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      Sea level dynamics and coastal erosion in the Baltic Sea region

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          Abstract

          Abstract. There are a large number of geophysical processes affecting sea level dynamics and coastal erosion in the Baltic Sea region. These processes operate on a large range of spatial and temporal scales and are observed in many other coastal regions worldwide. This, along with the outstanding number of long data records, makes the Baltic Sea a unique laboratory for advancing our knowledge on interactions between processes steering sea level and erosion in a climate change context. Processes contributing to sea level dynamics and coastal erosion in the Baltic Sea include the still ongoing viscoelastic response of the Earth to the last deglaciation, contributions from global and North Atlantic mean sea level changes, or contributions from wind waves affecting erosion and sediment transport along the subsiding southern Baltic Sea coast. Other examples are storm surges, seiches, or meteotsunamis which primarily contribute to sea level extremes. Such processes have undergone considerable variation and change in the past. For example, over approximately the past 50 years, the Baltic absolute (geocentric) mean sea level has risen at a rate slightly larger than the global average. In the northern parts of the Baltic Sea, due to vertical land movements, relative mean sea level has decreased. Sea level extremes are strongly linked to variability and changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation. The patterns and mechanisms contributing to erosion and accretion strongly depend on hydrodynamic conditions and their variability. For large parts of the sedimentary shores of the Baltic Sea, the wave climate and the angle at which the waves approach the nearshore region are the dominant factors, and coastline changes are highly sensitive to even small variations in these driving forces. Consequently, processes contributing to Baltic sea level dynamics and coastline change are expected to vary and to change in the future, leaving their imprint on future Baltic sea level and coastline change and variability. Because of the large number of contributing processes, their relevance for understanding global figures, and the outstanding data availability, global sea level research and research on coastline changes may greatly benefit from research undertaken in the Baltic Sea.

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          Decadal Climate Prediction: An Update from the Trenches

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            Recent mass balance of polar ice sheets inferred from patterns of global sea-level change.

            Global sea level is an indicator of climate change, as it is sensitive to both thermal expansion of the oceans and a reduction of land-based glaciers. Global sea-level rise has been estimated by correcting observations from tide gauges for glacial isostatic adjustment--the continuing sea-level response due to melting of Late Pleistocene ice--and by computing the global mean of these residual trends. In such analyses, spatial patterns of sea-level rise are assumed to be signals that will average out over geographically distributed tide-gauge data. But a long history of modelling studies has demonstrated that non-uniform--that is, non-eustatic--sea-level redistributions can be produced by variations in the volume of the polar ice sheets. Here we present numerical predictions of gravitationally consistent patterns of sea-level change following variations in either the Antarctic or Greenland ice sheets or the melting of a suite of small mountain glaciers. These predictions are characterized by geometrically distinct patterns that reconcile spatial variations in previously published sea-level records. Under the--albeit coarse--assumption of a globally uniform thermal expansion of the oceans, our approach suggests melting of the Greenland ice complex over the last century equivalent to -0.6 mm yr(-1) of sea-level rise.
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              Modeling the barotropic response of the global ocean to atmospheric wind and pressure forcing - comparisons with observations

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Earth System Dynamics
                Earth Syst. Dynam.
                Copernicus GmbH
                2190-4987
                2021
                August 17 2021
                : 12
                : 3
                : 871-898
                Article
                10.5194/esd-12-871-2021
                681948c7-4af3-43ea-815a-9d0e0d2dd8d3
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Product
                Self URI (article page): https://esd.copernicus.org/articles/12/871/2021/

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