variability in the long-term rate of sea level change. Regional differences in the rate of change have been linked to differential heat fluxes at the ocean surface and redistributions of ocean volume by persistent changes in wind stress ( Cazenave and Nerem 2004 ; Willis et al. 2004 ). Rates in the North Pacific are of particular interest due to a stark difference in the rate

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M. A. Merrifield, S. T. Merrifield, and G. T. Mitchum

1. Introduction Understanding the response of global sea level to climate change is a prime concern for climate research. Observing systems are in place that can monitor global patterns relevant to the sea level budget, including satellite altimeter and gravity missions, and the array of Argo profiling floats. These systems are essential for determining future changes in global sea level, but at present they provide a snapshot of the current state [see Nerem et al. (2006) for a review]. Since

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Ulf Gräwe, Knut Klingbeil, Jessica Kelln, and Sönke Dangendorf

1. Introduction Mean sea level (MSL) rise in the world’s oceans is mainly caused by thermal expansion of the water column due to warming and by freshwater input from melting glaciers and ice sheets ( Cazenave and Llovel 2010 ; Dangendorf et al. 2017 ). Recent estimates of global MSL rise (MSLR) range from 1.3 to 2 mm yr −1 since 1900 ( Church et al. 2004 ; Hay et al. 2015 ; Dangendorf et al. 2017 ) and point toward a significant acceleration over the last three decades ( Cazenave et al

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B. Meyssignac, A. B. A Slangen, A. Melet, J. A. Church, X. Fettweis, B. Marzeion, C. Agosta, S. R. M. Ligtenberg, G. Spada, K. Richter, M. D. Palmer, C. D. Roberts, and N. Champollion

1. Introduction Tide gauge records and satellite observations show that sea level has risen during the twentieth century and that this rise has not been spatially uniform ( Church and White 2011 ; Meyssignac and Cazenave 2012 ; Wöppelmann et al. 2009 ; Slangen et al. 2014b ). Process-based projections indicate that global mean sea level will almost certainly accelerate through the twenty-first century in response to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and associated global warming ( Church et al

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Megan Jeramaz Lickley, Carling C. Hay, Mark E. Tamisiea, and Jerry X. Mitrovica

1. Introduction Published analyses of sea level records involve different spatial fields and corrections, and not recognizing these differences has confounded attempts to reconcile the large suite of existing estimates of sea level change ( Chambers et al. 2010 ; Tamisiea 2011 ). Ideally, tide gauges measure relative sea level (RSL) change at specific tide gauge sites, that is, changes in sea surface height (SSH) relative to the height of the solid surface ( Farrell and Clark 1976 ; Peltier

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Dimitris Menemenlis, Ichiro Fukumori, and Tong Lee

1. Introduction The sea level difference between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea has been attributed mostly to the following: tides (e.g., Brandt et al. 2004 ), atmospheric pressure fluctuations (e.g., Tsimplis and Josey 2001 ), steric contributions (e.g., Cazenave et al. 2002 ), and geostrophic or hydraulic controls within the Strait of Gibraltar (e.g., Ross and Garrett 2000 ). Some studies ( Fukumori et al. 2007 ; García-Lafuente et al. 2002a , b ; Garrett 1983 ), however

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Michael Steele and Wendy Ermold

1. Introduction Global sea level rose by 1.5–2 cm decade −1 over the past century ( Wadhams and Munk 2004 ). About 0.5 ± 0.2 cm decade −1 of this trend was from steric effects, that is, changes in density that affect the volume and thus the height. Most of the steric change was from warming, although freshening played a role at high latitudes ( Antonov et al. 2002 ). Levitus et al. (2005) examined the contributions from both temperature and salinity to linear steric height trends using

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Felix W. Landerer, Johann H. Jungclaus, and Jochem Marotzke

high sea level indicates a deep pycnocline, and vice versa. SSH changes can equivalently be interpreted in terms of the integral response to anomalies of the vertical density distribution (through temperature and salinity variations), in which case the attribute steric is commonly applied to describe these changes. We use the term “steric” here strictly as pertaining to the temperature, salinity, and pressure-dependent specific volume of the ocean. The two perspectives on sea level changes

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Carl Wunsch, Rui M. Ponte, and Patrick Heimbach

1. Introduction Modern sea level rise is a matter of urgent concern from a variety of points of view, but especially because of the possibility of its acceleration and consequent threats to many low-lying parts of the inhabited world (see, e.g., Douglas et al. 2001 ; Church et al. 2001 ; Woodworth et al. 2004 ). The advent of high-accuracy satellite altimetry has led to estimates that, since about 1993, global average sea level has been rising at a rate of 2.8 ± 0.4 mm yr −1 ( Leuliette et

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