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Seminar: Global Sea Level Rise

Date(s): October 16, 2008

Location: Washington, DC

Presenter(s): Carl Wunsch (MIT)

Description: Like many aspects of climate change, the problem of determining, describing, and understanding shifts in "sea level" proves to be far more complicated and interesting than summary sound bites suggest. Something is now known of the spatial patterns of sea level change and they are very complex, showing major regions of falling sea surface over large areas. Although the best estimates of the global average all show a positive rate of rise, partitioning the rise between heating/cooling and the addition/subtraction of fresh water lies at the very edge of modern oceanographic observational and modeling techniques. The eventual societal costs of sea level rise, whether accelerated or stable at present estimated rates, are huge and to a large extent appear inexorable.

Presentation Document: Global Sea Level Rise

Seminar Category: Climate Science