Sea level has, arguably, been the dominant theme among Carl Wunsch’s many and widespread scientific interests. Ironically, this is the first paper any of us has written on sea level. Moreover, between us we have only ever coauthored a single paper with Carl, apart from two later group efforts. And yet, one of us (JM) has been closely associated with Carl for over 15 years, beginning with a two-year period as a postdoctoral student at MIT. This only seeming paradox demonstrates Carl’s generosity in at least two ways. He has fostered the growth of junior scientists by inspiring them and helping them gain independence immediately thereafter. But he has also been ready to find every scientific idea worth considering as long as it is new, even if it does not fit into one of his established interests. Thus, we are very proud to contribute our very first sea level paper to this special issue.
Johanna Baehr provided valuable comments on the manuscript. We thank Uwe Mikolajewicz and Detlef Stammer for stimulating discussions. We thank M.-H. Rio for providing the CMDT-RIO03 dataset and two anonymous reviewers for their very constructive comments and suggestions. This work was supported by the Max Planck Society and the International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling. The computer simulations were performed at the DKRZ (Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum) in Hamburg, Germany.
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