CR 15:61-67 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/cr015061

Two models for the climate change related development of sea levels in the North Sea‹a comparison

F. Kauker*, H. Langenberg

GKSS Research Centre, Max-Planck Str., 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
*Present address: Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Columbusstraße, 27568 Bremerhaven, Germany. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Two models of the North Sea are compared with respect to their performance in the assessment of sea level changes in a changing climate: the OPYC model, originally designed as a global ocean model and run in a regional version, and the HAMSOM, which was built as a shelf sea model and applied to an extended region in a simplified version. Both models agree very well in their hindcast skill as measured by correlation and explained variance. The reaction of both models to the Œ2 ×CO2¹ and Œcontrol¹ runs of the time slice experiments of the DKRZ (German Climate Computing Center) is also very similar and indicates an increase of up to 30 cm of winter mean sea levels and no significant (compared with the variability in the past) impact on the intra-monthly 90% quantiles. It is concluded that sea level is a rather robust parameter that could still be assessed with some confidence if both models were simplified further.


KEY WORDS: North Sea · Sea level · Hindcast · 2CO2 · Storm surge


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