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Comparisons of spatial patterns of sea level change in OAGCMs

PI: Jason Lowe
Institution: Met Office Hadley Centre
Abstract:
Aims:-
To compare patterns of sea-level variability and change from different models.
Compare model results with observations of recent past and consider the appropriateness of scoring the model simulations.
To investigate mechanisms that determine model patterns of change.

Motivation:-
Sea-level changes are an important aspect of future climate change and, without adaptation, are predicted to lead to severe impacts on century timescales. In the third assessment report OAGCM simulations suggested that sea level changes will not be globally uniform, with some locations experiencing up to twice the global mean value. However, there was much disagreement between the simulated patterns of change.

We aim to build on the work of the TAR by looking at the spatial patterns of sea-level rise projected by the models taking part in the 4th assessment. In addition to a simple inter model comparison, we will compare patterns with observations and consider ways of weighting/scoring the patterns. We also aim to understand what controls the spatial patterns of sea-level change by looking at the relative importance of steric and barotropic changes, and the roles of temperature and salinity changes. If time permits we will examine the relative importance of differences in surface forcing and differences in the ocean response.

Method:-
Download relevant control and anomaly data for all models from PCMDI.
Inter compare model patterns of sea-level changes and patterns of variability.
Compare model patterns with observations and score/weight the model sea-level patterns. Examine sensitivity to different assumptions.
Compare patterns of steric change (from density) and variability.
Compare patterns of barotropic change and variability.
Split steric change into contributions from temperature rise and salinity.
If time allows, take monthly anomalies of heat, moisture and momentum from non-Hadley Centre model and apply as anomalies to Hadley Centre control. This will also be done with our own model.

Data:-
All models
Sea surface height
Ocean insitu temperature and salinity
Stream function or total ocean velocity

One non-Hadley Centre model
Fluxes of heat, moisture and momentum into the ocean.

From anomaly simulations (1%, A2 and A1B) and control.
Publications:

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