CR 64:15-23 (2015)  -  doi:10.3354/cr01309

Sea level rise projections for northern Europe under RCP8.5

Aslak Grinsted1,2,*, Svetlana Jevrejeva2,3, Riccardo E. M. Riva4, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen1

1Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
2College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, 100875 Beijing, PR China
3National Oceanographic Centre, Liverpool L3 5DA, UK
4Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Sea level rise poses a significant threat to coastal communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Sea level rise is not uniform globally but is affected by a range of regional factors. In this study, we calculate regional projections of 21st century sea level rise in northern Europe, focusing on the British Isles, the Baltic Sea, and the North Sea. The input to the regional sea level projection is a probabilistic projection of the major components of the global sea level budget. Local sea level rise is partly compensated by vertical land movement from glacial isostatic adjustment. We explore the uncertainties beyond the likely range provided by the IPCC, including the risk and potential rate of marine ice sheet collapse. Our median 21st century relative sea level rise projection is 0.8 m near London and Hamburg, with a relative sea level drop of 0.1 m in the Bay of Bothnia (near Oulu, Finland). Considerable uncertainties remain in both the sea level budget and in the regional expression of sea level rise. The greatest uncertainties are associated with Antarctic ice loss, and uncertainties are skewed towards higher values, with the 95th percentile being characterized by an additional 0.9 m sea level rise above median projections.


KEY WORDS: Regional sea level · Coastal adaptation · British Isles · Fennoscandia · Relative sea level · Tail-risk


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Cite this article as: Grinsted A, Jevrejeva S, Riva REM, Dahl-Jensen D (2015) Sea level rise projections for northern Europe under RCP8.5. Clim Res 64:15-23

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